Hiking Batsto River (Wharton State Park)
Hiking Batsto River (Wharton State Park)

Recently I decided to out and hike at the Batsto River in Wharton State Park. I’ve hiked and ran several times in Wharton State Park. It’s a relatively easy area to run and walk. If you’re looking for easy trails to bring family or pets, I suggest Wharton.  You also don’t get much elevation change in South Jersey.

Hiking Batsto River (Wharton State Park)

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Pocomoke River State Park
Hiking Pocomoke River State Park

Pocomoke River State Park (Pocomoke, MD)

On my many drives from New Jersey to Virginia, I’ve seen Pocomoke River State Park near Pocomoke City and Snow Hill in Worcester County. I’ve always wanted to stop at Pocomoke River State Park, but for whatever reason, weather, timing, it just didn’t work out.

Pocomoke River State Park

A couple of weeks ago, my legs were feeling restless, so I decided to stop.  I was not disappointed!

Pocomoke River State Park

Pocomoke River State Park is located right off Route 113, just before connecting with Route 13. There are plenty of hiking trails.  Plus, if you are looking for camping, they have an electric hookup, camp store, picnic area, nature center, bathhouse, dumping station, swimming pool and even large boat launch. There are several areas to camp, including Shad Landing and Milburn Landing Areas

Pocomoke River State Park
Pocomoke River

I went to Shad Landing which is on the south side of the Pocomoke River near Route 113. I didn’t realize there was a whole separate section called Milburn Landing.  It’s 25 minute drive between the two sections of Pocomoke River State Park.  I can see how they host an 50k ultra race at Pocomoke River State Park.

Pocomoke River State Park
Catch the vulture?

Located within the 15,000 wooded acres of Pocomoke State Forest has about 15,000 wooded acres. Pocomoke River State Park is famous for its loblolly pine and for its cypress swamps. The Pocomoke River originates in the Great Cypress Swamp in Delaware and flows south 45 miles to the Chesapeake Bay. Cypress Swamp and upland is home to plenty of plant and animal life, including otters and bald eagles, and over 50 species of fish.

Pocomoke River State Park
Might need this…

Even though it was a beautiful 60 degrees in January, the seasonal things were obviously closed.

Pocomoke River State Park

I didn’t plan to stop at Pocomoke River State Park, so I didn’t have any ideas of trails. Several trails hike through the Great Cypress Swamp in Delaware and Maryland. Plus, you can hike by the Chesapeake Bay as well as areas of the Pocomoke River.

Pocomoke River State Park
My favorite photo of Pocomoke River State Park. You can see the rainbow reflecting off the water

Here are a few photos from the stop.  I was only at Pocomoke River State Park for an hour, but it was a great stop to get out and stretch my legs. I find I’ve struggled to sit still on the 6-hour drive.

Pocomoke River State Park me selfie

You can see all the hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Pocomoke River State Park?

Do you sit still well in car rides? 

Hiking Stephens State Park

Hiking Stephens State Park

(specifically the Orange, White and White Rumbly Climb Loop trail).

I think I typed this entire post and then the internet ate it or it got misplaced somewhere.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I went hiking at Stephens State Park.  The trail name is called: “Orange, White and White Rumbly Climb Loop. ”

The Orange, White and White Rumbly Climb Loop is roughly 8.3 miles. We cut parts out and went on the “Fuzzy Things” trail, which ultimately made our adventure 7.5.  The Orange, White and White Rumbly Climb Loop is typically moderately trafficked, but because we went on a cold day, we didn’t see anyone. Just a fisherman at the beginning!

All of the trails for Stephens State Park start near the Musconetcong River.  Apparently, it’s a tremendous freshwater trout fishing spot.  At the trailhead, there are a fishing spot, picnic tables and picnic shelters,  park office (open in April) and a restroom with flushing toilets.  There is even a playground within walking distance. The rest of Stephens State Park is great for hiking, mountain biking, trail running, or even horseback riding.

There are trail markers (red trail, white trail, and orange) and trail loops that range from 1-8.3 miles.

Hiking Stephens State Park (specifically the Orange, White and White Rumbly Climb Loop trail)

Depending on which way you do the loop, the Orange, White, and White Rumbly Climb Loop is either

steep in the beginning followed by a long gradual downhill for the last several miles

long gradual uphill oer seeral miles followed by a and steep downhill

Hiking Stephens State Park (specifically the Orange, White and White Rumbly Climb Loop trail)
At the start

We decided to do the Orange, White and White Rumbly Climb Loop backward, so we were climbing most of the time and a steep 1 mile downhill for the last mile. I don’t like steep downhills, but it wasn’t too bad.

Hiking Stephens State Park (specifically the Orange, White and White Rumbly Climb Loop trail)

Hiking Stephens State Park (specifically the Orange, White and White Rumbly Climb Loop trail)
We have so many questions…what happened to this house? It seems like it is relatively modern.
Hiking Stephens State Park (specifically the Orange, White and White Rumbly Climb Loop trail)
Cutting off a portion to go on the “Fuzzy Things” Trail. We have yet to find the “Fuzzy Things

Hiking Stephens State Park (specifically the Orange, White and White Rumbly Climb Loop trail)

In all, it was a fun (but a cold day). If you are ever in the Hacketstown area, I will check it out (and also the River Star Diner).

You can see all the hikes here

 

Pakim Pond NJ
Hiking Pakim Pond in Brendan T. Byrne State Park

One of my favorite hikes in NJ is Pakim Pond in Brendan T. Bryne State Park.  To get to Brendan T. Byrne State Park, you take Route 72 East. Turning into Brendan T. Byrne State Park, you’ll see signs for Pakim Pond. You can park at the front and walk the 3 miles to Pakim Pond or there is a parking area too. To drive and get to the parking lot of Pakim Pond, you’ll take a paved road (Coopers Road) followed by sand roads covered in pine needles.

Pakim Pond is a beautiful spot in the NJ Pine Barrens with plenty of pine trails, sandy trails, and cranberry bogs. When people think of New Jersey, they don’t think much about the Pine Barrens. In fact, most people don’t realize the Pine Barrens exist! I’ve run and hiked Pakim Pond so it’s a fairly flat and smooth surface covered with pine needles. If I lived closer, I would probably run again at Pakim Pond.

Pakim Pond NJ

During the spring and summer, there can be several ticks so I always caution people to watch out in the Pine Barrens. At Pakim Pond, the signs are vague so make sure you know the trails well. Since I’ve been a dozen times, I don’t typically have an issue but if you have never been to Brendon T. Byrne State Park, I advise you to download a trail map from Alltrails.

Pakim Pond NJ
En route to Pakim Pond

You can start at the front of Brydan T. Byrne State Park or start the hike from Pakim Pond.  Most of the hiking and running is on the Batona Trail. There are plenty of trails in Brendan T. Byrne State Forest from the Cranberry Trail to the Misery Trail White and the Mount Misery Trail (Mt Misery Trail).  Plus at Pakim Pond there is a parking area, park office, and picnic areas.

We decided to park at the front and walk over to Pakim Pond, around, and back. In total it was about 6-7 miles of easy and flat terrain.   It’s easily runnable, which I have done but we just wanted to go out for a nice walk. 

Many years ago, I even ran a race here.

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Beautiful day for a short hike ✌️ 🌞

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You can see all of the hikes here.

Questions for you:

What is one of your favorite spots to hike?

Locals: have you been to Pakim Pond or Brendan T. Byrne State Park? 

 

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ
Hiking Cheesequake State Park

A few weeks ago, I decided to take a trip to Cheesequake State Park. I’ve seen Cheesequake Park from the Garden State Parkway, and it even has it’s own Parkway exit. A dirt road runs underneath the Garden State Parkway to connect the northern and southern sides of Cheesequake Park.

Despite being that close to the Parkway, you don’t hear the cars rolling by. Cheesequake State Park has always been on my “to-do list,” but the timing or weather neer worked out. Cheesequake State Park is located in Old Bridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey.

After doing research, I learned the name Cheesequake comes from the following Native American Lenape words:

Cheseh-oh-ke, which means “upland.”

Chiskhakink, which means the “at the land that has been cleared.”

Here are a Few Things Cheesequake Park Has:

  • Camping, Tent and Trailer Sites with flushable toilets and shower facilities (facilities within walking distance of campsites)
  • Picnic Areas with Fire Rings
  • Swimming with Lifeguards
  • Fishing for trout, largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish
  • Interpretive Center with History of the Park and Colonization History
  • Roughly 8 miles of easy to navigate hiking

 

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJCheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Part of the trails were almost flooded over. I was wearing my Hoka Speedgoat Midi Boot which prevented any water in my shoes.

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Cheesequake State Park offers some beautiful views. There are no mountains to climb, but you do get some glimpses of the North Jersey shore.

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

This might be the most unique thing I’ve noticed on a hike. I looked down to see a “swarm of caterpillars” all climbing over them. I’ve never seen anything like it. After talking with someone in the nature center, she mentioned the caterpillers do this for safety with numbers. It’s known as “as a rolling swarm of caterpillars.”

The caterpillers were harmless but a group of caterpillers bunched together is not something you see every day.

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

In all, I had a fun couple of hours at Cheesequake State Park. If you’re looking for an easy to navigate state park with trailer sites, fire rings, and picnic tables, Cheesequake Park is a good stop.

You Can See All Hikes Here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever seen a swarm of caterpillars?

Where is somewhere you’ve wanted to hike around you? 

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