29. Batona Trail, Pine Barrens, New Jersey (49.5 miles)Learn More
There’s a George Carlin joke about New Jersey’s nickname: “The Garden State? Sure, if you’re growing smokestacks.” But once you get past the tollbooth-and-forsaken-industry corridor of northeast Jersey, the state reveals its natural charms. The Pine Barrens, a vast coastal wilderness of more than a million acres, contains one of the most beautiful and isolated hikes on the eastern seaboard. Because of its sandy, nutrient-poor soil, the area has remained largely untouched by the outside world. A three-day walk on the Batona Trail takes you through three state forests and to abandoned towns like Four Mile and Butler Place, and, as the name suggests, vast immaculate forests of loblolly, white, pitch, shortleaf, and Virginia pine.
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