Destruction Site – Historic “Old Tuckerton Stage Road”

Old Tuckerton Stage Road, Tabernacle Twp., Burlington County- Wharton S.F.

Rutted roadway Old Tuckerton Stage Rd.

Location: Tabernacle Twp., Burlington County, Wharton State Forest

Directions: Route 532 to Tabernacle, South on Carranza Rd toward Carranza Memorial

GPS location:   N39.78026 / W74.65311 first disturbance, about .44 miles from entrance at Carranza

Local name: Old Tuckerton Stage Road.

What is going on at this site: This is yet another example of the insane destruction we have run into.  For NO apparent reason 4 x 4’s have run up and down a section of Old Tuckerton Stage Rd. making the ruts so deep that without extra large tires you cannot traverse the area.  It is difficult to understand the reasoning these land-muggers created this in-road disaster other than not wanting anyone else to have access to this road/area. Just .4 miles farther on the road is an area that a couple of years ago was destroyed in the same manner.  There the Forest Fire Service had to repair the damage and took roadside sand to fill the holes and ruts.  This created a small crater with hills and mounds around it.  Within days the 4 x 4’s were challenging the hills and mounds with their vehicles which was probably as exciting as a kiddies roller coaster on an Ocean City amusement pier.  See picture of that below.

_MG_1035Behind the berms are campfire areas and, of course, the ubiquitous trash.  Actually most of the entire length of Old Tuckerton Stage Road, appx. 8.5 miles to Washington Turnpike, is now impassable by any vehicle other than monster 4 x 4’s.  Guess that trip into history is going to have to be put off.

See Google Earth image below

Google map of area

Later in this series we will show places like High Crossing along this route that truly demonstrates the devastation that is going on in this area, our public lands.

What is there: Upland Forest

Below is a slide show of images taken at the location.

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Destruction Site – “Rockwood Road”

Rockwood Road, Hammonton, Atlantic County- Wharton State Forest

Rockwood Rd. wetlands intrusion

Location: Hammonton, Atlantic County, Wharton State Forest

Directions: Route 206 N. from Rt. 30 in Hammonton to Rockwood Rd on East side of Rt. 206.  1.5 miles to first large disturbed area.

GPS location:   N 39.69396/ W 74.71275-Appx. 1.5 miles miles from the entrance on Rt. 206.

Local name: Rockwood Road

What is going on at this site: The road, and all of the wetlands around it, have become one big mudding area for large 4 x 4 trucks and ATV’s.  The first large mud wallow is so deep that without large, illegal, tires you can not cross it. From this large mud wallow it is approximately 5 miles to Route 542 at Pleasant Mills Church. This is a large area of the Pinelands National Reserve that is no longer available to the general public since the parallel road, Paradise Rd/W. Mill Rd., is also impossible to travel and the bridge behind Pleasant Mills Church has been destroyed and has not been rebuilt. The total area represents hundreds and hundreds of acres of prime pinelands.

See Google Earth image below

Google Earth image of Rockwood Rd. area

Google Earth image of Rockwood Rd. area. Red outline is area no longer accessible.

What is there: open wetlands. forested wetlands and a long string of vernal pools

Native  Species:    Heard Pine Barrens Tree Frogs

Video: The truck in this video is not even legal to travel on NJ roads but is able to travel in broad daylight to this location.

Below is a slide show of images taken at the location.

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Destruction Site – “Cherry Hill Road”

“Cherry Hill Road” – Wharton State Forest

Google Earth view of entire road

Location: Shamong Twp., Burlington County, Wharton State Forest

Directions: Route 206 south from Atsion Rd./Atsion Lake, Shamong Twp. .088 Miles to entrance on left (east side of Rt. 206)

GPS location:   N 39.728225/ W 74.7289295 -.17 miles from the entrance on Rt. 206. The first area of destruction is a forged roadway that leads back to a long series of vernal pools.

Local name: Cherry Hill Road.  A long time local resident claims it got its name because a cherry tree grew on a sand hill there.

What is going on at this site: The magnitude of this site is best seen with the Google Earth image at the top of this post.  It is heavily used by 4 x 4  and ATV enthusiast for the entire 2.2 miles that it traverses.  I counted 39 water/mud/wallow holes along the road.  One area is a shooting range and quasi dumping area.  In one of the large waterholes we observed two small pickerel fry.  Every area that can be entered with a heavy 4×4 vehicle has been invaded. If this dirt road is needed by the Forest Fire Service during a forest fire event it could be very difficult, or even impossible, to travel on this road with their fire wagons.

What is there: Canby’s Lobelia, lobelia canbyi

Native  Species:    Green and Southern Leopard Frogs

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Destruction Site – “Little Quarter Mile”

“Little Quarter Mile” – Wharton State Forest

Location: Waterford Township, Camden County, Wharton State Forest

Directions: Route 206 N to Chew Rd right on Sandy Causeway, 1.5 miles left on dirt road, .25 miles to vernal pool

GPS location:   N 39.72385/ W 74.77576

Local name: Unknown (we named it Little Quarter Miles because it appears to be the beginnings of another 1/4 Mile which will be covered in a later blog)

What is going on at this site: The area was opened up after a forest fire several years ago.  It was a vernal pool but now resembles just a mud hole.  There is activity here day and night with 4 x 4 trucks and ATVs.  The  area is even frequented by families with small children.  Several campfire locations, scattered clothing, trash, beer and soda cans and bottles.

What is there: Invasive phragmites, phragmites australis.

Native  Species:    Green and Southern Leopard Frogs

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Destruction Site – “Forbidden Pond”

“Forbidden Pond” – Wharton State Forest

110 07.11.14 site 078

Location: Waterford Township, just north of Chew Road on Sandy Causeway .16 miles

GPS location:   N 39.70705/ W 74.77822

Local name: Forbidden Pond

What is going on at this site: This is a beautiful vernal pool in a forested wetlands area of Wharton State Forest.  The perimeter of this pond has been used as a mudding track for 4 x 4s and ATVs.  It is also a party spot, lots of trash and beer cans, even a mattress.

What is there: Floating Heart (Nymphoides cordata) classified as RARE, FrogsFloating Heart and Toads at this location are: Fowler’s Toad, Pine Barrens Tree Frog, Northern Gray Tree Fog, Spring Peeper, NJ Chorus Frog, Bullfrog, Green Frog, Wood Frog, Southern Leopard Frog and Carpenter Frog – all of these frogs have been surveyed by the scientist of the NJ Pinelands Commission.