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Batsto River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Destination Report
Nearest City: Hammonton, NJ
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: DB Weitzman

Description:

Batsto River: Hampton Furnace to Quaker Bridge

This stretch of the Batsto River runs approximately 6.5 miles to Quaker Bridge where you can take out with easy access (you're 4 miles in from Rte. 206 on Quaker Bridge Road which is a well maintained sand road passable with 2 wheel drive.)

You can also continue another 6.5 miles on the Batsto to Batsto Lake. The first mile of this stretch of river is quite narrow and twisting. In places, with high water, it's not much wider than you boat and you will want to break your paddle down as the bushes that boarder the river deter free movement and will just snag your paddle. On average this first stretch is about 10 feet wide. There's plenty of underwater adventure in the form of mid river stumps and debris that will keep you alert. Low water periods will present some portage and a few drag spots (such as at the "cabin" where some long ago piney once had a pond dug out (the channel is to the right).

The river opens up a bit (15 feet wide on average, I'd say) after the "pond" and flows thru a maple swamp that presents some of the best off river exploring during high river. Throughout this stretch when the river is reasonably high there are many small islands in the river creating "shortcuts" that give the river many new legs.

At the end of the maple swamp you arrive at Lower Forge Campground. Lower Forge is primitive so bring your own water. It's accessible by boat, foot and horse. From the campground you're only 1.5 miles to Quaker Bridge and this stretch of river reflects what the last 6.5 miles from the bridge to the lake offers, wider and a bit more tranquil than above the bridge. You're in the heart of Wharton Forrest on the Batsto with all the Pine Barren Flora and Fauna. Turtles on every branch, black snakes slithering across the river, ducks, great blues, deer and don't forget the little green snakes that like to hang from the trees over the river.

I rate this as moderate but have traveled this stretch with many novices. You earn your way down to the bridge. There are several "beaches" along the way to stop and get out for lunch.

In low water the take out is to the left under Quaker Bridge otherwise you can take a right just under the bridge into a shallow run that takes you (about 100 feet) to easy access on Quaker Bridge Road.

Accommodations:

Just north on 206 is the Picadilly.

Fees:

None

Directions:

Take Rte. 206 (from north of south) to the Atsion Ranger Station. Approx. 300' north of the station on 206 is Hampton Road (dirt but well maintained). Take this road approx 3 miles to a clearing, look to your right and the river is about 100' off the road.

Launches:

See above for put-in for this stretch. Take out is at Quaker Bridge.


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