Batsto River – 4 Hour – Hampton Furnace to Quaker Bridge – For Experienced Paddlers
Start your journey in the narrow upper Batsto River at the site of the ruins of an 18th century bog iron furnace. Follow the twists and turns through a variety of Pine Barrens habitats.
We expect this section of the Batsto River will reopen for limited trips in May 2020!
This is a beautiful and peaceful stretch of the upper Batsto River. You will find yourself surrounded by deep forest with very old white cedar stands and only the sounds of your paddling and life in the woods. This is generally a 4 hour paddle depending on skill level. Very experienced paddlers may complete this trip in a shorter time frame. The stopping point is Quaker Bridge unless you are camping at Lower Forge campsite. This trip is recommended for experienced paddlers only.
This selection will bring you deeper into the backcountry than any other paddling trip in the Pinelands. With overnight camping potential at Lower-Forge Wilderness Camp, this trip is a true wilderness experience within the most densely populated state in the nation. At the ancient village of Hampton, upper-Batsto runs as a small brook that takes you through the dense shrub growth of high bush blueberry, sweet pepperbush, swamp azalea, inkberry are more. Soon the river widens a bit as you head into a hardwood maple swamp and you will pass under one of the largest Red-Maple trees along the river. The nationally imperiled Atlantic White Cedar then reveals itself in dense stands populating the low-lands between the dry upland and river. Atlantic White Cedar swamps provide critical habitat for threatened species such as the Pine Barrens Treefrog, the endangered Swamp Pink Orchid, and the endangered timber rattlesnake. Entering into a series of widening ponds, you may find a number of ducks, such as black ducks or wood ducks that inhabit the pines. In the spring, small numbers of Canadian Geese use the isolated rivers to raise their young, and you will often see them nesting along the bank. Wildflowers bloom throughout spring and summer The book Wildflowers of the Pine Barrens of New Jersey is a perfect companion for easy identification. The many swamps and savannahs along this stretch provide a perfect chance to observe the varied species of the rich wetlands. A large sand beach after mile marker 3 will provide a perfect spot for lunch in the middle of your trip.
Towards the end of the trip, after mile marker 4, you will find the Lower Forge Wilderness Camp on the left. This is one of two wilderness camps available in the Pinelands. Stop here if you are staying overnight and set up camp at the site you pre-registered. If you are not camping, then this may also be a fine place to take a break before finishing the last mile and a half of your journey on the river.
Eventually, you will see the landing on the right at mile marker 6, this is the designated takeout point. If you happen to miss this point, you won’t miss the one-lane steel grated Quaker Bridge, as it is the only one like it on the river. Stop here, secure your boats and wait to see the Pinelands Adventures bus if there is not one already waiting.
We will meet you for transport back to Pinelands Adventures at the landing point at the approximate time we determined after your initial launch. If you need us to arrive sooner or later we are always available by phone for those with cell-phone service.
Please remember that you are canoeing and kayaking in a wilderness area and that the natural conditions of the waterway and forest are constantly changing.
Trip begins at Pinelands Adventures headquarters.
Call us at 609-268-0189 or email us.