At the request of some of my more mentally challenged readers, I’m posting something positive about NJ. Beside the superfund sites, petroleum holding tanks, nuclear power plants, water treatment centers that dump raw sewerage into the ocean, and overall social depravity lies the Pinelands National Reserve. But no self-respecting Piney calls it anything but the pine barrens. This was the first national reserve (1978), and is classified as a United States Biosphere Reserve. It really is an amazing place with high- and low-land forests, sleepy rivers, a diversity of wildlife (including some would say sasquatch), and crazy redneck hunters (think My Cousin Vinny meets Deliverance). And let’s not forget that pesky, ever elusive, 13th Leeds child, The Jersey Devil, which I have seen personally. The south jersey school districts thought it would be a good idea to frighten all local small children by showing them video batona trailreenactments of the birth of the jersey devil and it’s screeching flight directly from its mother’s womb, out the window, and into the pine barrens, where he is to forever torment us in our dreams. Thanks.
There’s also the Batona trail.
Overall it has its own unique environment and while it is as flat as a pancake, and the sand sucks for hiking, and the rivers run dry in the summer, and it’s too easily accessed by vehicle, it has something that the mountains don’t. It is its own entity and I’ll always love it.