Turkey Swamp Challenge LbNA # 24831 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Aug 23 2006|
|Last Update||Apr 7 2015|
Your game day begins at Turkey Swamp Park, a 1,525 acre wooded park in Freehold Township, NJ. A major attraction is the 17-acre lake for fishing, boating, and ice-skating in winter. The park also features campsites, play areas and trails for walking, running, hiking, cycling, and equestrian use. Because of the swamps and bogs, visitors may encounter wet areas along the trails. The park is open daily from 8 am to dusk, free of charge.
A walk through Turkey Swamp reveals a primitive wilderness. Much of the park is forested by pitch pine and oak trees with an under story of bracken fern, pepper bush, blueberry, and cat briar. Many plants and animals associated with the NJ Pine Barrens can be found here.
Your day will consist of finding three game-related boxes and practicing some conditioning exercises at fitness stations located along the trail.
Time: Under two hours for all three boxes
Distance: Under two miles
● Bring a compass and sunscreen.
● Platform tent campsites are available to chartered groups from March 15 -Nov. 15.
● Restrooms and water service is available approximately 4/15 – 11/15.
● Boat rentals are available in season. Call ahead to confirm.
● Always check for deer ticks after hiking.
Directions: Find your way to Turkey Swamp Park in Freehold, NJ, and enter via the main entrance on Georgia Road.
Game #1 – Football Frenzy
Proceed to the main parking lot. Walk towards the playground area. While facing the playground area, follow the path on your left. Turn right at the end of the playground area and access the “Alder” Trail. The trail begins by winding through the woods. Stay on Alder if other trail choices are available. The path will run close to the lake on your left. You will come to a clearing. Watch for Fitness Station #2 on your right and take advantage of the opportunity to do some stretching exercises to loosen up your hamstring muscles. This will help keep you in shape for the upcoming challenges. Continue on and stay close to the lake. Stay true to Alder Trail, not others. Eventually the trail will head inland, but again, follow “Alder”. You will pass Fitness Station #4 on your left. Exercise if you like. Continue on and turn left over wooden bridge. Notice Fitness Station #5 on your left and stop to do a few knee raises. Pause at Fitness Station #6 and you will have an opportunity to do a few sit ups if you wish. When you are ready, proceed with your first find of the day. Sit in the center of the bench and face away from the water towards the field. Take a 160 degree heading for about 50 paces. Find a single leaning white and you will have scored a goal.
Game #2 – A Hole in One
Continue on Alder Trail. You will have an opportunity to work on your quadriceps at Fitness Station #7. Pass a beautiful grassy sanctuary on your left but don’t linger too long enjoying the view. Stay on the trail in the grassy field. Continue on to Fitness Station #8 and try a few pull ups if you wish. Oops, you missed the turn for the Alder Trail. Back up about 100 ft. and turn right at the green marker and head into the woods. Pass over a series of bridges. When given a choice of paths, follow the red markers on the trees. You will eventually come to a parking lot. Search around the perimeter of the lot for the continuation of the Alder Trail. Enter the woods again and follow the “Alder Trail towards the comfort station on your right. Continue on the main path. Don’t venture down side paths toward the lake unless you want to take a break and enjoy the view. You will pass a couple of red markers confirming that you are on the correct trail. You will also pass a post with a green marker on it. Eventually you will come to a park bench. Sit down and take a well-deserved break. When you are ready to resume, look behind you. Take a 190 degree heading and locate the fallen “pine cone source”. You will have scored a “hole-in-one”. You have completed 2/3’s of your journey.
Game #3 – The Big Catch
Continue on the trail towards the last box in the series. Stay with the red markers when offered a choice. You will notice a dirt road on your right as you walk along. You will come to a grassy clearing. Follow the grassy path and take a path on your right about 100 ft. “before” the split rail fence. The trail post has a black arrow and a green circle on it. From the trail post, walk 25 paces into the woods. Stop and take a compass reading of 120 degrees and walk 22 paces. Look at the bottom of a large triple crown tree. It holds the big catch for the day. Congratulations, you have completed the 3-game series.
Walk back to the trail and continue walking and then take the left trail when it splits. Pass through the picnic area back to the parking lot. You will pass a comfort station just before the parking lot.