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Franklin Parker Preserve, NJ - 01/22/2012

I was very pleasantly surprised by this hike.  There are the typical packed sand roads of the Pine Barrens through cranberry bogs but most of the red-blazed trail and part of the yellow-blazed trail are designated for foot traffic only.  These are very scenic foot paths through cedar swamps, along canals and rivers and through dense pine forests.  It made for very nice hiking and the constant green of the pine trees infused color into an otherwise dreary day.  There are a lot of swampy areas and water crossings on rickety branches thrown across so waterproof hiking shoes are definitely needed.  It was very interesting to see the fresh animal tracks in the snow knowing they were all made since the snow fell the day before.  I believe the trails were cleared and blazed within the past year.  Most sections are very well blazed but then blazing is sparse in a few spots.  I backtracked a couple times thinking I missed a turn only to realize there simply were no blazes for a while.  A couple of turns aren't marked when most are clearly identified by an arrow in addition to the blaze.  There was only one other car in the lot when I finished but never ran into anyone else while hiking.  It is a very nice winter hike that is definitely worth checking out.  Click here for more pictures and details.

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Comment by Anthony on January 24, 2012 at 3:20pm

Great report........This sounds and looks like it MUST go on my list....thanks

Comment by Jeff Jotz on February 1, 2012 at 5:20pm

Since it is an abandoned cranberry bog, it is laid out like a big grid, so it's kinda hard to get lost.

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