Happy Birthday National Park Service!

So, today the National Park Service turns 100 years young!  I’ve been trying to think about what I want to write in the park service’s birthday card, and the right words are tough to come by.  So I’ll keep it simple.

I love you National Parks!

In celebration of that love, my favorite picture from each park I’ve been lucky enough to visit.  Because the national parks can make even a hack like me look like a competent photographer.

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Acadia National Park – Maine

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Camp Dix – a Souvenir Folder of Camp Life

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Camp Dix, later renamed Fort Dix, in New Jersey’s pine barrens was one of the major deployment centers for soldiers from the United States heading for World War I (or “The Great War” or “The War to End All Wars” as they would have know it).

Last winter, I bought a picture set stamped “Fort Dix” that shows many of the various training exercises that soldiers would have been put through.  While I can’t tell if the photos are from Camp Dix itself (which is certainly  possible, the studio was in New York), the training depicted in the pictures had to be very similar.  They are a window on  an interesting slice of local and national history, and are pretty awesome to boot, so I thought I’d share before they get hung up on the wall of the house!

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Michael Huber Prairie Warbler Preserve – Woodland Township, NJ

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Michael Huber Prairie Warbler Preserve – Woodland Township, Burlington County, NJ
Distance – 13 miles of trails (we did 5 1/2 miles of hiking here, including some backtracking on trails when necessary.  ANY hike here will require at least some backtracking to complete loops or to get back to trailheads)
Type – Web of trails
Difficulty:  3 of 10 – downed trees near the intersection of the Yellow  and Green Trails were tricky, but the rest of the trails were pretty easy
Total score:  6 of 10

Website – njconservation.org
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – pinelands, swamps, and spungs!

Trailheads –  Official – 39°51’49.80″N,  74°36’40.95″W
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There also may be trailheads on Soutside Fire Road (parallel to Rt 70) close to the 70/72 Circle, and also there seems to be a 0.6 of a mile sand road outside the preserve that runs over to Route 72 across from Brendan Bryne State Forest, between the Headquarters Road and the circle.

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Berlin Park (South End) Hike

New South Jersey hiking with kids (and other awesome stuff) blog just getting started up! Well worth checking out (warning: first entry will make you want pie).

NJ Hiking Mom

img_0174I can walk to Berlin Park from my house in about 20 minutes, so it’s silly that I’ve never done much of this hike before. There’s a reason though; I usually have my kids when I’m around town, and there’s a playground right at the trailhead. Whenever we come here, we usually end up spending a lot of time playing and very little time exploring. And since a caterpillar incident more than a year ago, my daughter has not been enthusiastic about this park.

Since I had a morning to myself, I wanted to spend a little more time checking out the trails back here. According to the official website, there are about five miles of mixed gravel and dirt trails; I did about 2.86 miles out and back, but a downed tree prevented me from going any further.

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As with most of the Camden County parks I’ve visited, the trail is not very…

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Parvin State Park – Elmer, NJ

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Parvin State Park – Elmer, Salem County, NJ
Distance – 15 miles of trails in the park (we did 3 miles on the Parvin Lake Trail)
Type – Web of trails (we did a loop on the Parvin Lake Trail)
Difficulty: 2 of 10
Total score: 8 of 10

Website – Parvin State Park Official Website
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – flat swamp and woods

Trailheads –  39°30’38.41″N,  75° 7’58.49″W

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10 Awesome Things to do in South Jersey this Summer!

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Memorial Day and warm temperatures FINALLY arrived, hooray!  With that, we have good and bad news.

The bad news – The Pres, Tree Rider, and the whole gang here at South Jersey Trails will be abandoning you for pretty much the whole summer, for the Rockies are calling and we must go.

The good news – we’re leaving you with a list of ten awesome things to do this summer, because there are so many awesome things to do in South Jersey in the summer.  Such as….

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Hammonton Lake Park/Smith Conservation Area – Hammonton, NJ

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Hammonton Lake Park and Smith Conservation Area, Hammonton, Atlantic County, NJ
Distance – 2.2 miles
Type – Two loops connected by a short road walk
Difficulty: 1 of 10
Total score:  6 of 10

Website – Hammonton Parks and Recreation
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – Lakeside forests

Trailheads –  39°37’46.75″N,  74°47’17.37″W (starting at the trail sign near the beach)

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