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Paddle-to caches in the NJ Pine Barrens


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Time to take the boat out (canoe, kayak, or inner tube) and go for some of the water or paddle-too caches in the NJ Pine Barrens. There have been a few out there with little activity. Now there are several more just beggin to be had. Pretty much easy to get to, and more in production. Several like the Mullica and Batsto River have several land cache immediately adjacent to water, designed for you to get out and stretch the legs but be within easy distance. Now is the time. You can do several caches in one trip. In most places you can paddle upstream to obtain them, or with a 4-wheeler get right in the area before getting wet.

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Ah, where to go, what to do. I can help. I'm still discovering all the spots so I'll have continued updates.


The three rivers I know best are the Mullica, Batsto, and Oswego. You can canoe down river and need to shuttle or put in and go upstream and back.


I will do a new reply for each description so I don't get logged off.

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Mullica River


Main Section and Longer Trip:

The main paddling area for this river is from Atsion Ranger Station (Rt 206) to Pleasent Mills (Batsto) on Rt 542. For Atsion putin, take the first sandy road south of the river on Rt 206, pass the little log house. Drive down 200 yards and you will see the putin spot by the Old Cotton mill (many caches about before you go). The take out parking spot is about 1/4 mile west of Batsto Entrance on the left side. Look for the sign. Note, you pass the Batsto river and pass the wooden fence at the end of the Batsto visitor area.


This is a long way, 16 miles. Many paddle and camp over at the paddle/hiker only camping area half way down, then finish off the next day. You need a camping permit from Atsion or Batsto Ranger station. Some go all the way, but be ready for a long trip 6 /12 paddling. For an overnight, always leave your cars in the Atsion or Batsto Ranger stations (and let them know). Its only a 1/4 walk at the end to get the car, but thats ok. This is best done on a Sunday-Monday because most people are off the river as you are going. The campground limit is 114 people, but could fill up fast with boyscouts and paddlers. So reserve the camp permit before you go in busy seasons. I always go off season anyway so I have the river and campground almost to myself. Primitive pit toilets only.


Shorter trip on that section of the Mullica.

If you have a 4wheeler or know the roads (for a reg car), you can drive down quaker bridge road 1/3 of the way and put in for a day trip. (still need another car at the end). You can do the same by leaving a car at the take out spot at the end. For instance you can leave your 4wheeler/all wheel driver vehicle at Constable Bridge. Note: You can drive to the overnight water campground as the area 1 mile above and below are vehicle restricted, to keep it private. I can give more exacting coordinates if needed. But you can get these by viewing the caches along the river.


There are other sections above Atsion

See next reply

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Shorter Trips Above and Below Main Section


Above Rt 206 - more tricky - harder to get too

You can put in from the Jackson Rd/Atsion Ave Bridge on the sandy roads. The river is smaller and has more obstructions. Better to do this in High water, not dry times. You can go down to the Recycled Bridge (coords at that cache) where you can leave your car for this shorter trip (going over 3 small beaver dams - fun). You could go past the bridge, out to Atsion Lake, then cross over (ackward) rt206 and back down the Main section of the Mullica. This is more advanced only if you know what to do. Atsion Lake recreation area has a charge during summer seasons, and limited hours. Off season for a month or so either side is free, but open unpredictably.


What I do in this section is to drive my 4wheeler to the back of the Goshen Pond Group Campsite, past the campsite limit. You can put in there at Goshen Pond and paddle around and even go up river. There is a land cache nearby up there and I'll have a water cache there very soon. This is good for 2 hours of playing around.


South of Batsto Area on the Mullica.

You can go from the Mullica River access area on rt 542 (1/4 west of Batsto Village) down river to Crowleys landing (about 2 road miles east of Batsto on rt 542). This is a car shuttle so make sure Crowleys Landing day area will be open. The river gets wider and wider, so stay clear of the channel and larger boats at the lower section of this trip. This will give you a couple of hours of paddling. Not that long. I've done this at night in the moonlight with the outdoors club.

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Batsto River Trips:


NOTE: Most if not all of these trips are available through the many rental places. Bell Heaven Canoe Rentals for example, but call for info, and reserve. Much more info on these trips in books and on the web, but ask if you have specific questions and I do my best.


River Description

Most of this river is big, wide, and accessible even in lower water levels. Trips can be from as far upstream as Hampton Furnace, all the way down to Batsto Lake. Many different putin/takeout spots for many various trips. Many land and water caches along the way. See my water caches for maps. You can even do the Jessie Evans Mansion cache with a short walk from the river.


Upstream trips in several spots: Batsto Lake non-shuttle trip

Drive up Batsto-QuakerBridge Sandy Road from the west end of the fence at Batsto Village on Rt 542. Park at one of the pullovers at the North End of the Lake. Stay away from the first two pull overs (large, and ruff) because this is where the canoe liverys take out.


You can paddle around the entire lake from there, then go upstream. (Recommend going in the afternoon for upstream trips after the downstream rush). I was able to paddle up past martha from there. That is a long way so you can do several hours easily on this one. Several water caches out there (more pending). My favorite non-shuttle paddle trip!



Never took Hampton Furnance down stream, but a very common trip. Do this one in higher water. You can park at the put in spot (in the open field before doing the Hampton Furnace cache). You can go downstream to Quaker Bridge for a 3/4 hour trip. You need to leave a 4 wheeler at Quaker Bridge.


You can also go downstream from Quaker Bridge and take out at the north end of Batsto Lake as described above. I would even find a spot a bit further upstream to put in like the Lower Forge area (4 wheel drive!). That would make a very nice trip.

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Oswego and Harrisville Paddle Trips:


I am going out there in a few minutes so I will update this later today. But you can do a couple of hours paddling around Oswego Lake and up river and up the tributary. Several land and water caches in easy access. And a beautiful relatively unknown free swimming areas. Fantastic.


Both Oswego and Harrisville lake are regular car friendly! No 4 wheel needed (unless you go into the woods).


You can go down river from there on the Oswego to Harrisville lake. Very nice and easy, but water can be low in the dryiest times. (I check with the local livery places by phone.) Its certainly ok as of this writing even tho a little low.


We just did the Harrisville lake section and spent several hours, went up stream, and had a ball.


See ya later, off to get wet and get a good paddling!

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Here is the end of my series so far. Will be discovering new places and see what happens.



Went to Oswego today and it was better then last time. Paddled around the lake and much farther upstream this time. Total paddle distance out was 1.8 miles. And with a little searching around and the side spur, it was 5 miles total, and we must have spent 3 1/2 hours. Just go to Oswego lake and put in and go. The water level was great. We still have to do the shuttle from Oswego to Harrisville lake soon.


Goshen Pond - Upper Mullica

By the Atsion Group campsite. Was real nice and quiet. Went around the pond and over a mile upstream. Just could not get any good numbers locked in to place a cache on the water. Was disapointed because it was a very clear day. Seeing the moon and the sun both clearly is always a good thing. Another 2 hours so we did a good day. I will try again to put that cache out there. Next time we will try to shuttle from the Atsion Ave/Jackson Rd Bridge down. Down is easy.


Wading River Report

The water in several places seem pretty low. I am surprised since the other rivers are so good. The dam by my Girl Watcher cache on Rt 563 is sticking out of the water. So, I won't be trying this one until the water level picks up. I will try to check other spots, but it was low by Hawkins Bridge as well, but a cache is there!


Rancocas River

We recently went from behind Burlington County College to Pemberton on the North Branch, for a short ride and it was ok. There is a dam there to portage but no biggie. Next time we will go much further down. You can even paddle upstream about 1/2 mile from behind the college to extend the trip.


Going to place a cache on the river closer to Rt 206 very soon. Will put in at historic Smithville Village (close to rt 38 and rt 206). We did this a week or so ago and easily paddled upstream for over a mile or two. Next time we will go from the College all the way down to the Smithville stop.


Rancocas South Branch.

We put in at Marne Ave rt 537 but I don't think the spot was liget. Then paddled upstream easily through lumberton. Next time we will put in at Lumberton, and paddle back past Marne Ave to the Fireside Bar (a little bit further west of rt 537)

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The Mullica trip sounds nice. but a campsite that fits 114 people scares me. I'm used to the Allagash where you don't see another human for 2-3 days. I used to do the Delaware but nowadays you can practically walk across the rive on rafts and canoes, so I stay away fromt there. What seasons are less popular, or should I just plan on going during the week?

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I agree. I always go off season times. I had always gone Sunday/Monday in Spring and Fall. Pretty much assuring few if anyone else. Spring/Summer time on Saturday night at the Mullica overnight is probably crowed. Don't like camping in the heat either. A cool night during the week now would probably be fine.


I do like the Mullica especially since its a 16 mile trek with that campground in between.


The batsto is broken up into many more sub trips/sections so I just never think of camping out on that one. Of course, I live close now. Back when I lived in Ocean Township and way back in North Jersey, it would have been a big outing.

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I live just below the smithville Park on the north branch of the rancocas. Its official title is the Rancocas Creek. Located In the Rancocas Watershed. The trip from Smithville to Mount Holly in Mill dam Park is about 1 1/2 to two hours. Portageing over the Dam in mount holly then takes you on to the Delaware River a full 8 hour trip. below the Mount Holly Dam the Rancocas becomes tidal waters. If you do not have canoes Clarks Canoe rental in pemberton rents Canoes. Also in Oct. the County Freeholders sponser a canoe event and anyone can Kayak or Canoe for free past all of our decorated docks.

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We finally did the big push. Put in at Batsto lake, and paddled all the way upstream to Quaker Bridge - 3 1/2 hours. Then a bit over 2 hours back down. Wow, what an adventure. Next time we are going to try about quaker bridge. as soon as my hand stops hurting...


Would like to hear more about the tital area below Mt Holly on the Rancocas. You may be already responding to the chat room on our SJ site.

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Looks like the Pine Barrens just got over a foot of rain! Wonder how many of these caches are left?

With the way Tom secures the caches to the trees and the containers he uses, I bet all his are still out there (unless the trees got uprooted). There was a new hydrocache hidden by "Evil Chicken" that was approved last week that was right on the Rancoacas Creek that may have been swept away though. [;)]

More importantly... some geocachers live in Medford/Burlington and have had major damages to their homes from the flooding. Luckily there were no major injuries and the water is starting to recede.



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More importantly... some geocachers live in Medford/Burlington and have had major damages to their homes from the flooding. Luckily there were no major injuries and the water is starting to recede.



You're right of course. Tupperware and McToys can always be replaced. Just saw some footage of the area on the morning news. WOW!

Looks like they may declare the area a federal disaster area; and more rain is on the way today. Hope everyone down there is safe.

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