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New Jersey Pine Barrens, NJ

Oct 16 - Oct 23, 2016 -- $1250 ★

Yes ... there is great hiking in New Jersey!

The Pine Barrens -- also known as the Pinelands -- is a vast, magical wilderness area in the otherwise densely populated State of New Jersey. We will be thru-hiking the flat, sometimes sandy 50 mile long Batona Trail (from BAck TO NAture). The trail features a surfeit of tranquil streams and ponds featuring flora and fauna such as orchids, deer, scrub oaks and hawks. The Pine Barrens are notable not only for their remote beauty, but their proximity to major population centers like New York City, Philadelphia, Newark, and Wilmington. This is your opportunity to experience colorful Fall Foliage, explore wild New Jersey, and lose weight (or more accurately, improve body composition).

Our route will traverse the entire 50-mile long Batona Trail, which gives participants a nice feeling of satisfaction not only for having completed the entire trail but being able to claim they walked 50 miles. Daily mileages average about 9 miles per day on primarily flat, often sandy trail punctuated by a few rolling hills. Crackling campfires are permitted in most campsites to warm us up on chilly and crisp fall evenings.


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures into the 60s and 70s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s. However temperatures may reach the 80s or fall below freezing on any given day. Fall in New Jersey might bring frost at night. So while the water temperature may be too cold for swimming, the foliage will be nearing peak and the mosquitoes will be reasonably sedentary. Be prepared for a variety of conditions. Here is the historical October weather

Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg
Dan Shafto


$1250 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Philadelphia Airport (PHL), as well as personal equipment and any restaurant meals. You may also be charged for any parking charges for leaving your car at the hotel all week.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation to/from Philadephia and the Pinelands, park permits, insurance, satellite phone and awesome guides.


The Batona Trail is one of Fitpacking's less difficult offerings and is recommended for beginners. However, do not underestimate the mileage. Even though the entire trail is flat or nearly so, daily mileage can be as much as 12 miles which is a long way to carry a backpack.

While all Fitpacking trips are difficult, this one might be considered somewhat less strenuous than others because of fewer and more gradual elevation changes and solid footing, even if mileages are a little longer.

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fly or drive into Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). The best time to arrive is between Noon-3PM. However, if you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving an hour or two later or earlier, then do so.

Take free airport shuttle to Best Western Philadelphia Airport South at Widener University 1450 Providence Ave., Chester, PA 19013, 610-872-8100

Equipment shakedown

Trail mix distribution

"Before" measurements taken

Go to Eastern Mountain Sports, 3401 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, (215) 382-0930 for forgotten and last minute equipment purchase

Go out for dinner at a local restaurant (Dinner cost not included in trip price)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Second set of "before" measurements taken

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage.

Free Breakfast at hotel

Shuttle to Bass River State Forest, leave vehicle here

Shuttle to Buddtown Rd @ Ongs Hat

Hike 5.0 miles from Ongs Hat Trailhead

Hike 4.0 miles to Lebanon Tower

Camp at Brendan Byrne State Park, site 045

Miles today: 9.0. Total miles: 9.0

Possible Bailout: Route 70

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hike 6.5 miles to Apple Pie Hill Tower

Hike 3.5 miles to Batona Camp

Camp at Batona Camp, site 001

Miles today: 10.0. Total miles: 19.0

Possible Bailout: Route 532 or Route 563

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hike 6.0 miles to Lower Forge Camp

Camp at Lower Forge Camp site 001, no water pump here, so river water must be treated

Miles today: 6.0. Total miles: 25.0

Possible Bailout: Carranza Road

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hike about 10.0 miles to Bulltown Rd.

Hike about 2.0 blue blaze miles to Buttonwood Hill

Camp at Buttonwood Hill Camp site BH005, no water pump here, but there is running water and flush toilets in a park pavilion across the street

Miles today: 12.0. Total miles: 37.0

Possible Bailout: Route 542 or Batsto Ranger Station

Friday, October 21, 2016

Hike 2.0 miles back to Batona Trail

Hike about 7.0 miles to Rt. 679

Road walk 1.0 miles to the road intersection of Chatsworth Rd. and Greenbank Chatsworth Rd.

Hike 1.5 miles cutoff trail miles to Godfrey Bridge Family Campsite

Camp at Godfrey Bridge Family Campsite site 010, with picnic tabes & potable pump water

Option: If it is raining and there is availability, stay in a cabin at Wading Pines Camping Resort. Wading Pines has a camp store to help you undo all the fitness progress you've made thus far.

Miles today: 11.5. Total miles: 48.5

Possible Bailout: Route 563 or Bulltown Rd.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Leave packs at Wading Pines and day hike only today

Day-Hike 1.5 miles back to the Batona Trail

Day-Hike 8.0 miles to Coal Road Trailhead

Day-Hike 2.0 road miles to Bass River State Forest Ranger Station

Miles today: 11.5. Total miles: 60.0

Possible Bailout: Route 679 or Oswego Rd.

Shuttle back to Best Western Philadelphia Airport South at Widener University 1450 Providence Ave., Chester, PA 19013, 610-872-8100

"After" measurements taken

Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in cost of trip)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Free breakfast in Hotel

Take Free Airport Shuttle

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