Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Brendan T. Byrne State Forest

In recent years almost every day trip we have made to the Pine Barrens involves a visit to the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest (formerly Lebanon State Forest). We first visited this forest sometime in the late 1980s during our annual late summer visits to relatives with a summer home in a nearby town. I expect that it was during this time that we were first introduced to the 49.5 mile Batona Trail.

The Baton Trail goes through the Byrne State Forest and its terminus is in nearby Ongs Hat, a short drive from the forest office. In addition to this trail, there are a couple of other trails in the forest. The trails go through a pine/oak forest, along side a pond known as pakim pond and an atlantic white cedar swamp. We have hiked in all these areas but I only have digital photos of the pine/oak forest within two miles of the forest office.

I don’t have pictures of Pakim Pond, but I did find this set of photos of pakim pond on the flikr site. These photos are incredible, of much better quality then anything I could do with my little digital camera. These photos are almost as good as being there in person, if not better.

In my recent wonderings on the internet, I found that the NJ Forest Service has an initiative to restore Atlantic White Cedars. Information on this initiative can be found here, and here is a related site, a paper on restoring the Atlantic Whites.

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