I’m not really a careful hiker. My usual idea of being prepared for a hike is “I keep sneakers in the car.” But, Jamesburg Conservation Area isn’t really what I’d call a park. It’s more of a swampy, bug-infested patch of trees with trails kinda-sorta carved out. I avoid it when it’s humid because of the gnats and ticks, but now that it’s fall, it’s conveniently located, and there’s a lot of forested area to explore. The trailheads are well-masked, so not too many people know it’s there, which speaks to the introvert in me. But, it’s definitely a long pants sort of place, and I’m considering finding a cap to toss in the car for my Jamesburg days. As things stand, I mostly just take extra care to pat myself down before getting back in the car after my walk.

Still, you do find some rare gems. That little board comes out to a view of the back end of Helmetta Lake (though the first set of boards are pretty wobbly, so crossing requires a bit of care if you don’t want to be ankle deep in mud) that you probably can’t see from any other angle, for example.

for more photos of this walk, visit my instagram @sonicshel.

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