Sunset Hike on the Little Pine Planes to Offers Hikers and Inside Look Into South Jersey’s Pigmy Pines

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STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, NJ Join the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Agency on May 7 at 5 p.m. at the Warren Grove Recreation Area (WGRA) for a six mile sunset hike on the Little Pine Plains and along the Keith Line. WGRA is part of Bass River State Forest and encompasses the Little Pine Plains — the “Pygmy Pines” –- the worldʼs largest acreage of this globally rare forest community.  

Portions of the hike will be through places where the mature trees are scarcely taller than the hikers themselves. The hike will meander along sand roads and trails and will traverse several ridges that will provide fantastic views of the surrounding area which is a rarity for this part of the state and possible because the trees are so short.

Of historical and geographical note, the hike will follow a mile of the 1686 Keith Line — the line that started it all — which divided the New Jersey Province into East and West Jersey. It will also pass through two counties (Ocean and Burlington) and five municipalities (Little Egg Harbor, Barnegat, Stafford, Woodland and Bass River Townships) something that usually does not happen on a hike of this length. While some today might consider the Keith Line insignificant, it still exists 336 years later as boundaries and roads in many of the municipalities and counties that it traverses.

The hike will depart promptly. Participants must be at least 10 years of age. Service animals only are permitted. Participants must be able to walk for long stretches on sugar sand and keep up with the main group of hikers.

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Please wear appropriate clothes and shoes. Bring water, snacks and insect repellent as ticks are active in the tight areas we will be hiking through.

The hike is not ADA accessible. There are no restrooms or drinking water available.

The hike will be cancelled if there are thunderstorms in the area or if heavy rain is falling. Light rain will not cancel the hike.

The hike is free and open to the public. Registration is required and is capped at 30 participants. To register or for more information, contact the Bass River State Forest office at 609-296-1114.Meeting location is N39° 45.201′ W74° 23.270′ — the intersection of Beaver Dam and Radio Tower Roads. There is no street address for this location. Directions: Turn onto Simm Place Road from Ocean County Road 539 in “downtown” Warren Grove. Take the first right on Simm Place Road and turn onto Beaver Dam Road. Follow Beaver Dam Road approximately 0.8 miles to intersection of Radio Tower Road.

Please register by calling 609-296-1114.