So last week I stopped in a bike shop in the Philly PA area and was chatting with the store manager and he mentions that he along with some of his riding buddies have been going down to Wharton State Park down in southern NJ to get their fix of MTB riding. For those of you not from this area it has been a very tough winter and although the snow is finally melting all the local trails are a muddy unrideable mess. Wharton state park is in southern NJ close to the Jersey shore where the soil is very sandy and drains very well. So I had some free time today and decided to make the 1.5 hr drive to the park to get my off road fix. I head out on the longest loop which is nearly 20 miles and about 1.5 miles into the loop I begin to smell smoke. Another 1/4 mile I see smoke and then flames. Another 1/4 mile and the trail I'm on is literally on fire. Quickly turned around and bailed out onto a fire road and debated what to do / which way to head. It was a slow moving brush fire and I decided to see if I could work my way around the burning area which I was able to do by riding the fire road for another mile or so before rejoining the trail I was on. Was very glad I was able to get my ride in and when I got back to the parking lot I went into the visitors center to make sure they were aware of the fire. As it turns out I was informed that it was a controlled burn and the fire was intentionally set. So my question is why the park would not have signs informing visitors that a control burn was taking place and not block off trails that directly head into the burn area ???? Not saying it was a blazing inferno but the potential for someone to get hurt was real. I stopped in the visitor center before my ride to use the restroom and also passed a park ranger when I headed back out into the parking lot. No mention of a controlled burn, no signs, nada. The state parks lack of safety awareness was pretty mind blowing!!