Parvin State Park is located at 701 Almond Rd., Pittsgrove, NJ
It is one of my favorite parks and in general, I am there hiking with my dog and a friend once a week or every two weeks - more often in the winter. The trail we take is about 3 miles, or one hour. The people are friendly, the rangers helpful and it is a perfect length of trail (and there is a good bathroom!).
My friends and I usually bring a picnic lunch and there are tables. If you want to camp there, you can rent cabins, shelters or spots for tents. There is a lake and a beach too.
Along the trail you'll find a display of information boards on the Civilian Conservation Corps. The workers dredged (BY HAND) Thundergust Lake which was Filled up with fallen trees and debris. They re-built the bridge, and they built the Ranger Station. There is much more information available - I think the Ranger Station even has an essay they will let you read if you show interest.
As you may be aware, there are NO natural lakes in South Jersey, all of them are man-made in regard to shipping of products from the mills and in regard to running the mills themselves from water power. You can see the dam that creates Thundergust Lake at Parvin. Many of the products shipped on the waterways involved cutting the forests. The trees were cut for fuel to run the iron and glass industries, to make charcoal and the wood was cut for building supplies.
Just yesterday while 3 friends and I enjoyed a day in Millville, I was reminded via Captain Dave Sherer's lecture on his boat trip down the Maurice River, of how much cutting of the trees took place. The very landing where Captain Dave's boat is moored was once called 'shingle landing' because all the cedar trees were cut for housing shingles and great boat loads went up the river on schooners called coasters because they could lift the center boards to manage the shallow draws of inland rivers.
So we can thank the Civilian Conservation Corps for replanting the trees harvested from our original forests, and we can doubly thank the far seeing individuals who saved those patches of forest we have left.
Happy Labor Day - I promise I will get to pay honor to Peter J. Maguire's grave sometime this weekend!
Happy Trails, Jo Ann