Last week, I went kayaking with 3 friends on the Mullica River in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. Only an hour and a half ride from my house in Wilmington (DE). It was a perfect day for it. Got some nice pics...
One of my friends rented this cool cabin on Lake Atsion, which is a dammed up portion of the Mullica River and she invited me and 2 other Philly area friends down for the day:
Pretty "rustic" for New Jersey!
Lake Atsion / Mullica River:
Lots of Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) growing here:
I got to try out a collapsible kayak, that you partially inflate. Very comfortable!
We hit some beaver dams on some of the side streams but we managed to go over them:
The most common pine here (and seemingly most dominant tree) is the Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida). It's not a "southern" pine but it gives the Pine Barrens a southern "feel" (but I think the cedars along the waterways also give it a "northern" feel):
A common tree along the waterways here is Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay Magnolia):
They are not evergreen here but retain their leaves longer than most deciduous trees:
There was already some nice autumn color on this Red Maple:
We also drove several miles down some dirt roads (this is all within Wharton State Forest).
This area had both Pitch and Shortleaf Pines (Pinus echinata). The "third" pine of the Pine Barrens is the Virginia Pine (Pinus virginiana) but that is more common at the western edge. The "fourth" and least common pine, occurring only in the southern-most portions (not in this area), is the Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda). I think those in this short are mostly Shortleaf Pines:
What makes this area so "piney" is the extremely sandy soil - almost like beach sand:
There are deer, bear, bobcats, and coyotes in these woods... though we sadly did not see any!
Hope you enjoyed your "visit":
The above pics were all taken within Wharton State Forest, which is within the red Core" area shown below:
I was paddling approximately under the red X: