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Hiking At Wharton State Forest

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Written by   55
5 months ago
Topics: Life, Blog, Nature, Hiking, Forest, ...

Co-published on Publish0x.

It has been a while since I last made a hiking blog post (and it'll be the first time I'm making on here on Last year, my wife and I hiked in Breakneck Ridge and Sourland Mountain Reserve. Not having been in South Jersey before, we wanted to hike in a forest in that area. We ultimately went with Wharton State Forest.

Fortunately, the weather was cooler than the usual summer heat when we went out hiking. With the sky covered in clouds, we did not have to worry about getting baked in the sun or getting sunburned. However, it was quite humid (around 80%) and with the amount of walking we did, we finished our hike all sweaty. Also, the bugs. Mosquitoes would constantly harass our faces and it was especially annoying when they buzz around the ears.

Despite these inconveniences, we did put in 4 miles of walking from the Batsto Trail. Unlike Breakneck Ridge and Sourland, the trail was flat with very little change in elevation. We also noticed that a number of trees and parts of the understory looked burnt. Apparently, the forest got hit with a forest fire a little over a month ago from an illegal campfire. And then, another fire occurred in mid-July.

Much of the trail was covered in white sand, presumably to serve as a flame retardant. Some parts of the forest came out relatively unscathed with trees getting some burn marks here and there. Other parts were hit rather hard with entire trunks and branches damaged from the fires. What would be left are herbaceous plants trying to bring back life to the charred soil.

Much of the bark on the lower portion of the trunks are burnt.
The damage at this portion of the forest was rather extensive.

The less disturbed parts of the forest had a higher abundance of vegetation.

By no means was the hike disappointing, however. In fact, it was very enjoyable. There were a handful of spots in the forest where the scenery looked beautiful. We had a nice view of the Batsto River and some people kayaking downstream. As I mentioned earlier, some parts of the forest were relatively undisturbed and offered a plethora of greenery. We even were able to spot a small blueberry bush bearing some fruit.

With the forest being as large as it is, we barely ran into other hikers. The overall atmosphere was extremely calm and relaxing (well, other than the mosquitoes). I took the liberty to record a 2.5 minute video of myself walking down part of the Batsto Trail.

Down the line, my wife and I would like to revisit the forest when it has recovered some more from the forest fires. Some trails go for way more than 4 miles and it would be nice to clock in a longer hike. Though next time, I would like to have a hike without the bugs trying to eat my face.

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Avatar for LateToTheParty
Written by   55
5 months ago
Topics: Life, Blog, Nature, Hiking, Forest, ...
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That forest would be so beautiful to look at to if it wasn't burned. I can imagine how captivating it is when it's fine. Anyways, mosquitoes and bugs were always the annoying ones during hikes hahaha.

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