How big are the New Jersey Pine Barrens?

Answered by Willian Lymon

The New Jersey Pine Barrens, also known as the Pinelands, is an expansive and remarkable area of open space that spans a vast 1.1 million acres. To put this into perspective, this covers about 22 percent of New Jersey’s entire land area. It is truly a sight to behold, with its vastness and natural beauty.

Exploring the Pine Barrens is like stepping into a different world. The sheer size of this area is awe-inspiring, and it feels like a true wilderness. As you venture deeper into the Barrens, you can’t help but be amazed by the endless stretches of pine trees and the peacefulness that surrounds you. It is a haven for nature lovers, offering diverse habitats and a wide range of flora and fauna.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Pine Barrens is its unique ecosystem. It is home to an array of plant and animal species, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. The ecosystem here is adapted to the acidic, sandy soils and frequent wildfires that shape the landscape. This creates a habitat that supports a variety of rare and endangered species, such as the Pine Barrens tree frog and the Pine Barrens gentian.

The Pine Barrens is not just a vast expanse of trees and wildlife; it also contains numerous rivers, streams, and wetlands. These water bodies are crucial for the region’s ecology, providing habitats for many aquatic species and serving as a recharge area for the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer, which supplies drinking water to millions of people in the surrounding region.

The expansiveness of the Pine Barrens also means that there are countless opportunities for outdoor activities and recreation. Whether you enjoy hiking, camping, birdwatching, or canoeing, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vast natural playground. Personally, I have had the pleasure of exploring some of the trails in the Pine Barrens, and each time, I am struck by the sheer size and beauty of this remarkable landscape.

The New Jersey Pine Barrens cover an enormous 1.1 million acres, accounting for 22 percent of the state’s land area. Its vastness, unique ecosystem, and diverse habitats make it a truly remarkable and captivating place to visit. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, an outdoor adventurer, or simply someone seeking tranquility in nature, the Pine Barrens offers an unforgettable experience.