Wharton State Forest is just a little under 20 minutes from Historic Smithville and the Colonial Inn. Wharton is New Jersey’s largest expanse of state forest, the granddaddy of the Garden State’s wilderness experience, with hiking, canoeing, camping, recreation areas, and historic sites. For hikers, Wharton contains 37 miles of the 50-mile Batona Trail, an undisturbed footpath that passes through some of the Pine Barrens’ most tranquil areas, connecting Wharton, Brendan T. Byrne, and Bass River State forests. But be forewarned: A trail map is essential and easy to get lost, so stick to major known sand roads and trails that will support your bike. Best riding is actually on warm winter days when sand roads are harder. Bugs are a problem from spring to fall. Effective insect repellent is must. Ride on Sundays during the fall hunting season (hunting not allowed).
This map can be found at http://www.bikekinetix.com/t_nj/nj_state/wharton_sf.php along with a lot of other great information…check it out.
These off road bicycle specific trails originate at the northwest corner of the Batsto Village parking lot and offer bicyclists several distance options.
Trail maps are available at the Batsto Visitor Center.
Batsto Office: 609-561-0024
All Terrain Firetower Bicycle Loop Trail : 5.5 miles. Blazed with green circles. Beginners will enjoy following the green markers for a fun easy six mile ride. (motorized vehicles and equestrians not permitted on singletrack sections)
Huckleberry Trail:This fun swoopy three mile trail is marked with blue circles and bisects the Penn Branch Trail to provide riders with an approx. eight mile loop from/to the parking lot.
Oak Hill Trail:This approx. two mile long trail is marked with white circles and gives riders another north/south option.
Teaberry Trail: Gives riders a 3/4 mile long connector trail between the Oak Hill and Huckleberry Trails. Marked with red circles.
Batsto Penn Creek Branch Bicycle Trail: This is the big 19 miles marked with Orange circles. The trail runs in conjunction with and extends the Firetower trail to a 19 mile epic mountain bike ride through diverse pine barren habitat. Because of it’s length, it is recommended that experienced riders in good physical condition attempt the entire loop.Note: If you go the distance be prepared with plenty of water, snacks for energy and time it so you don’t get caught unexpectedly after dark. Let someone know where you are planning to ride.
Batono Trail: This 50-mile trail connects Wharton, Brendan T. Byrne and Bass River State forests. The Pink trail is the longest blazed hiking trail in southern New Jersey.
This portion of the Batona Trail is maintained by the NJ State Park Service and the Batona Hiking Club. This is a link to the N.J. State Parks Brochure of the Batono trails http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/docs/batona14web.pdf
Directions from the Colonial Inn to Wharton State Park…http://g.co/maps/9sqpk
Canoe or Kayak ?:
Micks Pine Barrens
Canoe and Kayak Rental
3107 Route 563
Chatsworth, NJ 08019
After choosing a canoe, single kayak or double kayak , you board a bus that takes you to your drop off point. You can choose from 3 hour trips or 5 hour trips, and there are plenty of fun stops along the way. When you arrive at the end of your trip, they are there to pick you up.