Part of the Pinelands National Reserve, this pond was formerly used as a cranberry bog and later purchased by Andrew J. Rider, founder of Rider University.
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Brad Stanek, 29, who commuted between home on Long Beach Island and college in Philly, says the closing of the tower, which he's climbed a dozen times, is a 'bummer.' From this point in the heart of the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve, one can see the skylines of both Philadelphia and Atlantic City on a clear day, and the tower is used to observe the most fragile part of the 1.1 million-acre ecosystem, giving a high vantage point to spot forest fires.
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John Volpa, education director of Pinelands Adventures, discusses the history and ecology of the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve near the remains of a concrete barn built by Joseph Wharton in the late 1800s. The significance of this barn is that it is built of concrete, a rare building material at the time, which was used to protect against fires.
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The remains of Hampton Furnace, one of many furnaces in the area used to process bog iron. The remains are deteriorating and frequently vandalized.
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A piece of pig iron that was created by processing bog iron in one of the area's many furnaces, left. Pinelands Adventures is located on the banks of Lake Atsion at 1005 Atsion Road in Shamong, New Jersey.
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With more than 500 miles of unpaved roads in the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve, it is extremely easy to get lost, as most of the landscape looks very similar.
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John Volpa, education director of Pinelands Adventures, holds a copy of John McPhee's book 'The Pine Barrens.'