PARK SERVICE ISSUES FLOODING ADVISORY FOR WHARTON STATE FOREST
(18/P100) TRENTON – Due to flooding from persistent rainfall, the New Jersey State Park Service is advising visitors that many of the unimproved roads within Wharton State Forest are impassable and that they should consider postponing their visits if they plan to use these roads.
In addition, all access points for the Batsto, Mullica, Oswego, and Wading rivers are closed due to hazardous conditions. The public is advised to not use the rivers for recreational purposes until floodwaters recede.
The Park Service is assessing the condition of roads, many of which experienced extensive ponding or washouts. In some instances, bridges are completely covered by swollen rivers. Bridges also will be assessed as floodwaters recede.
Improperly equipped vehicles could become stuck or find sand roads impassable. Never attempt to drive through deep or running water.
Backcountry camping, hiking, horseback riding, and other trail-related activities may be affected by flooding and limitations on access. Visitors are advised to call ahead for the latest information on conditions and accessibility at (609) 561-0024.
November rainfall has deluged parts of Wharton with nearly a foot of rain. Located in the heart of the Pinelands National Reserve, Wharton State Forest is an area with a naturally high water table. It also has an extensive network of streams and wetlands.
The largest unit in the New Jersey State Park Service system, the nearly 123,000-acre Wharton State Forest encompasses parts of Atlantic, Burlington and Camden counties and has hundreds of miles of sand roads and other unimproved roads that are popular for motorized vehicle use. Its rivers are also popular for canoeing and kayaking.
Batsto Village, the preserved former bog iron and glassmaking center, is open. The Atsion Recreation Area is closed for the season.
For more information on Wharton State Forest, visit www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/wharton.html
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DEP PHOTOS/Top: Flooded bridge in Wharton State Forest; Bottom: Culvert road wash-out in Wharton State Forest