Indian Mills, Markers, Caches, a Batona Hike

06-03-25 Indian Mills, Markers, Caches, A Batona Hike

I spent a couple hours cleaning up a few spots in and around Wharton. My primary focus was to capture the flag out on Stokes Road in Indian Mills. Once I had that in hand, I cut down Willow Grove Road to head into the forest.

Along my drive down Willow Grove, I spotted several markers that I photographed.


Hartford School Site
Stokes Road
Indian Mills, NJ
39.798483 -74.760483
It’s been a while since I have been on the paved part of Stokes. 🙂 I spotted the sign for the Hartford School. Interesting. I noticed this sign, like the Brotherton one, is made with lettering that peels off. Neither sign is holding up well to the elements.

This site appears to be just farmland now. Nothing of particular interest, other than the marker, is there to see.


Red Mens Hall
Stokes & Willow Grove Roads
Indian Mills, NJ
39.79225 -74.7563

At the corner of Stokes and Willow Grove is Red Mens Hall. It appears the hall has been restored recently. The sign out front is curled at the end. It is unclear to me whether or not the building is still in use. Perhaps it is a private residence.


Brainerd
Willow Grove Road
Indian Mills, NJ
39.792766 -74.747383

This is the site of Rev. Brainerd who was around on the Brotherton Reservation.

US Gennet bio


Saw Mill
Willow Grove Road
Indian Mills, NJ
39.792883 -74.74735

Across the street from Brainerd’s dwelling is the site of the saw mill.

Country Store
Willow Grove & Forked Neck Roads
Indian Mills, NJ

There is a marker for the country store on the corner here. I did not stop to photograph it but will on another visit to the area.


Carranza Memorial
Carranza Road
Tabernacle, NJ
39.777616 -74.632433

This is the site that Emilio Carranza’s plane crashed in 1928. He was trying to fly nonstop from New York to Mexico. He didn’t make it. This memorial was erected in honor of him and his flight. Last year the memorial was defaced and covered. It has been cleaned up and unwrapped, although one can still see remnants of the graffiti.

This location is a meeting place, of sorts, in Wharton State forest. There are many geocaches in the area. The Batona Trail (and campground) is right here. The trail will lead one up to Apple Pie Hill or one can cut down to Hampton Furnace from here. The paved Carranza Road ends up a little and then becomes a washboard (usually) on the journey to Friendship and Eagle.

As I darted up to the campground, there was a pickup being dragged out of a sand rut by a Wrangler with a winch. I waited and watched this. Makes me want a Wrangler with a winch. It appears the scouts had taken over the campground for the weekend. I darted up and grabbed a cache I had somehow missed when I cleared out the area a while ago. Walked right to it as I spotted the location from the road.

After that I spent some time on the Batona. I am looking for a place for a cache. I didn’t find anything, but had a good hearty hike. While I love hiking up this way in the fall, right now it is beautiful too. One could easily hear the water run along here.

I am still considering doing all 50 miles. It seems like it shouldn’t be that big of a thing. The pack weight is my biggest concern. And, of course, finding three days away from the family. I am always at odds with that. I don’t want to ever be away, but I really would like to the entire trail at once. Someday. Perhaps when Beetle is older I can drag her out with me. Ha!


Stamping Mill Site
Carranza Road
Tabernacle, NJ
39.80245 -74.67465

In all the years I have driven this road, it was not until today that I noticed this marker. Go figure. I have never explored right here, always opting for other locations further down toward Carranza, Friendship, etc. This marker and the Carranza Memorial were both placed by Tabernacle Township. I wonder if they have a database of their markers . . . most areas, surprisingly, do not.

I toyed with the idea of heading over to Winslow for a dp, but decided not to.

I picked up a few (several . . . many . . . geez, it was a larger list than I realized) of the caches I have flagged as “NI” along the way. Getting home on time is good and it allowed me to prepare properly for dinner. 🙂

Also blogged on this date . . .

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