On June 5, which is now, in my schedule, State Parks Tuesday, Barb Spector, my dedicated State Parks Program buddy and Blizzard my white Lab, set off for Jackson New Jersey for the Forest Resource Education Center in Jackson, NJ. We have finished all the State Parks in South Jersey and are now exploring those in Central Jersey. This turned out to be one of the simpler parks to find and we were greeted by a beautiful education center and a friendly State Park guide who gave us a brief overview of the trails and the center.
Inside the circular main room there is a tree, decorated with preserved animals such as squirrels, owls, and at the ground level, a fox, and other small ground mammals. It is an impressive sight, even to someone like me who finds taxidermied animals sad. The living ones are so magical, when dead and stuffed, they just seem like dead furniture
After a look around, we headed out to the trails. One in particular interested me an "overlook" that promised a view of Tom's River. We hiked the white trail, the blue trail and any other trail that looked trod upon. We found lovely vistas, seating areas for comtemplation of the forest beauty, and a cheery little stream, but had to return to the education center to inquire where we were going wrong in finding the overlook over the Tom's River. Kindly, our guide explained that the small stream was the Tom's River at this location near where it starts. What a surprise to a Delaware, Maurice and Mullica River habitue like myself. That was the most notable thing at this park to me other than the above listed attractions. We also stopped by an irrigation pond and passed through the tree planting area.
Note: If you go, pass the tree planting "office" area, and continue up the dirt road to find the education center. It is my habit to call to make sure dogs are welcome before I go to a State Park, so far they have always been welcomed, and I generally ask (after several unexpected detours at other parks) if there is anything I should know about locating the visitor's center. The same kind guide told me to follow the road past the office and over the bridge to the education center. There isn't a sign. I would strongly recommend this visit to anyone who likes the woods and I would suggest you bring a picnic lunch.