The Forked River Mountains
Off of Route 532
Obviously in Forked River, NJ
“Keep Your Face To The Sunshine And You Cannot See A Shadow.”
Okay let’s start off with some New Jersey weird, okay? You would think prounouncing “forked” is just like it means…rhyming with corked…Oh no, not here in NJ! It is said, “For Ked” like it is two words and like the old school Keds sneakers. I know us ‘Joisey’ folks are strange okay, I get it!
The Forked (remember For-Ked) River Mountains are situated at 187 feet above sea level in the Pine Barrens. Yes, it doesn’t seem that high to the rest of the country. However, this topography is quite rare. The Yummygal will now bore you do death with the explanation. Here we go.
The Pine Barrens as I have mentioned before, were once under a vast ocean. Hence the very sandy soil you will bear witness to. Since it was once, “Under The Sea, Under The Sea, Darling Its Better, Down Where It’s Wetter…” (Okay I kind of went off the deep end there). The Pine Barrens are pretty much, for the exception of Apple Pie Hill, at sea level.
So as you see, for the Pine Barrens this is very rare!
The Pineys are mostly 1.1 million acres of preserved land. Which makes up 22% of our entire state! Pretty nifty fact.
The Forked River Mountains have a lush history. Native Americans used the land as a sacred burial ground. It was once used as a stagecoach route and is the talk of many urban legends.
Now it is time for a little joke:
Q. What did the fork say to the spoon?
A. I have tongs and you don’t.
Since we are talking about the Forked River Mountains, just seemed fitting.
Anywho, the Forked River Mountains encompass nearly 21,000 acres. The riveting mountains have been up on the chopping block for development since the 1960s. The Nature Conservancy owns most of the land and inhabits the bordering Candace McKee Ashmun Preserve.
The mountains offer a variety of pitch pines, which is the primary tree of the New Jersey Pinelands. Also, rare species of pine barren gentian, tree frogs (ribbit ribbit) and bog asphodel can also be discovered. I know I said the same thing asphodel=whatchamacallit? Just think of something between a lilac and an aster…And think happy thoughts.
What makes this most spectacular to the funny Yummygal, is the scenic vista of the Pine Barrens at the top of the mountain. You can see the Barnegat lighthouse (Old Barney, you are bodacious) and the historic Lakehurst hangars. Hmmm, do you recall the Hindenburg blimp? Just a thought. Kaboom!
There is also a vast Savannah at the preserve. It reminds me of the wilds of Africa. Exotic grasses blowing in the breeze. The sun striking down on the land. Dragonflies buzzing around.
It is more of a dream place than reality. If you ever watched the movie, ‘What Dreams May Come’ it would be fitting to put this savannah in it.
As we close our story:
Iran over here to tell you that the Forked River Mountains are a knicker knocking great place for exploring. It is definitely a place you should check out. Even if you just want to witness the fantastic view!
Until our next Adventure~ The Yummygal