The Weekend Woodsman in New Jersey

…New Jersey? As in “Jersey Shore” New Jersey? The state with such grand cities as Newark, Atlantic City and Camden? The place where medical waste used to wash up on the beaches etc. That New Jersey? Well, no. Not that New Jersey. There is a side to this state which many people don’t know about, a side with very beautiful natural areas featuring diverse ecosystems, flora and fauna. Sadly, most people think of the pollution, urban sprawl and all the other things that come along with being wedged between New York City, Philadelphia and the edge of the continent, so in this post I want to show you a different side to The Garden State.

My favorite natural area in New Jersey is called the Pine Barrens, a place with sandy soil not suitable for growing most crops, but in which pine trees and many other plants thrive. In 1978, the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve was created to protect the Pine Barrens, which cover 22% of the state of New Jersey and which constitute the largest unbroken natural forest area on the east coast of the US between Boston, Massachusetts and Richmond, Virginia. That’s right, in NEW JERSEY!

(Linked image)

Back in August, the Woodsfamily and my brother and sister-in-law-to-be visited Double Trouble State Park, which is located in Lacey and Berkeley Townships. Below are some pictures I took during our hike. Hope you enjoy them and get a taste of what New Jersey can offer!

Pines:

Oak:

Antlion” pit:

More pines:

Water oak:

Honeysuckle:

Maple:

Sassafras:

Oak:

Cedar Creek:

Black gum:

Birches:

Birch leaves:

Holly:

Juniper:

Mountain laurel:

A drained cranberry bog. Cranberry farming is still carried out in NJ.

Creepy:

Water lily:

Some kind of nest:

There was a fire here a few years back:

Hope you enjoyed seeing a wild side of New Jersey not involving Snooki or Pauly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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14 comments on “The Weekend Woodsman in New Jersey

  1. Marm :):) says:

    BEAUTIFUL!!!! THANK YOU-we really miss Double Trouble especially this time of year!

  2. We always had “antlions” around our sawmill, though we called them “doodle-bugs,” I think. Nice scenery.

  3. Corey says:

    Great looking place. You’re right – that’s not the scenery that springs to mind when I hear “New Jersey!”

  4. Gurthy says:

    Tom Brown Jr. wrote about learning a lot in the Pine Barrens during his childhood, and it’s interesting to see these photos of the area. It looks like it was a great place to visit!

  5. […] (Nuuksio National Park, Pukala Recreation Area, Hanko, Scandic Woodsman’s property, Florida, New Jersey, Estonia etc.). This phase is winding down now, and most of my upcoming bushcraft, hiking and […]

  6. Scott Milne says:

    I’m here in the heart of the NJ Pine Barrens! It is beautiful I was searching axes out and found your blog on jersey axes and the bruks ( I have both too). The odd thing is I was researching Nessmuk yesterday, found the just smoothing it blog and I think he was a follower of your blog as well. Our camp is right next to Browns, in fact I’m leaving to hunt dear there tomorrow morning.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thanks for the comments, Scott! It certainly is a beautiful area, one near and dear to my heart. ๐Ÿ™‚ If I ever get rich, I’ll buy a nice vacation property somewhere in the Barrens. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yep, we do subscribe to each other (Smoothing It Blog). He’s got a nice variety of posts/interests!

      Hope your deer hunt goes well!

    • Stephen Adamczyk says:

      Hope you got a deer yesterday, there are plenty behind my house. Put a pile of bait out Sunday, see what happens. Steve.

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