For detailed hike directions, maps, GPX, and photos, visit our Bass River State Forest page.
This is the first time we’d gotten around to checking out Bass River State Forest. We’d always headed to the other Pine Barrens area parks instead, mainly because I’d never had much info on the trails here.
It doesn’t appear in any of our hiking books other than a mention in the The New Jersey Walk Book of some short trails, and I’d never located a trail map online. Without a trail map to plan a possible route out ahead, it didn’t make sense for us to drive over an hour to park that may only have a couple miles of trails.
A trail map with descriptions appeared recently on the park site so I was able to plot out a decent length hike and off we went…
The focal point of this park is Lake Absegami, a popular swimming area in the summer. Several trails lead from the lake parking lot, while the Pink trail is on the other side of Stage Road. This park is typical pine barrens… super easy, flat, sand and pine needle covered trails and woods roads.
Other than the lake and a few remains of some CCC buildings, there isn’t much to “see” but it’s a nice really easy walk through lots-n-lots of pine. Most pine barrens trails are easy, but these were even more so…. no boggy wet areas to cross, and the trails were mostly wide and not overgrown with brush. We felt the Pink trail was nicer than the section of the Yellow we did and the Plum trail (which runs along the parkway and Stage Rd for a little bit…bleh). So, if you are looking for an easy 3 miler…we recommend just doing Pink.
Parking: N39 37.577 W74 25.493
Route: YELLOW – PLUM – PINK – RED
Snack Time: We’d received a sample of Clif Bar Shot Bloks awhile ago and decided to try some more. This wasn’t a strenuous or really long hike where we needed a meal replacement, we just wanted a little “something”. While not 100% sold on their effectiveness – we do like them as an alternate to energy bars. A single pack costs $2, but buying a box online brings the cost down to about $1.70 a pack.
Taste Verdict: Orange flavor = “ehhhh”, too fakey tasting. The Citrus we tried before was better. Margarita flavor = “not bad”, tasted like margarita mix sans tequila. As we were eating them I read the label and noticed that this flavor has 3X the sodium and is billed as a “cramp buster”. The extra salt was evident in the flavor, but not in a bad way (unless you hate salt with your margarita of course…)
Wish we had these when hiking in the Grand Canyon a few years back, as it’s important to watch your sodium/water ratio there and these would have been a nice option to switch out with salty snacks.