Ghost Towns and ‘The Sopranos’ — A Drive Through The Pine Barrens Will Satisfy Your Spooky Soul

More than a backdrop for classic TV, it’s a land lost in time

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Cranberry bog off Route 563. All images by the author.

It’s a great destination for a fall or winter road trip, or photo safari.

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A woman in the Pine Barrens gathering cranberries before the Thanksgiving holiday, 2018. Image by the author.
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A drive through the area can turn up ghost towns, dirt roads with no posted speed limit, fallen factories, and towns named after one settler or family who are long deceased.

But this is not to say that the Pine Barrens are without pride, or industry. Cranberry farming is going strong, the Garden State’s sixth most valuable crop, bringing in $21.9 million a year. And each October, Chatsworth — a tiny town centered by a general store and once called the “Capital of the Pine Barrens” in Natonal Geographic — hosts a two-day Cranberry Festival that draws thousands.

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Cranberry bog in Speedwell. All images by the author.
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Marilyn, the proprietor, sadly passed away last year, but she and I had a nice chat about writing.
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Journalist & author of nerdy novel CARRIE PILBY (film version‘s on Netflix). Finishing up offbeat memoir. Love dogs & puns. Read more: http://carenlissner.com.

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