Bridges of Burlington County LbNA # 21342
Planted by the von der Insels. Adopted with permission by Jersey Trailblazers *Clue Updated - Sept. 2013*
Remember to be prepared for ticks - this is prime tick area!
Time to wander around the Pine Barrens! These letterboxes were placed along a particularly nice trail at the historic Batsto Village. The von der Insels were locals of Jamestown, RI, where Mr. Wharton resided half the year, and they were attracted to his other mansion in the gentle forests of Southern New Jersey. Living in the Ocean State gave them an appreciation of bridges. These are 5 types of bridges found in the American Northeast.
Although the terrain is very gentle and the trails well-groomed, you should allow about two hours just for these 5 letterboxes. Add a bit to the time if you choose to find other area letterboxes. Heck, you could make a fine day of touring the village, too! Be sure to bring blue, black, green and brown color pens or inks to get the most out of the stamps.
****There may be a parking fee at the Batsto State Park on weekends and holidays, especially during the summer months. Here is the website for the area. http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/wharton.html
Directions: Take your best route to Batsto Village on Route 542. Park by the Visitors' Center and go inside to get a copy of the Batsto Area Trails map. We're heading down the Orange Trail today.
Box #1 - (Replaced with original stamp and clue updated!) (Covered Bridge): Walk through the village, past the mansion and the mill and through the workers' houses until you get to the trailhead for the combined Yellow and Orange trail. Stroll this trail (with yellow blazes on the trees) until you cross the first bridge. At the end of the bridge is a sign saying that Air Force engineers built it. Standing at this far end of the bridge, sight 310* (degrees) to the next hip-high yellow and orange trail marker - walk to it. Take a compass reading of 200* to the first treee (a pine), then, 21 steps more to the second tree (also a pine). Take another reading of 260* and walk 16 steps along the faint path to a big tree on the right. Look under bark and pine needles at the rear.
This place is very busy with traffic in nice weather! Cover the box over thoroughly and carefully - it's gone missing before!
Box #2 (Suspension Bridge): Now continue on this Yellow and Orange trail. The trail travels through a lichen forest and across a beach without water. You will pass a sign that indicates 9 miles to Atsion. Be careful not to stray when the trail takes a sharp right turn! You will next come to an un-hand railed bridge where the Yellow and Orange trails part company. (**This bridge was damaged by a storm and has not yet been replaced.**) Stand at the near end of where the bridge would have met the sand and sight 249* to a waist-high Orange trail marker. From that marker, take 24 steps at 221* to a 7" diameter pine. Then, take 14 steps at 101* to a cedar tree (4" diameter). Look behind the tree for the box covered by forest debris. Please rehide carefully!
Box #3 (Stone Arch): Now head back to the orange marker. We're going to continue on the Orange trail, now. Walk along the Orange trail until you cross the third bridge, keeping careful watch out for carnivorous plants. Whoops! You've passed the box! From the far end of the bridge, count back 9 boards, and reach under the bridge's right side to find bridge #3 under sticks and bark. This is a hand-carved stamp.
Box #4 (Cantilever Bridge): After cunningly replacing that box, we'll continue. The Orange trail makes a big loop ahead, and we'll be going counter-clockwise. At the trail Tee, go right. Traveling alongside the water, pay no heed to the dilapidated footbridge of a bygone day! It doesn't count in the count - we won't make you cross that one. Cross the smallest bridge yet over a pine needle-choked stream. From the far end of this bridge either (1) sight 354* and go 7 steps to a 12" diameter pitch pine or (2) walk 4 steps down the trail and sight 317* to the pine. Whichever is easiest by the underbrush. Don't step on the holly! This is a hand-carved stamp.
Box #5 (Truss Bridge): Almost done! Keep going around the Orange trail loop. Cross over the fifth bridge. At the far end of the bridge count 11 steps to the next hip-high Orange marker. From there look at 287*. Take 8 steps that way to a 3" diameter cedar tree. Behind it, under needles, sticks and moss, and by a small blueberry bush, is your last bridge. This Truss Bridge stamp was patterned after the old Jamestown Bridge. The main span was imploded on 18 April, 2006 - What a sight! It was a lovely bridge, and a fine home to a letterbox by Jay Drew, too! Sadly, it was replaced by a plain concrete span. This is a hand-carved stamp.
To return to your car, just continue on this loop. You will very soon come to bridge #3, which will take you back to the village. We hope you will appreciate the artistry that goes into making a well-formed bridge!
Please re-hide boxes well. We look forward to hearing from you!