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Piper’s Corner Preserve – Shamong, NJ
3
The Good

I SAW A FOX!!! The tractor is also pretty sweet.

The Could Be Better

Trail is little too close to the houses at points.

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Bottom Line

A nice little walk, but there are so many other good hikes near here that I wouldn’t make this a special trip (as the third hike in a day, it was a nice stop). On the other hand, a fox totally lives in this preserve, so go right now. Even if it’s dark out.

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Piper’s Corner Preserve – Shamong, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: No official listing, but I did 1.4 miles and missed two cut through trails
Type: Loop with some offshoots and cut throughs.
Difficulty: 2 of 10 (trail tricky to follow in places).
Total score: 1000  of 10 (because I saw a fox.)

Website – Rancocas Conservancy
Open – Sunrise to Sunset

Terrain – Pine forest

Trailheads –   39°49’55.05″N,  74°46’11.58″W

Look for "No Motor Vehicles" sign

Look for “No Motor Vehicles” sign

 

Directions:  Shawnee Lane, Shamong, NJ (also lists as Medford Lakes for some reason, but I’m almost positive it’s in Shamong… Google Maps is backing me up on this one)



Parking: Parking by the side of the road in a neighborhood.  Look for the “no motor vehicles” sign and the lady mowing her lawn.  Admittedly, she might not be mowing her lawn that day.

pipersparking

Markings – Mostly plastic trail markers nailed to trees.  Also some white paint used for blazing.

Map – The map on the website is definitely not up to date, here is my track of the trails I could find.  I did not take two blazed trails that cut straight through the loop.
pipersmap

Description:

This was third and final hike of ridiculous hike day.  With not much of a map and no mileage estimates, I had no idea what to expect.  What I ended up with is a unevenly maintained trail that doesn’t come close to following the map (for example: the map does not have the trail looping), which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Head in at the trailhead, following to the right of the chain link fence.  When you reach the end of the fence, you can turn right into the woods, or walk along the back end of the fence to the other part of the white trail.  I went right.

Heading in from the road.

Heading in from the road.

Go straight.

Go straight.

Reach a clearing at the end of the fence. Turn right onto the White Trail.

Reach a clearing at the end of the fence. Turn right onto the White Trail.

Welcome to the nature preserve.

Welcome to the nature preserve.

The white trail follows in a loop.

The white trail follows in a loop.

Pretty standard pine barrens landscape, but without a heavily used, well worn trail.

Pretty standard pine barrens landscape, but without a heavily used, well worn trail.

pipers07
pipers08
The white trail (which is a loop) will meet up with a yellow trail, which comes in at the right side.  Don’t take that trail, it doesn’t lead anywhere other than to another road.

See?

See?

Not much to see.

Not much to see.

Really not much to see.

Really not much to see.

And you end up here and have to turn around.

And you end up here and have to turn around.

Back to the white trail, it will curve around and enter an area with very little brush.  There’s some sort of shelter here (looks like a kid’s playfort), but mostly just open underbrush.  It can be tough to stay on trail here, keep alert for white markers or blazes.  First one yellow trail, then another will come in on the left.  These simply cut back to the field behind the fence. Push through a narrow part of trail and see an old tractor labeled “No hunting.”

Back to the white trail.

Back to the white trail.

Holly tree.

Holly tree.

Opens up a lot, which makes the trail harder to follow.

Opens up a lot, which makes the trail harder to follow.

Fort?

Fort?

Old hunting stand.

Old hunting stand.

Follow the blazes the best you can.

Follow the blazes the best you can.

Gets narrow.

Gets narrow.

Push through the brush.

Push through the brush.

You'll see this post.

You’ll see this post.

And an old tractor.

And an old tractor.

The map makes it look like the trail should keep going to the right.  I went down a bit, but couldn’t find anything resembling a marker, so I turned around and went the other way down the cleared trail, where a white blaze appeared almost immediately.  The trail winds around until it hits a cul-de-sac, which it goes along the edge of.

Turned around here.

Turned around here.

More road.

More road.

The trail heads back into the woods, but pops out at the big field at the back of the first chain link fence that you saw.  Walk across the field.  The yellow trails that you past previously will emerge here, and at the end of the fence, you can turn right and head back out of the woods.

Wait, I forgot the important part.  I SAW A FOX HERE IN THIS FIELD!!!!!  For serious!

Back in the woods.

Back in the woods.

Entering the field again.

Entering the field again.

I SAW A FOX!!!!!!!

I SAW A FOX!!!!!!!

Head across the field and turn right and head back to your vehicle. Hopefully, you also will see a fox.

Head across the field and turn right and head back to your vehicle. Hopefully, you also will see a fox.

I SAW A FOX!!!!!

 

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