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Brendan T. Byrne State Forest

Brendan T. Byrne State Forest (formerly known as Lebanon State Forest) is located in Burlington and Ocean Counties. It's the state's second largest, with over 34,000 acres. It has over 25 miles of trails, including part of the well-known Batona Trail. It also has over 50 miles of unmarked gravel and sand roads and use is permitted by registered vehicles, including trucks and motorcycles, but ATV's and other unlicensed vehicles are prohibited. Mountain bikes are permitted on the Mount Misery trail, and the Cranberry Trail allows wheelchair access. Brendan T. Byrne State Forest is also home of the Pinelands Institute for Natural and Environmental Studies (P.I.N.E.S.), one of the first established schools of conservation education in the world. It is located at Whitesbog, where Elizabeth White worked with others to create today's cultivated blueberry, and is also the site of a large cranberry farm. Former Governor McGreevy changed the name of this state forest from "Lebanon" to "Brendan T. Byrne", because the former Governor Byrne was a vital part of Pinelands preservation.

“Governor Byrne has long been one of the major forces behind the protection of the New Jersey Pinelands,” McGreevey said. “He signed the Pinelands Preservation Act in 1979, creating the Nation’s first National Reserve, and has consistently been a strong advocate of protecting this natural resource.” The below photos were taken on a perfect late summer day in the Pines .
Welcome Center and Forest Ranger Office
The Batona Trail with its familiar pink blazes (above 2 photos)

Wetlands Scenery

Pakim Pond (above 3 photos)
Inkberry (Ilex glabra)
Teaberry/Checkerberry/Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
Boardwalk through the bogs
Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum)
Taken at Pakim Pond
Southern Leopard Frog (Rana ultricularia)
Campground facilities are available here, with picnic tables, fire rings and ground space for tents. Facilities include restrooms with hot showers, a laundry room and drinking water. Parking at most sites can accommodate small travel and camp trailers. There's also a group campsite for seven or more people.

Rustic cabins on the shore of Pakim Pond are also available for up to two weeks, April through October. The cabins have a furnished living room with fireplace and bunks for four. There is a half-bath, and the kitchen has a sink and electric stove, but dishes, etc. are not supplied.

Reservations are required for most sites. For more information, call 609-726-1190or visit the website.


The Pine Barrens is becoming a popular tourist destination. It offers history, nature, boating, camping, fishing, swimming, and most of all, peace and tranquility. It's important to families who live here, whether for a few years or many generations, that our peace and tranquility be preserved.A local lawyer or doctor won't look any different than his neighbor who works the land. Thousand dollar suits aren't what impress people of the Pines - taking care of nature and fellow man is what matters. To that end, it is important for you to know that as a visitor to our precious Pine Barrens, you should show respect for the flora and fauna, for the historical buildings or their remains, and show respect for the "locals". Walk and drive gently. Treat our Pine Barrens as you would want a visitor to treat your own home town - and your own family. Thank you.

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