South Jersey is framed by the Delaware River and the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The area features various terrains of lush forests and landscaped parks. Pine Barrens, a large national reserve runs through this region that is full of opportunity for outdoor activity. Hiking, biking and canoeing are all popular ways to enjoy the outdoors. If canoeing is your sport of choice, there are plenty of waterways where you can put your oars to use.
The Mullica River once was used commercially as an alternative route to Jersey's sandy roads. Today, the charm it offers to paddling enthusiasts is its sandy banks perfect for picnicking or a quick swim. The water trail goes through marshes but is mostly open terrain with consistent beauty on each side. You're likely to see beavers and wood ducks during your travels. This trail is suitable for overnight trips with campsites available at Mullica River Camp and Atsion Lake.
Wharton State Forest
Wharton State Forest is the largest state park in New Jersey. There are rivers and streams with more than 85 miles of canoe trails. The Mullica river trail can be paddled day or night and passes through marshes and has high sandy banks flanked with cedar and pine trees. The trail goes on for 48 miles. Other rivers to explore in Wharton Park are the Batsto, Oswego and Wading.
Great Egg Harbour River
Great Egg Harbour River is in the Pine Barrens Reserve and contains its longest canoe trail. The river was once cleared for commercial reasons and is now maintained by the South Jersey Canoe Club. The trail passes through a swamp that is heavily shaded, creating a jungle atmosphere. A portion of the trail passes by several parks and two campsites. Stop at one of the parks to view maps of the river and access mileage information.
The trail on Toms River has the unfortunate distinction of being the most affected by land clearing. The River is in a metropolitan area and at one point you can paddle right through town. The trip down river is diverse -- the upper portion features sharp bends but becomes wider and straighter toward the bottom. The entire trail takes two days to travel, but there are plenty of campgrounds along the way.
- Visit South Jersey: Outdoors
- Paddling.net; "Paddling the Jersey Pine Barrens: Mullica River"; Robert Parnes; 2002
- Away: Wharton State Forest
- Paddling.net; "Paddling the Jersey Pine Barrens: Great Egg Harbor River"; Robert Parnes; 2002
- Paddling.net; "Paddling the Jersey Pine Barrens: Toms River"; Robert Parnes; 2002
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