Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bass River State Forest, NJ - Plum and Yellow Trails

Bass River State Forest - NJ DEP

GPS Coordinates 39.624202, -74.425294

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Turn right into the large parking lot just before the beach parking on the left and park near this entrance.  The trail starts right around the corner to the right in this picture.

Bass River Trail Map - NJ DEP
Bass River State Forest - Plum and Yellow Trails at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.3 miles

The red trail starts from the entrance of the parking lot.  There are also some old green blazes.
From the red trail, take the silver Absegami Trail.
The Absegami Trail through a cedar forest.
The Absegami Trail ends at the park road.  Cross over to continue on the red trail to the pink trail which will cross Stage Road ...
... and join up with the Plum Trail.
The plum trail turns left just beyond the White Pine Plantation sign.
Following along the edge of the White Pine Plantation.
Yes, that would be the Garden State Parkway and the traffic noise does get quite loud the closer you get.
Veering away from the GSP on a sand road ...
... crossing back over Stage Road ...
... then through a power cut back to the GSP.
Plum again veers away from the GSP on a sand road.
Something skittered across - a spider in February after brutally cold temperatures and snow storms.  He must have felt it was in the 60's out and could not wait to come out of hibernation.
The plum trail finally leaves the sand road and becomes a more pleasant path.
Not another soul around so we took our break in the middle of the trail.
Plum ends at yellow.
More sand roads.
Then an even wider and less attractive sand road where there seems to be lots of traffic although there wasn't any when we were there.
Eager to get off that sand road and on to a trail - she knows where to go!
Although you would probably want to continue on yellow to blue, we decided to take some of the unmarked woods roads where there seemed to have been recent clearing.
We came out at a circle on the park road and bushwhacked over to blue, which is the trail you would end on up having taken yellow to the end.
Went to check things out over at the boat launch area.
The boat launch with some ice remaining in the water.
A path continues on to Lake Absegami ...
Where a bunch of hooded mergansers took off except for this pair - there was a reason for this.
Sorry, not sharing.
The water must have still been quite cold but it was a rare 65-degree winter day so why not?
We continued on blue taking unmarked side trail down to the lake and back.
So much nicer than sand roads!

Bass River State Forest, NJ - Joe's Trail

Bass River State Forest - NJ DEP

GPS Coordinates 39.621041, -74.423020

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Parking lot at the park office.

This trail is not on the park map but is worth mentioning because it's the most scenic trail in the park.
Bass River State Forest - Joe's Trail at EveryTrail

Joe's Trail - 1.5 miles total out-and-back
Joe's Trail to the dam - 1.8 miles total out-and-back

Facing the park office, turn left and take the short path at the corner of the lot near the bird feeders, cross over the park road, then veer right on red.  Go a short distance to the barrier at the end of red and Joe's trail is to the left beyond the barrier.

After a short distance, Lake Absegami comes into view.  A little bit of ice left from the polar vortex that had been coming our way over the winter.
Joe's Trail runs next to the lake for .75 miles.
The end of Joe's Trail, but keep going ...
and veer right at the picnic pavilion.
A trail continues along the lake all the way to the dam.
It's a shame there is no bridge across the dam because there is a trail on the other side and it would make a great loop hike.
Heading back.
Reentering Joe's Trail at the picnic pavilion.
It was a gorgeous 65 degree snow-free day in South Jersey when North Jersey was still thawing out from snow storm after snow storm after snow storm.