Mike's Hikes

hosted by

The Outdoor Club of South Jersey

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Meeting Place
7:00 PM
8 - 10 mi
Friday Nite Hike
The Friday Nite Hike may not be the best choice for a first hike. This is 'fast' pace hike. The length is 8 - 10 miles. The usual time is about 2 - 2 1/2 hours (an average of 4 mph or 15 minutes per mile). The group that does the Friday Nite Hike are generally persons that are in quite good physical condition and don't object to, and maybe even like to, sweat. It is probably fair to consider this activity as a 'workout'. (To get an estimate of how fast you walk, see how many minutes it takes you to walk from one mile marker on a highway to the next mile marker. As mentioned earlier, we walk at an average pace of 15 minutes per mile.)

There is very little elevation change.

We walk by the natural light that is available. As this hike always starts at 7:00 pm, in the winter months, it is already dark when we start! While a few of us do carry flashlights, we typically only use them for a very few challenging places and in the event of an emergency. While it takes about 45 minutes for 'night vision' to develop fully, artificial light almost instantly destroys our 'night vision'. While walking at night, be curteous to those around you. 'Helping' them by lighting their way, may NOT be appreciated!

When we walk in the dark, we stay mostly to the sand roads to avoid roots and branches (which we can't see). I'm NOT into unreasonable self abuse!

The group is smallish as most hikers probably enjoy their hiking activity to be a little less vigorous. Group size varies from about 5 to 20 or more persons. The sexes are probably about equally represented and the ages run from the 20s (or less) through the 60s (or more) with the 30s, 40s & 50s ages being the best represented.

The most important item to bring is foot wear that will keep your feet happy for 10 miles. Both the socks and the shoes/boots are important. In general, avoid cotton socks favoring either high content wool (with liners) or the newer synthetic blends. Either sneakers, shoes or boots are OK for this hike. Well broken in and comfortable outer foot wear are the most important characteristics.

Dress for the prevailing weather. Once we leave our vehicles, you have exactly the items you left with, no more and no less. The items you choose to take should be adaquate to provide reasonable comfort for the time we are out and exposed to natures whims. This is always a compromise between too much and too little.

Bring water to drink and maybe some trail mix, fruit or candy which would be handy for an energy boost (walking 10 miles, a 120 lb. woman will burn aproximately 1000 calories - a 180 lb. man will burn about 1500 calories [Jay's formula]). Our muscles consume water while converting food into movement. My body seems to use about a quart per 10 miles (in cooler weather, when not noticably perspiring). Water replacement is a necessity for sustained activity!

The first Friday of each month there is an optional dessert / dinner stop after the hike.

If you feel that you are ready to try the Friday Nite Hike, we will be glad to have you join us! Oh, if you choose to join us, the start point listed in the 'Winter' Trekker booklet is NOT correct. The office is NOT the starting place. The correct starting place is the campgrounds which are about 3 1/2 miles further into the forest beyond the office. Directions can be found on web page www.mikebaker.com/hikes

If you feel that you are NOT ready or the time doesn't work for you, you are welcome to call and I will be happy to recommend another Outdoor Club of South Jersey activity. I am only one of more than a dozen hiking leaders plus the club has many other types of activities besides hiking.

Home (609) 758-4768
Cell (609) 577-9004

On Friday evenings, I try to keep my cell phone turned on until 7:00 pm when I turn it off. We purposely go out into nature to experience the beauty, natural order and timelessness of nature. We go into nature to be in a different environment than we live in during our hectic regular lives. Cell phone usage, while on a hike, should be limited to either emergency or necessary communications.

WELCOME to the Outdoor Club of South Jersey and the Friday Nite Hike!

Lebanon State Forest
directions below
Mike Baker
(609) 758-4768
(609) 577-9004
(609) 633-0229
4 miles
50 miles
in one day
many more hikes
The Outdoor Club of South Jersey
also has many other hikes, by other leaders, scheduled during the month.

some thoughts on Ticks

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Directions to Where's Howardsville? Hike
Use a NJ road map to locate the intersection of routes 72 and 539.
... (Route 539 goes from Hightstown (exit 8 NJ Turnpike) to Tuckerton (exit 58 GardenStateParkway)
... (Route 72 crosses the GardenStateParkway at exit 63, Manahawkin.)
From the intersection of Routes 72 & 539
Take 72 East aprox. 0.8 mile to Howardsville Road (as of this writing, there is a street sign)
turn Left and go aprox. 1.5 mile to open gravel area on right
this is where we will meet and park
Congratulations, you have arrived and are now ready to enjoy the hike!
Directions to Friday Nite Hike
Use a NJ road map to locate Routes 70 and 72.
... (Route 70 crosses the NJ Turnpike a few miles south of or below exit 4, Mt. Laurel.)
... (Route 72 crosses the GardenStateParkway at exit 63, Manahawkin.)
From the intersection of Routes 70 & 72 (the Four Mile Traffic Circle)
Take 72 East aprox. 1.0 mile to the Lebanon State Forest sign on left
turn Left and go aprox. 0.3 mile to paved road on right
turn Right and go aprox. 2.1 miles to the stop sign
... (you will go past the forest headquarters on left shortly after turning onto this road)
turn Left and go aprox. 1.4 mile to cross road with bathroom visible ahead
... (you will go past Pakim Pond on left after about 1/2 mile)
turn Left and immediately park on left
you have arrived!
Directions to Lake Oswego
These directions are intended to assist you in determining where you want to go and allow you to choose the correct route for you rather than specifically telling anyone where to go. :-)
On a NJ road map the bottom south eastern point of NJ is Cape May.
Locate the Garden State Parkway which is a major highway that runs all along the south Jersey coast from Cape May north towards New York City.
From Cape May follow the Garden State Parkway up, north and east along the coast to Atlantic City.
Continue to follow up, north about 15 more miles and locate New Gretna, Exit 50, highway 9 north.
Highway 9 runs northish a mile or two and comes to highway 542 in 'downtown' New Gretna.
Here, highway 9 joins highway 542 and they run east a short distance to the junction of highway 679. (If you go under the Parkway you went too far).
Go left, north/northwest on highway 679 maybe 7-8 miles to highway 563.
Go right, north on highway 563 2-3 miles to Lake Oswego Road on right, east.
Lake Oswego Road is probably not shown on most maps.
Lake Oswego Road is off route 563 more or less 2/3rds the way from Chatsworth to Green Bank.
From the north, it is the only paved road heading east (left) about a mile south of the Pine Barrens Canoe Rental business.
From the south, it is the only paved road heading east (right) about a mile north of Mick's Canoe Rental business.
Go east on Lake Oswego Road about 3 miles, cross a bridge and turn right into the Penn State Forest parking area. If you have not crossed the bridge, you have not gone far enough. It is pretty much impossible to miss the bridge.

Some Words for Contemplation

We go to the woods purposefully to experience nature. Clear skies are natural, rain and snow are also natural. If it rains or snows then so-be-it. Light is natural, dark is natural. Sometimes it's dark (happens most nights) and sometimes it rains. That's the way it is suppose to be.

Some think us crazy for leaving civilization and going into the woods. Some think us nuts for going outdoors into the rain. Some think us demented for leaving the light and going out into the dark. And some think us insane for walking when we could be sitting on a nice comfortable couch watching TV.

I desire my life to be a participatory activity, not a spectator sport.

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Page created by: mike@mikebaker.com