For its small size, New Jersey has a wide array of geographic regions. Gorgeous, sandy beaches and coastal wetlands brimming with wildlife. Over 1,700 lakes are found throughout the state. With nutrient-rich soil and a relatively mild, stable climate, 10,300 farms make NJ home – the Garden State is the perfect nickname. The Appalachian Mountains, the longest mountain range in the eastern US, cuts through the northwestern corner of the state. And over 1.1 million acres of the state contain one of the most unique environmental regions on the East Coast: the Pine Barrens.
The name comes from the sandy, desert-like soil, although the region is anything but barren! In the Pine Barrens, you can find orchids, water lilies, cedar trees, and and countless pitch pines, from which the area takes the other half of its name. While wandering through the woods, you might come across rattlesnakes, bald eagles, bobcats, and black bears. While the economy of the Pine Barrens was first heavily dependent on logging and timber, the area’s primary source of income now is farming, including numerous cranberry bogs. Did you know that New Jersey is the third-largest producer of cranberries in the nation (via Wikipedia)?
With all of this information swirling through our heads, my wife and I decided to go explore a ghost town in the Pine Barrens that is now overseen by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. Double Trouble State Park, located in Ocean County, New Jersey, was established to preserve Double Trouble Village, a 19th century cranberry farming town. While learning a bit about history, we also spent time wandering through the Pinelands, exploring the unique geography of the region. It made for a fun adventure on a beautiful Labor Day weekend!
Double Trouble State Park
An Accord Update
Aside from the trip to Double Trouble State Park, most of our Labor Day weekend has been spent at home, tackling neglected chores and small jobs around the house. I did make time to give my Honda Accord a quick clean-up. While running errands, I made a few stops to photograph my newly detailed vehicle, and thought I’d close this post by sharing a few images.
Double Trouble State Park is a fun, informative, and beautiful way to learn more about the natural beauty of the Pine Barrens. Open from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm every day, the park is free to access. Bring good hiking shoes and lots of water, slather on the sunscreen, don’t forget bug spray, and be prepared to enjoy a unique natural environment. Since I started writing this blog over four years ago, I continue to be amazed at the number of really cool, beautiful, fascinating sites in and around my home state. If you’ve never visited the Garden State, do yourself a favor: come explore New Jersey and see what it has to offer!
As always, thanks for coming along on another journey down the open road ahead!