Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, NJ - Batona Trail from Pakim Pond to Park Office

Brendan T. Byrne State Forest - NJ Division of Parks and Forests

Pakim Pond picnic area parking lot:
GPS coordinates 39.880188, -74.533664

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Brendan T. Byrne State Forest Trail Map - NJ Division of Parks and Forests
Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, NJ - Batona Trail from Pakim Pond to Park Office at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.6 miles

The trails start at the far left corner of the parking lot.
The trails to the left, Pakim Pond and rest rooms to the right.
Pakim Pond
Hiking a section of the pink-blazed Batona Trail which runs along with the red-blazed Cranberry Trail for a bit.
I turned left on the Batona Trail which isn't exactly what I intended to do.  I had planned on hiking the new relocation through Franklin Parker Preserve which turns out to be to the right.  We'll just have to go back again.  The part we did hike was a section we had not hiked yet so it all worked out.
The Batona Trail leaves the Cranberry Trail.
A boardwalk peeking through the snow - and those boards are worse than walking on ice when wet!
Shawnee was more on melting ice than boardwalk ...
... and crashed right through the ice.
She's OK!
Sections of trail were blissfully clear.
Other sections not so much but it was interesting to see how long this raccoon followed the Batona Trail.
A flooded section but only in this one area - much less than I expected with a sudden heat wave after over a month of snow and ice.
Snow on the trail but nowhere else.
Then a very snowy section that was pretty tedious to get through.
A blue trail to the park office.
We looped around on the paved road ...
... around to the park office and the start of that blue trail ...
... connecting back to the Batona Trail.
Retracing back.
Our tracks going the other way.
Instead of going back over those slippery, flooded boardwalks, we took the paved roads back around ...
... to Pakim Pond up ahead on the left.
At some point during the past month while Shawnee was out of hiking commission due to the awful weather, she had (or is having) a birthday.  Don't know the exact date but she was about 4 months old when she was sprung from the shelter on 7/11/2001.


  1. So happy to see Shawnee still happy and hiking. And a very happy birthday to her!

    1. Thanks and happy to see her still hiking, too!


  2. I "third" the motion...Happy Birthday Shawnee! What a trouper -- especially with the conditions of parts of the trail! (Guess it's still a little cooler up in that area than down here in the Atlantic City area!) Glad to see you made it out to a hike that you haven't yet done. Another option (after the halfway point of arriving at the BTB Park Office) would have been to return to Pakim Pond via the red-blazed Cranberry Trail; although, perhaps you've already done this trail.

    If you haven't hiked any part of the 7+ mile stretch of the rerouted portion of the Batona Trail in Franklin Parker Preserve, you're in for a treat for sure! I just did this one last year (in 2 sections): One from Pakim Pond to Route 563, then the other between Route 532 & 563. Much more scenic route than the original (especially the road-walk portion); although, that section was actually somewhat interesting, what with walking near the cranberry bogs! But I guarantee, you (and Shawnee) will really enjoy the reroute. As a side note: The other re-route (in the southern portion in Bass River State Forest) is also nice...and once again, eliminates the dangerous road-walk along Stage Road for approximately the last mile of the trail.

    Happy hiking...and I look forward to your adventure/review of the Batona-Franklin Parker reroute!


    1. Thanks, Jim. But I am sorry to say that because I did not hike the way I intended, I did not have the park map with me and at the time was not aware I could have looped around on red and was kicking myself when I got home, looked at the map and saw that. Oh well, there is always another time. But you have me totally stoked about the part I meant to do and we are so there! I am hoping all of that snow is gone now. Last year when I was at Bass River one of the park rangers told me that their part of the Batona Trail reroute was very nice so great to have a second opinion, thanks! That always makes it worth the drive.


  3. Happy Birthday Shawnee! What a trooper! My Yellow Lab is 15 and can hardly walk anymore:( due to arthritis and hip dysplasia. Thanks for sharing great pictures again. Joanne

    1. Thanks, Joanne! I might have mentioned this before but if not, have you tried Adequan injections for your dog? That is what has restored Shawnee to hiking (along with the chiropractor and an assortment of supplements). Two years ago I thought she was finished, she was limping so badly. She has horrible arthritis in her knee and back. The vet winces when she looks at her x-rays. She only takes NSAIDs on hiking days and she no longer limps at all. That said, my other dog (who I lost end of January - she was 15/16ish) could not take NSAIDs and I started the Adequan injections for her last fall but after an initial small improvement, it really did not help her. It does seem to help most dogs, though, so something to think about. I know a vet tech who gives the injections and I order the Rx online so that saves a ton of $$$. It is the first month that is most costly because it's 2 shots a week for 4 weeks, then once a month.


  4. Happy birthday Shawnee! So great she is hiking at that age.

    We did try Adequan with my older dog this winter, and unfortunately it didn't help her :( We do give her Metacam on hiking days, and after 1-2 doses she is so much better.

    We were just thinking of doing part of the Batona trail this weekend to get away from the snow in NY. We looked at the NJ snow coverage map and most of NJ is green (snowless). I'm hoping all of that snow (yes, okay there wasn't much) in your photos is gone by the weekend :)

    1. Oh, no, sorry the Adequan did not work for yours. When it does work, it is pretty awesome.

      Well, that snow depth map showed green there on Tuesday when I went and as you can see, that was not the case. But based on how much snow has melted in my neighborhood over an hour north of there, I am hopeful it is pretty much gone now. Check back before you go because we are heading back!