"Pine Barrens Haven" Atsion by KiKitC
Atsion Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 28 photos
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 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.
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: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...
Looking to get further away, and feel what it would be like traveling these stage roads as it wasin the 1800s? Try some... more travel advice
From the Atsion Ranger Station (once the town's general store), one can explore the trails by car, horse, bike or foot.... more travel advice
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Atsion Travel Guide
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