Friendship Bogs


Friendship Bogs are easily accessible from Carranza Road and East Sandy Ridge Road. In fact, just about every access road to the right for the next mile as you head south takes you directly to one of the bogs. Unfortunately, some of these road are overgrown, may be uneven and have deep puddles of water. A four-wheel drive vehicle is highly recommended, unless you plan on going in on foot.


The Main Bogs


On my November 22, 2008 trip out to the Pine Barrens I was determined to get to the main bogs. Initially I had planned to pass between through an adjacent bog close to Friendship, but I found the causeway blocked by high water. I located a better entrance on the Carranza Road s-curve at the north end of the bog system. From there I was able to walk along an access road that circumnavigates the entire bog area. Reference the markers on the map below.


The satellite image shows the sheer size of the main cranberry bog area. One thing is certain, there is a beauty in this place as it slowly reverts back to nature.


Googe Earth satellite view


Marker #1: 11/22/2008
The first bog. The water is beginning to freeze in places.
Marker #1: 11/22/2008
At the end of the first bog looking back along the access road.
Marker #2: 11/22/2008
The second bog.
Marker #3: 10/31/2008
These cedars must be at least 100 feet tall.
Marker #3: 10/31/2008
This is the closest bog to Friendship.
 

With no commitments of any kind, I took a spur of the moment trip to the Pine Barrens on January 1, 2009. It was bitterly cold, but I was determined to see a bit more of the main bogs than I had on the last trip. The access road at the end of the third bog quickly turned into an overgrown path that was nearly inaccessible. Unless you are a Ben Ruset-style bushwhacker, I would never attempt this during other months of the year. The typical hazards of ticks, chiggers and briars would be enough to discourage anyone from following this part of the path around the bogs.


Marker #1: 01/01/2009
Looking across the end of the first and second bogs in winter.
Marker #4: 01/01/2009
There is very little open water at the lower end of the third bog, most of it being cedar swamp.
Marker #5: 01/01/2009
The best view of the fourth bog was from the overgrown causeway between the fourth and fifth bogs. The cedar swamp of the third bog is in the background.
Marker #5: 01/01/2009
An unused bird's nest on the causeway between the fourth and fifth bogs.
Marker #5: 01/01/2009
The best view of the fifth bog was from same overgrown causeway between the fourth and fifth bogs. The sixth bog is in the distance.
Marker #5: 01/01/2009
The fourth and fifth bogs are mostly open and have not reverted to cedar swamp.

 


The Lower Bogs


My first view of the old bogs was on October 31, 2008. A short road off East Sandy Ridge led me to the point identified by Marker #1 on the map below.



Lower bogs


Marker #1: 10/31/2008
My first view of the lower bogs.
Marker #1: 10/31/2008
The large area of the lower bog.
Marker #1: 10/31/2008
Another angle of the smaller area of the lower bog.
Marker #1: 10/31/2008
The lower bogs.
Marker #1: 10/31/2008
Just imagine what it was like to harvest cranberries here long ago.
Marker #1: 10/31/2008
The lower bogs.

 


A winter exploration of the same bog took place on January 22, 2011.


Marker #1: 01/22/2011
The bog is frozen solid. I was out on the ice for this shot.
Marker #1: 01/22/2011
The bog is frozen solid. I was out on the ice for this shot.
Marker #1: 01/22/2011
The bog is frozen solid. This wooden contraption was on the far side.

 


Another exploration of the lower bogs area took place on July 19, 2009. Part of the difficulty in reaching some of these bogs is due to the access roads and berms are overgrown from decades of disuse.



Lower bogs


Marker #1: 07/19/2009
The berm to reach this water holding area was practically impassable.
Marker #2: 07/19/2009
You don't realize just how expansive these bogs are until you walk around them. Imagine the work involved in harvesting carnberries here sixty years ago.
Marker #2: 07/19/2009
Blueberries once cultivated in this area now grow wild (and good tasting).

East Sandy Ridge Road Views


There was a certain beauty that I nearly missed in the swampy area between the bogs on East Sandy Ridge Road. As I was driving back from Alloway's Farm something caught my eye that was worth stopping for a better look. These shots were taken at Marker #2 on the map above.


Marker #2: 09/20/2008
Fungii in the swampy area along East Sandy Ridge Road.
Marker #2: 09/20/2008
Former cranberry bogs off East Sandy Ridge Road.
Marker #2: 09/20/2008
Former cranberry bogs off East Sandy Ridge Road.
Marker #2: 09/20/2008
Former cranberry bogs off East Sandy Ridge Road.
   

 

Home | Top