The Batona 50 is point to point race with 53.4 mile and 50k options. The course follows the path of The Batona Trail. The trail derives its name similar to but not exactly in the format of an acronym: BAck TO NAture. It makes its way through the NJ Pinelands National Reserve from the north end at Ong’s Hat in Brendan T. Byrne State forest to the southern end at Lake Absegami in Bass River State Forest. Along the way it takes you on a tour through the heart of Wharton State Forest passing Batsto Village and numerous campgrounds.The trail is pretty typical of South Jersey trails in that it is a reflection of the common sandy soils of the coastal plains, resulting in high sand content and sandy trails. The second common feature of trails in Southern NJ and the landscape in general is a lack of elevation change. The Batona Trail shares the nearly total absence of climbs and descents with the rest of the landscape in the region with only 530’ of elevation gain recorded by my Garmin for the entirety of the trail.
|One of the stretches of narrow boards.|
crossed earlier and knew for certain that we had made a wrong turn. We got back on the trail, running a section we had already run, a little frustrated that we had probably just added about an extra one mile loop to the final stretch of the course. We got back to the point where we made the wrong turn and I immediately realized how we had both messed it up. What looked like an arrow pointing left where the trail met the fire road was actually an arrow directing hikers from the opposite direction onto the trail we had just come from. If either of us had looked to the right at that point we would have seen that the trail was clearly blazed in that direction. Clearly both of us were feeling the effects of the miles that we had logged already. Thankfully, that was the only wrong turn we made.
Lake Absegami at the south end of the trail.
November 10, 2016