By Pat Gallen

MEDFORD, N.J. (CBS) – You may not realize it, but the Pine Barrens take up 1.1 million acres of land in New Jersey, or roughly 22 percent of the land area of the state.

That means it’s ripe for exploration, and Pinelands Adventures can help.

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“We take river trips on the Batsto and Mullica River. Most people that come go on a self guided trip,” said Pinelands Adventures Director Rob Ferber. “We also do a number of guided educational programs, so we have school tours, we have public guided tours, we do small group bus tours about Pine Barrens history, ecology and culture.”

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Now in their fourth season, Pinelands Adventures is part of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, which is dedicated to protecting the area. So there’s a learning aspect, but a physical challenge as well, with canoeing and kayaking. Volunteer Katie Green gets out here as often as she can.

“I actually recently got more into conservation and environmental things. It’s a really ecologically unique place,” said Green. “They taught me a lot about all the unique plants and wildlife we have here, and I like to just spread the word and let other people know because education is important.”

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A normal tour takes about two hours, and that’s just plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.