Folks are always surprised when I tell them about the Pine Barrens
After all, it’s not what people think of when they think of New Jersey.
You might be surprised to find more than one million acres of open space, comprised mostly of pine forests and cranberry bogs, located less than one hundred miles from Manhattan, less than fifty miles from Philadelphia.
And now, out of that million acres, I have to pick a favorite location for the filming. I spent the day visiting just a couple of possibilities. Eight hours and two hundred-fifty miles later, the task is more daunting than ever.
There are the pygmy pines that stretch like a plain on the south edge of route 539.
(photo courtesy of wildnewjersey.tv)
There are the hiking trails in Lebanon State Forest.
(photo courtesy of gonehikin.blogspot.com)
There's Lake Absegami.
(photo courtesy of panoramio.com)
Lake Absegami's a good place to spot the Jersey Devil.
(photo courtesy of brain-on-fire.com)
There's the colonial restoration at Batsto Village.
(photo courtesy of njmonthly.com)
And, of course, the Mullica River. My first visit to the Pine Barrens, forty years ago, I came down to spend a day canoeing on the Mullica River.
(photo courtesy of wikipedia)
There's the Great Cedar Swamp Division of the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge.
(photo courtesy of panoramio)
Did I mention there's more than a million acres?