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State Closes One Shortcut For Canoes And Kayaks At Double Trouble

Edward Crabbe, who founded a cranberry and timber business on the Double Trouble tract after he bought it in 1904. The state purchased the tract in the early 1960s
Edward Crabbe, who founded a cranberry and timber business on the Double Trouble tract after he bought it in 1904. The state purchased the tract in the early 1960s

Some aren't happy with the state's recent decision to forbid motor vehicle traffic down the dusty sugar sand road in Double Trouble State Park's Historic District to the White Bridge canoe and kayak access.

But the move is necessary, said state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Bob Considine.

"There have been signs up in the park for years stating that only authorized vehicles can drive through the historic village, which is on the National Register of Historic Places," he said.

Visitors largely ignored the signs and the rule wasn't strictly enforced, Considine said.

"But with increased visitation at the park in recent years, we’ve had some serious concerns about the safety of our park visitors on foot after several near-misses by vehicles driving at high speeds on what’s basically a one-lane road that goes to and from the drop-off point at White Bridge," he said. "We’re also looking to better protect this historic village.",

A new gate has gone up to prevent access through the central historic site, Considine said.

"Visitors can – and do – still park in the general lot near the village and walk their vessels to the White Bridge access point," he said. "The walk is about 3/10th of a mile."

The state's decision didn't sit well with some park visitors on Memorial Day weekend.  A Facebook page with a petition has been created that already has over 900 "likes."

The Facebook page link is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Double-Trouble-State-Park-Locals-Lock-Out/269592409879826 .

"Governor Christie: Please understand what is happening to a large group of outdoor loving people who only want a safe access to a creek that many of us have enjoyed for decades," a statement on the Facebook page says.

The amount of parking on Memorial Day surpassed the demand and some who were parked illegally received tickets, Considine said.

There are still three canoe and kayak access locations in Double Trouble State Park that are free for users and two other areas convenient for car access at Dover Forge off Dover Road and Ore Pond off Pinewald-Keswick Road, he said.

"Parks and Forestry is now looking into developing a new drop-point at Double Trouble or increasing parking in an already established area in the near future, Considine said. "Once that is done, no unauthorized vehicles will drive through the historic village or drop off at White Bridge."

Two local canoe and kayak companies can still use the road to White Bridge. But they pay for a special use permit for a limited time during the year. Unlike some state parks, admission to Double Trouble has always been free.

Double Trouble's historic district was once the site of a burgeoning timber and cranberry business. The original cranberry sorting house can be seen from Pinewald-Keswick Road. The sawmill, store, bunkhouses and a number of other buildings are still in the park, testimony to a once-vibrant business.

Do you agree or disagree with the state's decision? Tell us in the comments section below:


 





Laura June 02, 2014 at 08:34 AM
They also gave out tickets at the girl scout camp where there are no signs that say no parking out anything of the sort. I see the concern with the "near-misses" and all but I definitely think it was conniving of them to just start issuing tickets out of the blue on memorial day weekend without any warning after letting people use the trail without consequence for years. They obviously saw it as a money-making opportunity and are sugar coating their decision with the illusion that they are actually concerned with our well-being. I also find nothing wrong with people having a few drinks while canoeing. It isn't hurting anybody and nor are the people who canoe of any burden to society. Some people are just out to get anybody they can though I guess! I think the state needs to pay some attention to the DECENT people who DON'T use prescription drugs and heroin and stop trying to take away or limit their very few sources of recreation. Even growing up in school they tell you to put your child in a recreational activity to keep them out of trouble... this applies to adults too! And with the economy the way it is us good people who work and pay to support ourselves and our families just don't have it to give right now. If I have to pay to go canoeing, Im not going... because I just can't afford it (and I know they speak of free but I'm sure they will find a way to charge us for parking after all is said and done). And that's a shame! What are we left to do? Feel like we're becoming more and more restricted every year. Might as well stick a needle in our arms I guess... Get the point?
d.m. June 02, 2014 at 06:44 PM
Yeah, the idea that only just responsible adults are gonna consume some drinks....nice to live in that phantasy world!, if you've never seen the police responding to incidents somewhere along the creek then you don't spend that much time there, discarded beer bottles and cans that's reality, cutting yer foot on broken glass yeah that's the reality
Eddie June 03, 2014 at 05:41 PM
There are always the few, who ruin it for the majority of the people, because they cannot follow the rules. This is a perfect example of that. We all may not like what the state has done, but with the increased use of Double Trouble SP it is only a matter of time when the FEW will really screw it up. Always where sneakers or some kind of foot protection, the FEW never thing about somebody stepping on their broken bottles when they are throwing them at a tree along the creek to break it. MORON's are among us, all over.
Laura June 07, 2014 at 07:54 AM
omg whatever yea no alcohol dint really care that was the tiniest part of the essay I wrote glad we all are focused on the big picture here.

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