"A Window into Pine Barrens Industries."
The natural environment of cedar forest and rapidly flowing fresh, pure waters of Cedar Creek provided both raw materials and waterpower for an extensive lumber industry from the 1700s to the 1900s. As timber was cut, the cleared swampland created bog habitat ideal for growing cranberries. The first cranberry bogs were planted at Double Trouble Village in the 1860s. By the 20th century, the Double Trouble Company was one of the largest cranberry operations in the state. The cranberry industry ended at Double Trouble Village in the early 21st century. Today, this Pine Barrens "ghost town" is the heart of Double Trouble State Park and is administered by Brendan T. Byrne State Forest.
Located on the eastern edge of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, Double Trouble Village State Historic Site provides a window into Pine Barrens industry with a complete company town, sawmill and cranberry sorting and packing house. Its natural resources are characterized by thousands of acres of undisturbed woodlands and the pristine waters of Cedar Creek.
The Double Trouble Historic District occupies over 200 acres and includes the village and surrounding bogs. The natural environment of cedar forest and rapidly flowing stream provided both raw materials and waterpower for an extensive lumber industry from the 1700s to the 1900s. As timber was cut, the cleared swampland created bog habitat ideal for growing cranberries, which began at Double Trouble Village in the 1860s. By the 20th century, the Double Trouble Company was one of the largest cranberry operations in the state. The cranberry industry ended at Double Trouble Village in the early 21st century.
Double Trouble Village was typical of company towns built in the Pine Barrens. These isolated communities were entirely self-sufficient and totally dependent on the success of the particular industry. The restored sawmill and cranberry packing house are open during guided tours and contain nearly intact equipment. Those two buildings were the focus of life and work in the village, which also includes a late 19th century one room schoolhouse, general store, bunk house, cook house, shower house, maintenance shop, pickers’ cottages and the foreman’s house. Several marked trails follow old service roads past former cranberry bogs and reservoirs before looping back to the historic village.
There are conflicting stories behind the origin of “Double Trouble.” Thomas Potter is often credited with giving this area the name in the 1770s when heavy rains damaged the earthen dam on the mill pond twice in one season, causing first trouble and then double trouble. A more colorful legend involves local beaver or muskrats that persisted in gnawing at the dam, which caused frequent leaks. Such leaks gave rise to the alarm "Here's trouble," upon which workmen would rush to repair the leak. One day two breaks were discovered, and one worker overheard the shout "Here's double trouble." The name was already in use by the late 1700s. In 1909, Edward Crabbe formed the Double Trouble Company to market lumber, blueberries, and cranberries. The company dissolved in 1964 and the property was acquired by the state for use as a park. The 205-acre Double Trouble Historic District (National Register Reference #78001787) was established in 1978.
The Double Trouble Village State Historic Site offers educational programs for school districts, such as guided village tours with static exhibits inside the restored sawmill and cranberry packing house and public tours and nature programs. Please contact the interpretive staff for information.
Here are some activities you can do at home:
The Cedar Creek watershed lies mostly in Berkeley and Lacey Townships and drains an area of 54.3 square miles. Waterways within the Cedar Creek watershed include Cedar Creek, Webbs Mill Branch, Chamberlain Branch, Daniels Branch, Newbolds Branch, Factory Branch, Deep Hollow Branch, Huckleberry Branch and several other unnamed tributaries of the Cedar Creek. Cedar Creek drains into Barnegat Bay and is part of the Barnegat Bay Watershed Management Area.
Like most Pine Barrens streams, the water of Cedar Creek is “tea colored” because of tannic acid from the roots of the cedars lining the riverbanks. This pristine water gave Cedar Creek the alternate name of Clear Brook in the late-18th century. Cedar Creek supplied both waterpower and raw material for several early industries, including lumber mills, iron furnaces, cranberry bogs and blueberry fields. It now provides the water required for cranberry culture and supplies a pure source of water for wildlife. Adjacent bogs and uplands provide examples of plants characteristic to the Pine Barrens.
All of Double Trouble Village’s marked trails either cross or offer viewing of Cedar Creek or its tributaries. Visitors to Double Trouble State Park may canoe or kayak Cedar Creek as it winds its way through the park and historic district.
Double Trouble State Park offers over 8 miles of official, blazed trails. Most trails around the historic village and old cranberry bogs are fairly flat and follow sand roads. With the exception of a section of the Nature Trail, as it passes through a cedar swamp and across Cedar Creek between Lower Hooper Bog and Sweetwater reservoir, all blazed trails are multi-use (hiking, biking, horse-back riding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing). Horseback riding and mountain biking are permitted on existing sand roads only; mountain bikers and geo-cachers are asked to refrain from creating rogue trails. Please use caution around the cranberry bogs and reservoirs. No ATVs or motorized vehicles. Pets must be on a leash (6 feet or less in length) at all times and owners must clean up after their pets.
The Dover Forge Walk-In Area is the site of a former bog iron forge and cranberry bogs. Visitors may tour Dover Forge’s unmarked 1/3-mile walking trail to a scenic overview of Cedar Creek.
Warning! Ticks may be present year-round. It is advisable to take precautions and check yourself closely for ticks after visiting the park.
A Special Use Permit is utilized to accommodate a specific activity or event being conducted over a short duration. There are two types of special use permits: Non-Commercial and Commercial and fees are based on NJ residency. A completed application must be submitted to the park/forest area where the activity or event is being held at least 90 days prior to the event. If the special use or event is extremely large or complex, at least one-year’s prior notice is recommended. Please contact park office for additional information.
The proliferation of portrait photography at the Double Trouble Village State Historic Site has resulted in irreparable damage to the historic buildings and grounds. Help protect this federally recognized historic district. Double Trouble Village is not a portrait studio – please enjoy the historic buildings as they are. Nothing may be attached to the historic buildings, even temporarily. No prop may be used on a historic building. Any prop utilized on the village grounds must be small, free standing and unobtrusive. All props must be removed from park. No glitter, confetti or fake snow. The Packing House loading dock is posted Keep Off. Photography may not interfere with other visitors to the historic village or impede park operations. All fee-based portrait photography is an organized activity and/or commercial use of this state park that requires a special use permit including a certificate of insurance.
Facilities for People with Disabilities
We encourage people with disabilities who require special considerations to contact the historic site / park at the phone number listed in the general information on the home page of the historic site / park. The staff will assist with arrangements. Text telephone (TT) users, please call the NJ Relay Services at 800-852-7899.
For the Comfort and Enjoyment of All
This historic site / park is part of the NJ State Park system and your cooperation with the following will help ensure the survival of the museum collections, historic structures & features and surrounding property for the enjoyment and education of future generations!
Please contact this historic site / park with specific inquiries about any of these restrictions, as there may be some variations at this specific historic site / park.
Interpretive Staff: 732-341-4098
Brendan T. Byrne State Forest Office: 609-726-1191
Maintenance Shop: 732-341-6662
581 Pinewald Keswick Road
Bayville, New Jersey 08721
c/o Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
P.O. Box 215
New Lisbon, NJ 08064
Grounds Hours 8:00 a.m. to dusk
Entrance Fee None