Wharton Stories

slingblade_uhhuh

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
JORBA.ORG
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.
Awesome! Thanks for sharing. We were holding a tailgate safety meeting in the parking lot this past Sunday, and wondering why more people don't take advantage of the double track for longer rides, or even to give some mix to a standard PBT ride.
 

wilburdeb

New Member
My thoughts on the double track:
1. Now that motorized vehicle travel is restricted in many areas in Wharton, the double track is firming up for better walking and riding. I chose Saturday because of the heavy rainfall the day before that packed the double track even further. But as the double track ages there will be more tree falls and other blockages that hinder bike travel.
2. Jemima Mount, Devious, Carranza Memorial, The old railway line, Apple Pie Hill, Eagle (including the small cemetery), and Friendship are all great double track destinations. I am eager to find more.
3. I would advise some sort of map and compass when travelling. It is easy to get lost. I used my smartphone with the Strava map to find my way.
4. I noticed many trails around Friendship that looked inviting.
 

Ian F

Well-Known Member
I rode the orange loop from Batso for the first time last weekend. I will probably ride there more next winter since it seems to remain rideable when other places get too muddy. It's a little over an hour from my house in lower Bucks, PA.

On a somewhat related note, some of my first mtn bike rides in the late 80's were at Lebanon State Forest - now Brenden Byrne - and I remember some fun stuff there. An old enduro moto loop called the "poker run", for example. I find it odd there is no sub-forum for the area on mtbnj?
 

slingblade_uhhuh

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
JORBA.ORG
... On a somewhat related note, some of my first mtn bike rides in the late 80's were at Lebanon State Forest - now Brenden Byrne - and I remember some fun stuff there. An old enduro moto loop called the "poker run", for example. I find it odd there is no sub-forum for the area on mtbnj?
I would like to believe that even governor Byrne thought it odd that Lebanon State Forest was not renamed John McPhee State Forest. Just because. :)
 

wilburdeb

New Member
Took a ride up to Hampton Furnace via Orange (CW) to the second bridge, jogged over to Goodwater northbound onto Lower Forge which eventually turned into Hay Rd just north of the primitive campground. Hay Rd was straight as an arrow but very good riding with a ford (6"-10" deep) across the creek that empties Mannis Duck Pond. North of the creek the trail turned into a series of old off road vehicle washouts that were full from the Saturday rain. Some of these water holes were deep enough I decided to carry my bike across (none deeper that 24" though-at least were I waded). Finally made it to the Central RR and found a crossing point about a 1/4 mile east of the terminus of Hay Rd. From here to the Forge the roads got better with the waterholes being more passable.
Forge.jpg
From the Forge I headed to Hampton Station on the Central railroad on the west side of the Batsto River. Here I was confronted with a Flooded stream that blocked my path to get on the Central RR path. I lucked out and eventually found a submerged plank across this stream and made it across to the RR and headed east to the RR bridge.
CentralRRBridge.jpg
Once across the bridge I looked for a Google Earth image feature that intrigued me. But the feature just turned out to be an abandoned flooded vehicle trail.
2017-05-16 06_06_14-Lunch Ride _ Ride _ Strava.png
After traveling a mile or so east on the RR, I turned south on Devious then Mines Spung back to Orange (CCW). All in all the roads were fair to middling quality with firm packed sand and packed dirt 90% of the distance. I spent a lot of time at the washouts trying to figure out if I could ride through them or if I needed to portage around them. I avoided the washout areas that had "Black" or (dirt colored) water as they seemed to be the deepest or muddy bottoms. The "Tea" colored water was ride-able and usually less than 12" deep with firm bottoms.
2017-05-16 05_35_03-Lunch Ride _ Ride _ Strava.png
 

wilburdeb

New Member
Rode up to Devious from Batsto. Devious is just a short ride NNW of the cherry on the Ice Cream Cone. The trail is a seldom used double track that is mostly firm with breakouts of sand here and there.

Just as I reached the summit a pair of hikers coming from the BatoNa campground reached the summit, also. Just amazing that within all these square miles of forest, two separate groups can reach the same destination point from different directions at the same time.
 

wilburdeb

New Member
They were definitely busy and seemed uncaring of my presence. This pair were about as far away from Batsto as the Hucklrberry trail runs.
 

slingblade_uhhuh

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
JORBA.ORG
It is so wet in some areas of WSF that I would have ran over a catfish but it swam away from my front tire.
WSF-East Side
Its so wet out there, that its going to be a bad year for the vampire bullfrogs. Best bet is to open and tape a plastic shopping bag around the lower half of your helmet to cover/protect your neck. If you're really worried about being bitten, wrapping a bath towel around your neck is the safest, but warmest, option.
 

wilburdeb

New Member
Ride to Hampton Furnace up the west side of Batsto River. Dry near Batsto and very wet above Lower Forge all the way to Hampton Furnace. When I started out I thought I would return to Batsto through Devious and Jemima but the large ATV puddles up north changed my plans.
2019-05-07 06_11_59-Lunch Ride _ Ride _ Strava.png
IMG_20190506_133932.jpg
 

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