Ticks, ticks and ticks, oh my. Whatever other information I read about Wells Mills County Park in Ocean County was blurred out by the redundant warnings of ticks in the park. I’ve always hated insects. Blood-sucking insects scare me even more. For a moment, I thought about skipping Wells Mills, or putting it off until next December when it might be under a foot of snow. However, since we were in the area and I want to complete all of the hikes on my list, we loaded up with insect repellent and drove to Waretown, NJ.
I can’t tell you much about the trail because, well, we booked it. Despite having a small group including my little brother Finn, we finished the 3.5 mile Green Trail in less than an hour and a half. I think we were all anxious about ticks and eager to push through it. Also, Finn wasn’t so eager to come hiking in the first place. As soon as he got the trail map, he named himself leader and sped off into the woods.
Perhaps our fearful motivation paid off because as of this time, after several thorough reviews, neither the people nor dogs came out with a single tick! Enough about ticks and more about the Pine Barrens…
We took the Green Trail which a Park ranger told us would be the most scenic. The trail goes in a loop and is extremely easy to follow. The terrain alternates between a bed of soft pine needles, sand and boardwalk. The boardwalks take you through swamps and the pine trees surround you through the whole trail. There is also an option to hike an 8.4 mile White Trail. We saw a few cross-country runners, but not many other hikers.
In short, the Pine Barrens were beautiful, but I will not be back.