Angelo Dellomo

Angelo Dellomo of Mays Landing Discovers the NJ Pine Barrens


Angelo Dellomo began exploring the little ghost towns of the N.J. Pine Barrens in his youth, long before such became the recreational attraction it is today. In the following article, Angelo Dellomo uncovers the enchanting secrets of these pinelands, providing a passionate tribute to nature’s wonders.

New Jersey Pine Barrens is a magnificent East Coast gem for everyone to admire. This picturesque place is not just rich in biodiversity. It’s also abundant in history.

So, what lies await for explorers in NJ Pine Barrens?

Angelo Dellomo unravels the ecological and historical significance of the Pines.

Angelo Dellomo of Mays Landing Discusses the Lush Greeneries

NJ Pine Barrens occupy a massive part of New Jersey. The Pinelands cover approximately 1.1 million acres of land – or roughly over 20% of the whole state of New Jersey.

But New Jersey Pine Barrens is home to more than just sprawling pine trees.

Botanists worldwide treasure this area as rare flowers grow in this region – and, sometimes, in this region only. For instance, the Knieskern’s beaked rush is endemic to New Jersey. And this flower grows naturally here.

Fun Fact:

A few carnivorous plants grow in New Jersey Pine Barrens – such as the Pitcher Plant, Bladderworts, and Sundews.

Apart from plants and trees, there are also a variety of creatures in the Pines.

Angelo Dellomo of Mays Landing provides a tally of the Pine Barrens animal species (according to Pinelands Preservation Alliance):

Trail NameDistance (miles)
Bass River (North Loop)12.8 miles
Bass River (South Loop)11.1 miles
Batso to Lower Bank21.3 miles
Pine Barrens River Ramble42.6 miles

Pine Barrens may seem like a wildlife haven, but people also call this place home.

People of the Pinelands

Angelo Dellomo of Mays LandingI says that i the 17th century, when European settlers arrived, they noted the region’s vast greenery. However, they also acknowledged the forest’s acidic water and sandy soil. Due to the nutrient-poor soil of the area, it was difficult for the settlers to grow crops.

Hence, the name “Pine Barrens.”

But the forest was rich in other resources – such as timber, sand, and bog iron. Because of this, several industrialists established their businesses here.

Sawmills, ironworking, and glass companies – businesses in Pine Barrens flourished.

Fun Fact:

The first Mason Jar was made in Pine Barrens – at a glass company called Crowleyville.

Eventually, however, many of these industries have become obsolete and closed down. However, some remnants of the abandoned industries and nearby villages remain.

Angelo Dellomo of Mays Landing says that those who enjoy exploring can visit some of Pine Barrens’ ghost towns:

  • Weymouth Furnace
  • Martha Furnace
  • Harrisville Ruins
  • Carranza Memorial
  • Batsto Village

But Pine Barrens has more than just ghost towns.

Activities and Recreations in New Jersey Pine Barrens

New Jersey Pine Barrens is the country’s first national reserve. Therefore, there have been efforts to preserve the land – that’s why many visit this majestic panorama: to connect with nature.

Though the things to do in Pine Barrens are practically limitless, some of the most common activities to do there include:


Angelo Dellomo explains that whether it’s a laid-back stroll or rigorous exercise, there are plenty of biking trails to traverse in the Pinelands.

Angelo Dellomo

A few commonly biked trails in Pine Barrens are:

Trail NameDistance (miles)
Bass River (North Loop)12.8 miles
Bass River (South Loop)11.1 miles
Batso to Lower Bank21.3 miles
Pine Barrens River Ramble42.6 miles

Most bike trails here are paved, and the areas are mostly quiet.

Fun Fact:

There’s also a lesser-known – yet equally remarkable – bike trail in Pine Barrens: The Penn Branch Trail.

Biking, however, isn’t the only way to explore Pine Barrens.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Angelo Dellomo reports that adventurers can also tour the Pines using a kayak or a canoe.

Pinelands Adventures offers paddling trips to Pine Barrens. Visitors can rent (a kayak or canoe) with or without a guide. Moreover, Pinelands Adventures also offers 1.5-hour, 4-hour, 5-hour, and 8-hour trips.

Kayakers and canoeists can paddle the waters of the Mullica and Batsto rivers. These rivers pass through historical landmarks and have serene fishing spots.

It’s natural to want to unwind after a fun day – and the Pines have spots for that.


There are several campgrounds scattered across Pine Barrens. For low-cost options, Wharton State Forest has camping sites for friends and families for $8 per person.

Large groups can camp at Bass River State Forest for $50-$100. Campers here can have access to hot showers and running water.

RVs and trailers can also be parked in certain spots within the Pines.

Angelo Dellomo explains that most campgrounds in the region allow fire pits to be built. When nighttime falls, friends can roast marshmallows and share spooky stories – but Pine Barrens is no stranger to that.

The Jersey Devil is said to inhabit Pine Barrens – a creature with bat-like wings, a kangaroo-like body, and a horse-like head.

As scary as the cryptid sounds, it shouldn’t be a cause for concern. After all, the creature is an urban legend. If anything, the mystery surrounding the Jersey Devil even adds to the charm of its supposed dwelling.


NJ Pine Barrens is a natural treasure that must be preserved. This enchanting forest has been a part of history and is home to unique plants and animals. But these aren’t the only life forms that can enjoy the Pinelands – people, too, can visit and fall in love with Pine Barrens.

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