Hiking Franklin Parker Preserve (Chatsworth, NJ)
A couple of weeks ago, I went to Franklin Parker Preserve. I’ve wanted to check out more hies, especially in the Pine Barrens. When I first moved to NJ, I lived in the Pine Barrens. Not many people know, but the Pine Barrens make up 25% of the entire state of NJ. There are plenty of nature preserves, blueberry fields, and cranberry farms. We moved because it was making our commutes to long. I do miss the running on dirt roads, but it was nice to get back.
The Franklin Parker Preserve hikes through old cranberry bogs, around Chatsworth Lake, Cedar Swamp, and through the Pine Barrens. According to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the Franklin Parker Preserve is also known for bird watching.
In the Pine Barrens, Franklin Parker Preserve, Wharton State Forest, Penn State Forest, Pine Snake, and Brendan Byrne State Park, you can combine multiple trails to get over 30 miles. The red trail, green trail, white trail, yellow trail, and Batona Trail all connect. All of the trails are well marked and easy to follow at the Franklin Parker Preserve.
The hike itself at Franklin Parker Preserve is about 6.5 miles. Be careful after rain and check for ticks. It can get buggy. There is a parking lot near Chatsworth that has about 10 spots. Once you park, it’s a quick turn left onto the trail. It took us a few minutes to find it!
Here are a few photos from the Franklin Parker Preserve:
The start of Franklin Parker Preserve and trailhead
Hiking sand roads around Chatsworth Lake and Cedar Swamp
We also found snakeskin at Franklin Parker Preserve
Crossing back over Chatsworth Lake and Cedar Swamp
There are a lot of bugs, including praying mantis. I never knew how big praying mantis are!
In all, I had an enjoyable time at Franklin Parker Preserve and I’m looking forward to checking out and revisiting more of the Pine Barrens.
You can see all the hikes here.
Questions for you:
Have you ever seen a praying mantis?
Where is your favorite spot to hike? Have you been to Franklin Parker Preserve?