Saturday, February 24, 2018

Franklin Parker Preserve, NJ - Chatsworth Lake and Batona Trail

Franklin Parker Preserve - New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Batona Trail - NJ Department of Environmental Protection

GPS Coordinates 39.81384, -74.54757
Franklin Parker Preserve Parking Lot

Batona Trail Reroute Map Franklin Parker Preserve - New Jersey Conservation Foundation

HIKE DISTANCE:  10 miles

Brodie and I were filling in a section of the Batona Trail that Shawnee and I never completed.  Shawnee had hiked the northern part from Pakim Pond into Franklin Parker Preserve on 3/13/15 and the southern part from Apple Pie Hill to Chatsworth Lake on 3/19/17.
First we crossed Route 532 from the parking lot to Chatsworth Lake.
Chatsworth Lake
There is an unmarked path that we followed.
At times the path is wide.
Other times overgrown but it opens back up.
A right on top of a berm brought us to ...
... another view of Chatsworth Lake.
Heading back the other way on the berm with a creek down below to the right.
Coming up on Route 532 where I figured we could turn right to cross over the creek then right on a sand road.
Crossing over the creek on Route 532.
I was correct about the sand road on the other side, however ...
Ugh.  I knew there were no signs at the other end of this sand road since I had been there previously so assuming there were still no signs I would take that on the return route but for now, not one to ignore no trespassing signs, I continued on ...
... a short distance to the next path.
This path was clear all the way although it was taking us out of our way.  What's a few more miles?
Had we not gone this way, I would not have found balloon #15 of the year.
And what have we over to the left?
Nine more balloons.
A bit farther along ...
Balloon #25 of the year, 11 total for Franklin Parker Preserve on this hike, the most ever for one hike.
This path ends at Russ Anderson Road where the Batona Trail crosses over.
A right on the Batona Trail and now retracing a section I had already hiked with Shawnee.
There are bypasses around the flooded sections and Brodie was happy to take them.
This bypass was also flooded.
But we made our way around.
At mile marker 38 is where the other end of that sand road is that leads to Route 532 in abut a mile versus the 3 mile detour we took.  No signs saying no trespassing so will definitely take that on the way back.  For now ...
... we pick up where Shawnee and I left off last year.
Cranberry Bog
The berms around the cranberry bogs are very scenic.
Coming up on Main Street.
Immediately after crossing, a small bridge.
Brodie loves these bridges.
More scenic cranberry bogs.
At a bench the trail turns left over a bridge.
A helmet on the ground totally freaked Brodie out.
There were some soggy sections with no bypasses where we ended up getting our feet and paws wet.
And here we are at the turnaround point meeting up with the other section Shawnee and I had hiked in 2015.
Heading back.
Back over the bridge to the cranberry bog ...
...  just in time for it to start raining.
The rain had stopped by the time we reached the Main Street crossover.
Back at the bridge ...
... and mile marker 38 where we turned left on the sand road leaving the Batona Trail.
At the end of the sand road at Route 532 where the no trespass signs are, a couple and their dog entering - only people I saw the entire hike.
A left on Route 532 a short distance to the parking lot on the right at the bend ahead.
Some historical signs along the way.
Back at the parking lot.
It was a good morning of hiking even if he did get rained on.