Wharton Stories

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
We've been working hard to get our Trail Directory updated. Each week we'll post a "Park of the Week" with a link. Need a map? Garmin route? Check it out.

This week's park is Wharton State Forest, aka Batsto. This southern park was a go-to for most riders who needed to get out on dirt this winter.

Link here:

http://www.mtbnj.com/w/index.php?title=Wharton_State_Forest

But Wait

We want to hear your stories about the park. If you've been there once, or you ride there every week, we want you to pick 1 story and share it. This thread will be linked in the wiki, so people who look at the park directory can also access this thread and the stories.

Or if you have a best place to eat, things to keep an eye out for, something to not miss, or anything else you think is pertinent, post it up here.

But mostly, we want the people who ride it to talk about it, so the people who have never ridden it can learn more about it.
 

Robin

Well-Known Member
First! (my very "First" first too).

This past winter was my first time to Wharton. Like many others, I was suffering from "no trail riding blues". I had the Giant demo from Halter's and was itching to ride it. I heard about Wharton - and that conditions there were prime.

Wharton terrain and scenery reminded me much of Allaire - the pine scrubs and flow. I did the outer loop (orange/Penn trail), which is about 19 miles and took me about 2 hours. What I really liked about Wharton is once I was on the trail, I could just ride - and not worry about where to navigate to next/multiple trail intersections.

My second trip back to Wharton I brought my SS. I did the Huckleberry (Blue) loop, which is about 8 miles/took me an hour before meeting up with a group. Fast and fun!

Big thanks to all who've put the time in to make this a fun place to ride!
 

1speed

Incredibly profound yet fantastically flawed
I rode here more this winter than anywhere else. This place is great for winter riding, but it feels like you're in an old Flintstones cartoon -- you know when Fred is driving and keeps passing the same scenery again and again? That's Wharton -- everything looks exactly the same.

I do have one question for the folks that ride there more often: last time I was there was a few weeks ago and while I was riding the Orange Loop, I almost got run over a few times by a Moto-X enduro race that was going on on the fire trails. I think I rode something like 17 miles before I saw a single sign warning that there was an event going on. The course crossed the Orange trail half a dozen times or so, so I couldn't understand why there weren't more signs warning trail users. It wasn't like you got a lot of warning -- those bikes were flying down those pathways. I came in from Atsion, and didn't see any signs at all until I was near the controlled burn area. Do they have a lot of those events? And if so, do they usually mark the course better?
 

slingblade_uhhuh

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
JORBA.ORG
Do they have a lot of those events? And if so, do they usually mark the course better?
Wharton is NJ's largest state forest (and WSF staffers will remind anyone and all that it is a forest and not a park). If you ride there often enough you will encounter many different trail users having many different types of endurance events.

Considering the size of the forest and the quantity and remotenes of the trails, I do not think its possible for the club holding the event to post the signage you request.
 
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1speed

Incredibly profound yet fantastically flawed
Wharton is NJ's largest state forest (and WSF staffer will remind anyone and all that it is a forest and not a park). If you ride there often enough you will encounter many different trail users having many different types of endurance events.

Considering the size of the forest and the quantity and remotenes of the trails, I do not think its possible for the club holding the event to post the signage you request.
Yeah, I guess I can see that. I was fine with it -- I didn't mind waiting for them all to pass by. I was lucky I didn't have my headphones on loud, though -- I may not have known to stop.
 

slingblade_uhhuh

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
JORBA.ORG
Yeah, I guess I can see that. I was fine with it -- I didn't mind waiting for them all to pass by. I was lucky I didn't have my headphones on loud, though -- I may not have known to stop.
You might want to leave the headphones turned off the weekend they have the sleddog races at Wharton. It would be a bitch to be run down by a dozen huskys and a wheeled sled.
 

Mitch

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Wow I hope that Every new "Park Of the Week" doesn't burn down during the celebration week ..
 

larryeverett

New Member
First time on the orange trail was summer 2012 I ate it hard against a tree pushing my cx bike not using brakes. It was at the exact mid point and limped with what i thought was a busted knee cap and broken hand through some trails and fire road back to my car.

Second time was summer 2013. It was early morning and unfortunately it was I that got to clear all the spider webs and dew from the growth. I haven't been that uncomfortable in a while.

i need to pick a better time of year to go.
 

slingblade_uhhuh

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
JORBA.ORG
i need to pick a better time of year to go.
:) Most say that the prime riding season on the Batsto/Wharton mtb trails to be October to May.
A lot of the forest's double track fire roads become fun and fast to ride when frozen in the winter, if a backwoods century ride is needed.
 

Arwen's Mom

Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains
My friend Rick has asked me a few times to do the orange "long" loop at Wharton.

Was always reluctant. Long drive for us and Wharton isnt my idea of "fun" riding. But yesterday Mr AM and I went. Very glad I did. I had a surprisingly good time. Realized I had more endurance than I thought if I just start out slow and warm up. I did not feel as tired and out of energy at the end as I thought I would. Felt like I could have ridden longer but time and other duties were waiting. But what really did it was when we got way "out there" in the woods and all you could hear was the woods. It was awesome. I love that feeling of being as far away from everyone as possible and just being out in nature. The "wilderness" doesnt scare me. Actually feel safer out there with the bears, cougars, whatever, than I would in NYC (shudder).

Mr AM had fun too. :D

Here's a couple photos.
 

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olegbabich

Well-Known Member
Couple of weeks ago I stopped for a water break on the trail by the old Rail Road line and heard 2 girls laughing, yet I could not see anyone.:hmmm:
 

bobert1035

New Member
I was in Vineland for a wedding last weekend, and with time to kill while Mrs was doing bridesmaids stuff, I hit up the Orange loop at Wharton. After accidentally calling the gate attendant a "sir" instead of "ma'am", I got on the trail. Very nice trail for sure, descriptions were accurate, not a lot of climbing and little to no tech, but fun nonetheless, and a great workout for me as a rigid SSer. The weird thing I noticed was I didn't see a soul out on the trails the whole time, and this was mid-day on a nice, sunny Sunday. Anyway, glad I brought the bike!
 

wilburdeb

New Member
I took a long ride through Wharton State Forest on Saturday. Started at Batsto trailhead and went up the west side (clockwise) of the orange trail. Just before the halfway point I turned north on the double track heading toward Tuckerton Rd. Took Tuckerton to Carranza (north of the memorial). Headed south on Carranza to the memorial. There at the memorial I had snack and then turned east and headed toward Apple Pie Hill. Snapped a couple of pics. Then headed south passing through Eagle, then west to Friendship. Snapped couple of more pics. Left going south toward Washington. After crossing Hawkins Bridge I took the first right and back to Batsto. The double track roads were firm and easy to ride for the most part.
 

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