"Pine Barrens Haven" Atsion by KiKitC

Atsion Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 28 photos

Booming Pine Barrens Industrial Town...in 1800s

The pine barrens of New Jersey played a vital role in our country's tumultous history. Offering the natural resources needed for iron production, lumber, terra cotta and more, this desolate, isolated area gave rise to numerous company towns. These industry towns saw rise and ruin over time. Atsion was one of the most profitable and impressive in the barrens history.

Atsion is now a sleepy, historical stop in Pine Barrens History. A place where people enjoy swimming, kayaking, hiking, riding and more...Atsion is the first stop of our historical tour.

Just off of 206 in Shamong Township...this is our favorite place to hit the trails as well...

In 1766, Charles Read dammed the Atsion River and established the Atsion ironworks. By 1820, the town was in ruins and Read faced foreclosure proceedings. Samuel Richard bought the company and by 1824 the ironworks was reopened, and saw it's highest levels of production.

Richards built the mansion that still stands just off 206 in Shamong Township. He lived here until his death in 1842, which happens to coincide with the discovery of a better grade of iron ore in Pennsylvania. With the demand for south Jersey iron died out, so did the ironworking industry in the area. As a result, the timber industry, charcoal industry and other supporting industries shut down. The employees, now unemployed, left this barren land for work elsewhere. Industries that depended on the employees, such as grocers, inns, bakers, blacksmiths could not survive.

Atsion, like many other iron towns became a ghost town.

If I'm ever missing, start looking from here...

If you've visited any of my other NJ pages, you may have surmised that I love getting "lost in the pines" of south Jersey. I don't know why, maybe it's just a little of the "Jersey Devil" in me.

What does the "Jersey Devil" look like?

Long before they took to the ice...hehehe

Really. The "Jersey Devil" was a scare tactic created by moonshine runners, that used the cover of the pine barrens to transport their goods. With the impact of the railroad on the local area, the beauty of the pines was accessible to more people...making it riskier to run the goods. So...create the story of this "devil" to try and keep tourists out of the woods at night...very clever...

You can take a leisurely cruise down the creeks, or hit the trails. There are trails for all kinds of explorers, from hiking and horses, to BMX and ATV.

So, if I'm ever missing...just pick a trail and follow the tire marks...

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:500 miles of unpaved roads to explore
  • Cons:500 miles of unpaved roads to explore
  • In a nutshell:I've got maps and a GPS...let's go...
  • Last visit to Atsion: Aug 2008
  • Intro Updated Nov 17, 2008
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Reviews (9)

Comments (16)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    That Jeep sure gets a work out, and to think there is 500 miles of rough back country. Wow. Great pictures.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2010 at 3:21 AM

    Hi, Christine ! You make great trips!

  • MD2nd's Profile Photo
    Nov 24, 2009 at 1:57 AM

    Happy belated Birthday, Christine, and best of wishes. Maria

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    Great tips on how to go about seeing the backwoods! Excellent shots of the ups and downs of off-roading too!

  • vinc_bilb's Profile Photo
    Sep 15, 2009 at 7:53 AM

    No tips about nightlife?? He, I'm wondering why ... May be only mosquitos hunting party? (I'm kidding). I'm "admiratif" (in French)

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    Excellent tips on hiking in the woods, Christine. Love the SUV tips and the pictures say it all. Good warning on tick repellent & Lyme's Disease .

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2009 at 3:06 PM

    Very good warning tips about Lyme's Disease Christine. My friends brother hikes all the time and he contracted it. It is better now, but for awhile it was up and down. Nice page!

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2009 at 4:17 AM

    Interesting Atsion page with lovely photographs! Exploring the trails by SUV sounds wonderful and interesting to us. Thanks for sharing. ~ho & pang

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2009 at 4:12 AM

    Another good page.....but not for me, my husband would love it.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    May 7, 2008 at 7:54 AM

    What a fabulous introduction. Excellent warnings. Love your pictures which get "down and dirty" [with mud that is] LOL

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