beautiful swamp views, well maintained trail system, nice river area.
Long Bridge County Park – Hainspoirt, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: 2.5 miles of trails (I did 3 miles by being a little OCD and walking every bit of every trail, which required some overlap)
Type: Intersecting loops and lollipops.
Difficulty: 2 of 10.
Terrain – woods, marsh, river.
Trailheads – 39° 59.528’N, 74° 48.909’W
Directions: County Road 541, Hainesport, NJ 08036
Markings – Trails well marked with posts and painted blazes. Signs at every intersection.
Surface: everything at some point – wood bridges, gravel, dirt, grass, sand, pavement.
Description: It was just too nice today to go home and take care of the house, so it was exploring time instead! This is a very nice park that has no idea what it’s doing. It has every type of trail except sheer rock – boardwalk, mud, dirt, sand, gravel, paved, stone, and grass. It will be a hardwood forest one second, a glimpse of the pine barrens the next. It has trails that are super finished (yellow trail) and trails that are rustic (orange trail). It feels like a million miles away, and also goes almost into people’s backyards. It has rough benches and super-nice picnic area pavilions.
Fortunately, I had a pretty awesome case of ADD, so I took it in stride. I decided to walk every bit of every trail, because it was 65 degrees out today and I really didn’t want to get to back into the car, and so I did. A more reasonable hike would be thus (probably around two miles, use the map to help you!):
From the parking lot, cross the road onto the red trail and take the trail perpendicular to the road. This will quickly put you on a lovely, recycled bridge.
At the first intersection, take a right to stay on the red trail. Check for the bench on the right, across from the picnic area. There is a nice swamp to check out.
Backtrack to the intersection that you just left and take the blue trail this time. Almost immediately, take the orange trail to the right.
This will lead you down a nice bit of wooded section. Keep an eye out for the wildlife blind on the left, and maybe check it out.
The orange trail will go near the baseball fields, then loop around for the payoff – the swamp. Swamps are awesome.
At the end of the orange trail, make left onto the blue trail, then stay right at the fork (both left and right fork are blue trail). This will keep you near the river/swamp areas. There are a few decent views on the right side through the trees.
Just for fun, the blue trail will again intersect with, you guessed it, the blue trail. At a “t”. Meaning the blue trail goes three directions. You want to take a right toward the gravel, which will almost immediately link up with the yellow trail. Make a right onto the yellow trail, then stay right at the immediately split. You’ll walk the yellow trail trail in a loop back to where the trail split. This section might be the nicest in the park, culminating with a great view of the Rancocas Creek proper.
When you get back to the yellow trail, stay right to backtrack where you’ve been, hitting that gravel intersection where the blue trail came in. This time, stay on the yellow trail. In a short bit, you’ll intersect with the orange trail again. I suggest taking a left onto the orange trail, because this was the most “rugged” section of trail I came across (rugged is a relative term, my two year old would easily be able to do this without taxing himself). It’s a nice, wooded bit with a bit of a hill to the right side of you.
At the end of this, you’ll be at the same blue/orange/red intersection that you hit at the very beginning of your hike. Make the right onto the red trail, walk back across the bridge, and you’ll be back at the parking lot.
Or feel free to completely ignore my suggestions and go your own way. It’s a nice park to explore!