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Gateway to the Pines

By Linda Tancs

The small township of Tabernacle, New Jersey, bills itself as the Gateway to the Pines, referring to the Pine Barrens, an expanse of coastal plain in the southern part of the state. That said, there’s more to the Pine Barrens (or Pinelands) than pines (namely, Pitch Pine and Shortleaf Pine).  You’ll find Sassafras, Sour Gum, Atlantic White Cedar and Gray Birch, just to name a few. Did you know that wild orchids and carnivorous plants thrive there? The area offers bicycling, kayaking, walking, hiking camping, and ghost towns. Now through July 28 you can celebrate the magic of the Pinelands at the annual Pinelands Festival at Church of the Holy Eucharist. While you’re in the area, be sure to stop by the Pinelands Visitors Center in Southampton for maps and information on the people, life and culture of this ecological gem.

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