cran-sauceOctober is Pine Barrens month! Cranberries are also harvested this month.  Come check out all that the Pine Barrens has to offer during the month of October and throughout the year.


Pinelands Short Course – Burlington County College, Pemberton
Burlington County College’s Pinelands Institute for Natural and Environmental Sciences (PINES) in conjunction with the New Jersey Pinelands commission sponsor the Annual Pinelands Short Course.  The  program has new speakers each year and offers over 25 courses, several field trips, 2 all-day bus tours, Pinelands exhibits and demonstrations. Contact Pinelands Commission or PINES for date and information.

Blueberry Festival – Whitesbog Village
Come celebrate the blueberry! Enjoy Pinelands folk music, great festival food, walking/wagon tours, country crafts, local artists, lectures, exhibits, lots of activities for children, an old-time general store, all in a 1920’s company town. Indulge in the the state fruit of New Jersey – the blueberry. Historic Whitesbog Village is the birthplace of the cultivated blueberry, thanks to the work of Elizabeth C. White. Celebrate our blueberry heritage at this old fashioned, South Jersey Country Festival!


Last weekend of the month – Ocean County Decoy and Gunning Show
This two-day annual event draw record crowds as local artisans exhibit their wares and put on demonstrations. Held at the Tuckerton Seaport and Tip Seaman Park, shuttle buses carry the record number of folks from ample parking lots to the exhibition areas where they can watch actual decoy carving as well as many other fare. Leased dogs are welcome, as well. It is also the site of the New Jersey Finals for the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest.



1st Saturday of the month – Fall Forestry Festival– Jackson Forest Reserve
The Fall Forestry Festival is an annual festival held by the NJ Forest Service’s Forest Resource Education Center, features over 40 nature themed exhibits, hikes, programs, and activities. Explore the pinelands forest and discover unique plants and creatures on interpreter led hikes. Get crafty and paint a pumpkin or make a wooden Smokey helicoptor. Use your detective skills to find the cause of a wildfire. See foresters turn logs into lumber on sawmill and basket makers, chainsaw carvers, and traditional wood carvers demonstrate artistic uses for wood. The Fall Forestry Festival combines fun and learning for a enjoyable outing for the whole family. Free parking, and admission. There is no reservation or fee for programs or activities. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring insect repellent. Refreshments will be available to purchase.

1st Sunday of the month – Cattus Island Nature Festival – Toms River
Featuring artisans, musicians, crafts and education about the Pine Barrens. Free admission and parking.

2nd Saturday of the month – Pine Barrens Jamboree – Waretown
Started in 1995, Wells Mills Park plays host each October to a variety of Piney crafters, artisans and musicians. Bus tours are offered to the Forked River Mountains while other attendees kayak, canoe, watch sawmill demonstrations or snack on the wonderful food offerings. Free admission and parking. For more information about the Jamboree, call Wells Mills County Park at 609-971-3085.

3rd weekend of the month – Chatsworth Cranberry Festival – Chatsworth
The Cranberry Festival is a celebration of New Jersey’s cranberry harvest, the 3rd largest in the United States, and offers a tribute to the Pine Barrens & local culture. The main attraction is the diverse showing of many artists & craftsmen, some of which will also be demonstrating their crafts as well as displaying them for sale. Admission to the festival is FREE.

Throughout the Year

j1Jeep Jamboree
This Jamboree is a Select Jamboree – catered meals include dinner on Friday and Saturday. A variety of trails will be available during the Pine Barrens Jeep Jamboree. Trails wind through low-lying forest and swamps which consist of predominately sandy soil. Some of these trails are old non-maintained local roads and some are fire roads. The fire roads were installed to provide access to Wharton State Forest in the event of a forest fire. Keep your eyes open for the wide variety of birds native to this forest such as bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, pine warblers (yellow and green) and the barred owl. The barred owl is active during the day (unlike other species) and has a call that sounds like “WHO COOKS FOR YOU.” The timber rattlesnake (the only poisonous snake in the forest) and the pine snake (black and white) also call the Wharton State Forest home. Cranberries are cultivated in sand-covered bogs that can be flooded or drained at will. Flooding protects the vines from frosts and freezing weather and destroys insect pests. We will pass cranberry bogs along the trail.