Pine Barrens Byway
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Pine Barrens Byway

The Pine Barrens Byway was designated as a New Jersey Scenic Byway in 2005. The 130-mile route extends from Batsto and Tuckerton in the north to Dennisville and Port Elizabeth in the south, passing through five
counties and 16 municipalities. Along the route are two National Wildlife Refuges, ten State Wildlife Management Areas, three State Forests, five County parks, several major rivers and numerous smaller streams, as well as a variety of historic and scenic sites. 

The four “corners” of the byway are Dennisville in Dennis Township, Cape May County; Port Elizabeth in Maurice River Township, Cumberland County; Nesco and Wescoatville in Mullica Township, Atlantic County; and Tuckerton Borough in Ocean County. These four small settlements are visually quite different from each other, but each is in its own way a characteristic Pinelands community. The byway has three distinct parts. The northern loop follows both sides of the lower Mullica River from Batsto to the estuary and links communities along US Route 9 from Tuckerton to Oceanville. The southern loop connects the Tuckahoe River, the Maurice River and Dennis Creek, along with Belleplain State Forest and Woodbine Borough. A north-south route between the Mullica River and the Tuckahoe River runs through the heart of Atlantic County, crossing and (for half its length) paralleling, the Great Egg Harbor River. The byway route is dotted with small farm fields, pastures, and river towns and punctuated by historical ruins. At night the lightly settled byway is a stargazer’s paradise and during the day it provides sights and points of interests for a wide variety of tastes. It is also easily accessible to a huge pool of potential vacationers and day-trippers, surrounded as it is on all sides by New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore/Washington, and the heavily developed Jersey Shore.

The Pine Barrens Byway region has received national and international recognition for its unique natural characteristics. For example, it was designated as the nation’s first national reserve in 1978, named an international biosphere reserve in 1988, contains two National Wild and Scenic Rivers, and is part of the US EPA’s national estuary reserve program.

      

 Tuckahoe River                                                                Batsto River and Saw Mill 


Project Description
Recently designated as a State Scenic Byway by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the Pine Barrens Byway meanders through areas of striking natural beauty and rich historic heritage. With a focus on maritime portions 
of the Pinelands, the route takes particular advantage of the scenic qualities and historic hamlets of the Mullica, Maurice and Tuckahoe River Corridors.

The impetus for the byway designation was the Pinelands Rural Economic Development Program, which examined economic conditions in several Pinelands towns and recommended measures to stimulate environmentally suitable economic growth through various planning initiatives, incentives, public improvements, and redevelopment. One suggestion was for a New Jersey and National Scenic Byway that 
would bring widespread awareness of, and interest in, the natural assets of the Pinelands.

The Pinelands Commission, the state agency responsible for protecting, preserving and enhancing the natural and cultural resources of the Pinelands Area, set up an organizing committee, the Southern Pinelands Natural 
Heritage Trail Committee, which is comprised of municipal representatives to oversee the nomination process. An inventory of the many natural and cultural attractions along the byway was also prepared and all 16 
municipalities and five counties through which the byway passes adopted resolutions supporting its designation. On behalf of the organizing committee, Commission staff prepared a nomination document that was formally 
proposed to and accepted by the State Byway Committee in early 2005.

The Pine Barrens Byway was designated as an official New Jersey State Scenic Byway in August 2005. Now that the byway has received state recognition, the Committee is developing a Corridor Management Plan 
(CMP), which is a requirement of the NJ state byway program as well as the National Scenic Byways Program. Funding for the completion of the CMP has been provided by the Federal Highway Administration and the 
New Jersey Department of Transportation. A sub-committee of the Pinelands Trail Committee, the Corridor Management Committee (CMC), is overseeing development and completion of the CMP. The CMC is work 
closely with a team of professional consultants selected for this project. The Corridor Management Plan will be used to preserve, protect and enhance the historical, natural and scenic characteristics of the Pine Barrens 
Byway, improve access to recreational activities, and guide the traveler through the corridor.

After the completion of the CMP, the Byway will be ready to apply for National Scenic Byway designation during the next round of applications. Applying for National Scenic Byway Designation usually occurs every 
two to three years. Once designated, the byway will be featured in the U.S. Department of the Interior's byway website and in other state and national tourism materials and maps. The Pine Barrens Byway is currently 
listed as a New Jersey State Scenic Byway which enables the sponsors to apply for program-affiliated grants and provides access to a variety of promotional and marketing opportunities, including development of visitor 
centers, wayside exhibits, and self-guided tours. Additionally, completion of the CMP allows the Pine Barrens Byway to receive assistance from the New Jersey Department of Transportation in signing the byway.




Byway Route
The byway route is dotted with small farm fields, pastures, and river towns and punctuated by eccentric historical ruins, such as the paper mill built over the iron furnace at Weymouth (Hamilton Township) and the World War I munitions complex in the oak/pine woods at Belcoville (Estell Manor City and Weymouth Township). At night the lightly settled byway is a stargazer’s paradise (Belleplain State Forest in Dennis Township is a favorite venue of the South Jersey Astronomy Club) and during the day it provides sights and points of interests for a wide variety of tastes. It is also easily accessible to a huge pool of potential vacationers and day-trippers, surrounded as it is on all sides by New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore/Washington, and the heavily developed Jersey shore. The route of the main trunk of the byway passes through five counties and sixteen Pinelands municipalities. 

The four “corners” of the byway are Dennisville in Dennis Township, Cape May County; Port Elizabeth in Maurice River Township, Cumberland County; Nesco and Wescoatville in Mullica Township, Atlantic County; 
and Tuckerton Borough in Ocean County. These four small settlements are visually quite different from each other, but each is in its own way a characteristic Pinelands community.The byway constitutes two oval loops, 
a northerly and a southerly, connected by a north-south thoroughfare through the heart of Atlantic County (from Corbin City in the south to Nesco- Westcoatville in the north).


Pine Barrens Tree Frog

 

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