Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some common questions about how to prepare for and what to expect while canoeing or kayaking.
How skilled do I have to be in order to paddle a canoe or kayak on the Batsto or Mullica rivers.
Paddling on Pine Barrens rivers is great for beginners and skilled paddlers of all ages. Having some basic paddling skill or being with someone who has paddling experience is helpful. Both the Batsto and Mullica rivers are slow-flowing rivers. There are no rapids. There are occasional obstacles including downed trees or low-hanging branches that you have to navigate. Many stretches along the Batsto and Mullica are narrow and winding, so you’ll need enough skill to be able to steer or navigate your canoe or kayak through the twists and turns. You should be physically fit enough to paddle for 4 to 5 hours if you take a trip on the Batsto River and up to 8 hours on the Mullica River. Know your limits!
Where is the starting point and how do I get onto the river?
Pinelands Adventures will transport you or your group along with your canoe or kayak to the starting point. For the Batsto River, we will transport you in our van about 3 to 4 miles (depending on the starting point) into the forest on a dirt road. For the Mullica River, we will transport you to the starting point, which is immediately across the street from Atsion Lake just off of Route 206.
Where is the stopping point and how will I get picked up?
It depends on where you start. View the maps for each trip on this page. We will pick you up at the assigned pick up time. Some paddlers finish more quickly than others, so please be patient if we are not there when you arrive. We will pick you up.
What equipment is provided?
Either a canoe or kayak is provided along with paddles and life preservers. The canoes are made of aluminum and are 15 feet long. The single kayaks are 9 to 11 feet long and the tandem kayaks are 13 feet long.
Are their age limitations?
Yes. All paddlers must be age 6 or older to go on a trip.
Do I have to wear a life preserver?
All paddlers are provided a life preserver and required to where them.
What are your hours?
We are currently open Wednesday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 am to 5 pm. We’ll have expanded hours after Memorial Day.
What should I bring?
We recommend that you bring the following items:
- Water or other drink so that you don’t become dehydrated. No alcoholic beverages are permitted and please to do not bring glass containers.
- Sunscreen and bug repellent
- Snacks or lunch
- You should also consider additional dry clothes to leave in your vehicle in case you do get wet during your journey
- A waterproof bag to protect items that you do not wish to get wet
- While you will be in a remote area, cellular service may be available for your mobile phone, but be sure to keep it in a waterproof pouch.
Can I bring beer or other alcoholic beverages?
The State of New Jersey prohibits alcoholic beverages in Wharton State Forest. We will not transport you to your starting point if you have alcoholic beverages with you.
What happens if I tip in my canoe or kayak?
While rare, this could happen. Depending on the water level and location where you tip, you will be close to the river bank or in an area where you can stand. Follow these steps if you tip:
- Try not to panic. You will be in a river where average depths are generally 2 to 4 feet deep with some depths up to six feet depending on your location.
- Ensure that your partner is safe.
- If you are boating with others, make sure they know that you have tipped. Call out to them. You might not be within sight depending on the turns or bends in the river. They can also assist you.
- If you have items that have fallen from your canoe or kayak, secure your paddle and what you can by placing them on the bank or with other boaters
- If you are in a canoe that is filled with water and you are in the water, move the canoe to an area where you can stand. You won’t be able to lift your canoe. Tip the canoe upside down. Get to one end of the canoe with your partner on the other end of the canoe. Slowly lift each end of the canoe and as the canoe clears the water, flip the canoe over. You may still have some water in your canoe. If this is the case, you can paddle to an area where you can pull the canoe completely out of the water and tip it over to drain it.
- Retrieve anything that might have floated away. Do not leave any trash in the river!
Are there bathrooms along the way?
No. Once you are on the river, there are no bathrooms. You will be in the middle of Wharton State Forest wilderness. You will have access to Pinelands Adventures’ portable bathrooms before departure and when you return after being picked up.
Can I paddle on Atsion Lake?
At this time we are offering canoe and kayak rentals to anyone who is camping at the Atsion Family Campground, the cabins on Atsion Lake and the Goshen Pond campground. You must be able to pick up and return the canoe or kayak in your own vehicle.