Sunday, January 20, 2013

Forest Resource Education Center, NJ

Forest Resource Education Center - NJ Department of Environmental Protection

GPS Coordinates 40.082913, -74.328559

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The parking lot on Pine Acre Drive off of Bowman Road is large but overgrown.

FREC Trail Map - NJ Department of Environmental Protection

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.9 miles
Hiked in conjunction with the Silver Stream Trail, about a 5-mile drive away from this hike.

The yellow-blazed trail starts out as a continuation of Pine Acres Drive.
The trail becomes a typical Pine Barrens packed sand/pine needle trail.
Sunrise in the Pine Barrens.
The white-blazed Project Learning Trail with ...
... lots of informational kiosks along the way.
The red-blazed Forest Discovery & Firewise Trail
The Swamp Loop Trail with no swamp, at least none that I could see.
FREC Interpretive Center
Toms River
Scenic blue-blazed trail along Toms River.
The blue trail continues around a pond...
... to the white-blazed trail which leads to ...
... the NJ Forest Tree Nursery.
No bees around today.
This trail is not on the map but there is a blue-blazed trail.  I was not able to figure out if it is one and the same trail because ...
... the trail started out blazed with a green leaf on white then after a mass of blowdowns ...
... it was suddenly blazed blue and ran along Toms River for a bit before ending at a gravel road intersection.
A right turn on the gravel road leads to a bridge then turn right after the guardrail and head down to ...
... the blue-blazed trail along the other side of Toms River.
At the end of the blue trail a boardwalk leads to an overlook deck at Toms River but the views along the trail are better.
Pretty moss along the white trail through a surprisingly hilly section.
Mountains in the Pinelands.
Back on the yellow trail.

[  0.00]  Start on yellow-blazed trail which is a continuation of the road to the parking lot
[  0.10]  Keep left on yellow at fork
[  0.25]  Keep left on yellow at fork
[  0.55]  Bench on left and a few more benches coming up
[  1.00]  Turn left at T-intersection on wider woods road
[  1.15]  At triple blaze where yellow continues straight and turns right, turn right on yellow
[  1.60]  At triple blaze where yellow goes either way, turn left on yellow
[  1.80]  Keep right when trail forks just before paved road;  cross road
[  1.85]  Turn right on white when yellow goes straight
[  2.05]  Turn right on red at fire prevention kiosk
[  2.10]  Turn left on red when yellow goes straight; cross park road

[  2.25]  Turn right on blue swamp loop trail
[  2.35]  Keep left on blue at fork
[  2.50]  Turn right on red when blue loop ends
[  2.70]  Turn right on white when red goes left; continue on gravel road, cross bridge
[  2.75]  Turn right on blue just the other side of the bridge at split in the guardrail, blue follows bank of Toms River
[  2.95]  Cross footbridge then at pond keep to the right around the pond on white (map shows trail as blue)
[  3.10]  Turn right on white at end of pond
[  3.20]  Turn left on white just before tree nursery fence
[  3.30]  Cross gravel road, turn right at sawmill
[  3.40]  Turn left on white on gravel path leaving gravel road
[  3.60]  Shitake mushroom station on right, bee hives on left, turn right opposite sugar shack on the sugar shack trail blazed with green leaf on white (not on map but might be the same as the blue trail since it appears to turn to blue near the river)
[  3.70]  Trail now blazed blue
[  3.80]  At parking lot with porta potty turn right on white which is a gravel road
[  4.00]  Cross bridge and immediately turn right down to Toms River then left to follow the blue trail along the bank of the river
[  4.10]  Turn right on boardwalk to overlook deck; retrace
[  4.20]  At watershed kiosk keep straight on white
[  4.30]  At intersection turn right on yellow
[  4.75]  Turn right on yellow when unmarked goes left towards a gate, keep left at next fork
[  5.10]  Keep straight at intersection
[  5.30]  Cross paved road
[  5.70]  Yellow turns left on wider woods road; keep straight on woods road when yellow also goes left
[  5.90]  Turn right on yellow leaving woods road
[  6.90]  Back at parking lot


  1. Let's put it this way...if you threw a stone from either of these hikes, you'd have hit my house! A couple of the (all-too) few hiking areas near me that are actually worth doing. I didn't know, however, about the new Pathfinders' trail. Have to check it out. Almost don't even have to drive there. Gee, I could add my walking/travel time onto the hike distance! When you were in my neck of the woods, we were in one of your previous hike's neck of the woods. Wissahickon South. Thanks, btw, for the totally awesome directions. Would still be out there if it weren't for you. :)

    1. I don't know why I thought you lived closer to Freehold but I was thinking about you when I drove through. Never imagined I was that close. Glad my Wissahickon directions helped!


  2. We ended up doing this hike this weekend:
    It has been so cold this week, so we decided to head south to NJ (still in the 20's). Only 2 paved street crossings so not too bad. I did end up keeping my dogs on leash until the end. Your directions were excellent. The map online was not so accurate, so we just used your directions and had no problems following them.

    1. Nice! Glad my directions were helpful. It was a bit confusing following the map. I did have a full size copy that I had picked up somewhere a few years ago so it did help to have a large copy. You guys look cold in your pictures! It was a lot warmer the day I was there - made it just before the cold snap.