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Friendship Creek Preserve – Tabernacle, NJ
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The Good

Lots of fun exploring through swamps and forest

The Could Be Better

Trails are not marked, some trails lead onto private land, but confusing where the lines are, which could be an issue.

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6.0
Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a few hours of adventure with you GPS, this is a great spot. If you want trail maps and blazed trails, don’t come visit this preserve.

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Friendship Creek Preserve – Tabernacle, Burlington County, NJ
Distance – no marked trails here, I explored to the tune of almost three miles total
Type – No marked trails, roads and deer paths only.
Difficulty: 5  of 10
Total score: 6 of 10

Website – Rancocas Conservancy
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – woods and swamps
Surface – sand and muck

Trailheads – Entrance to the preserve is by walking down Irick’s Causeway.

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Directions – Parking located at the intersection of Powell Place Road and Irick’s Causeway in Tabernacle



Parking – Parking located at the intersection of Powell Place Road and Irick’s Causeway in Tabernacle

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Dog friendly? Unsure
Stroller friendly? Definitely not
Benches?: No
Facilities?: None

Markings – None at all, look for Rancocas Conservancy signs to stick near the preserve, and make sure to print the map!
Map – Map available at Rancocas Conservancy

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Description –

December 30th, I squeezed in my last hike of 2016.  The kiddos weren’t along for this one, so I decided to take a risk and check out the Friendship Creek Preserve in Tabernacle, which I knew has no blazed trails.  A giant “No Tresspassing!” sign did not deter me, as I had read on the New Jersey Audubon website that this applied to the land on either side of the road, but not the road itself, which you need to hike down to get into the preserve.  So head down the road I did.

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The road will fork, take the left fork.  The right fork is actually a driveway.

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Each side of the road will be filled with “No Trespassing!” signs.  Respect them!

After 0.3 of a mile, you’ll begin to see Rancocas Conservancy signs on the trees to the right of the road.  At this point, you are free to explore that side.  The left side is still private property.

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I opted to pass some dirt roads that are hikable and stick to Irick’s Causeway up to the far edge of the preserve, which is across the bridge.  Just after the bridge, the Preserve stretches on each side of the road.

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Side road.  I’d hike this one later.

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The bridge.

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View of Friendship Creek from the bridge.

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Large puddle!

From here, I opted to explore to the right first, where I wandered for a while.  The highlight was an old car surrounded in trash.  Should have packed in some big trash bags!

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Does the sign mean we’re definitely in the preserve?

I explored the other side as well, which has some trails that had clearly been cut.  These lead to private property, but it was impossible to tell where the preserve ended and the private property began.  My rule of thumb was that when I saw dumping, I backtracked to be safe.  There were some nice swamplands on this side, and I wandered around by the creek on deer trails for a while.

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Eventually I wandered back to the road, and explored the original side road that I had passed by earlier.

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Then it was back out Irick’s Causeway to where I had parked my car by the road.

Overall, I wandered for just over three miles, and had a great time exploring.  Hopefully trails will be cut and blazed here at some point, but until then, there is still fun exploring to be done.

Nearby – The Michael Huber Prairie Warbler Preserve is a few miles away if this one doesn’t work out for you.

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1 Comments
  • Jim Ryan
    January 7, 2017 at 3:19 am

    “Should have packed in some big trash bags!”
    Yeah, really…what’s wrong with you, anyway?? I mean, one should _always_ be prepared to bag some old cars, right?? (Hee Hee!)

    Seriously, though — this looks like a nice place…a beautiful hike through the pines, with “The Bridge”, and (of course!) — Friendship Creek! Looks like one to add to the list if I’m in the area (and I do _plenty_ of hiking in the Pinelands, especially in late winter/early spring. Plus, I’ve hiked Michael Huber before (as have you, if I remember correctly) — another great adventure!

    Looks like an excellent 3-mile hike to me…perhaps I would begin my 2017 “Adventure” right here at Friendship Creek Preserve sometime in mid-late March!

    Keep up the great work, and (as always) — Happy Hiking!

    — Jim

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