Three of us (plus a dog) are planning to paddle the Mullica River from Atsion to Pleasant Mills the last weekend in April. We’ll be in two solo canoes and a kayak. This will be the first trip to the Pine Barrens for all of us. We already have the guide book, but it’s in possession of one of the other guys for now.
Here are my questions…
Will we see a lot of people in late April? More specifically, will getting a camping spot at the campground be a problem?
Are dogs permitted at the campground?
Any other thoughts about paddling the Mullica (especially in late April?)
Dog is fine… It has been years since I paddled that river but I remember it starts out narrow. Even your kayaker may want to use a single blade otherwise the double tangles lots of twigs and brings them into the boat or you out. If the water is high there will be head banging logs… if low you may have to pull over log… My big concern is as the season really has not started there may be unexpected sweepers in the river.
The campsites are huge… More likely you will share with equestrians than canoeing hordes.
I just got back from the pine barrens. We did the Mullica and several other day trips. You shouldn’t have too many problems with blowdowns. There are several duck unders. There are things on every bend, so it will be easy to be swept into things if you are a reactive paddler, instead of proactive. The river is very narrow for the first mile, so kayakers will be ruddering a lot.
The outfitter was gearing up, but it shouldn’t be too crowded yet. We were the only paddlers on all the rivers we visited.
In the campground, there is a specific loop for dog owners, dogs aren’t allowed at all campsites. So, you’ll have to make your reservations accordingly. The office at Atsion wasn’t opened when we were there, so you need to go to Batsto Village (right beside Pleasant Mills) to get your camping paperwork.
I did this trip about a month ago and it was great! we were not able to get a campsite at Mullica River since everything was closed except Atison. So we did a much shorter trip: Quaker Bridge to Batsto Village. It was a day trip and was awesome, with a team of four. We camped nearby Batsto village in a site we rented on Tentrr.com it was land from a former saw mill. I’d like to go back after the pandemic and do the longer route you mentioned and camp at mullica. we went by the mullica river campground and it looked really nice.
I know this is after the fact, but just an FYI. I live in the Pinelands and travel these waters regularly. A good source of information and options is Pinelands Adventures.
Isn’t April when most of the Jersey Devil sightings are? Sounds like a fun trip.