Black Elk Mountain (formerly Mt Harney), Black Hills, South Dakota


Black Elk Mountain (formerly Mt. Harney), Black Elk Wilderness of Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota
Distance – 9 miles round trip
Map – Can be found here
Trailhead – Can be found at Sylvan Lake at Custer State Park (entrance fee, but totally worth it because Custer is amazing)

A note from Mike of South Jersey Trails – The following is a guest post from loyal reader Barbara, who had a pretty awesome adventure out in South Dakota last month and was nice enough to share her hike up the highest peak in that great state.  Thanks Barbara!

September 2016 – Last month, I finally had the opportunity to scratch off hiking to the summit of Black Elk Mountain off of my bucket list. The summit at 7,242 ft. (2,207m) is described as the “highest summit in the US east of the Rockies.” But what that really mean is that you drew a line directly east all peaks which are south or north of that line are not counted.

My friend and I chose the easiest southern route via the trail head which begins in Custer State Park near Sylvan Lake. After about a mile hike, the remainder of the trail meanders through the Black Hills National Forest / Black Elk Wilderness. This is a highly traveled trail and moderately difficult at times, but the views are well the hike.


The summit had these crazy niches of green grass to hang out and refuel, just catch your breathe, or take it all in.  Chipmuncks and ladybugs abound!


Very cool!  I forgot to say that the hike from our route took two fairly fit middle -aged women 3.5 hrs, and the total miles in and out, car to summit and back, was about 9 miles.

Barbara also shared a few pictures of her trip through nearby Badlands National Park, which are also spectacular.  

Big thank you to Barbara for sharing her awesome adventure!  We’re always happy to have guest posts from loyal readers!

Nearby – What isn’t nearby?  Custer State Park is amazing.  Mount Rushmore is a national icon.  The Crazy Horse Memorial is spectacular.  Wind Cave National Park is great both above and below ground.  Swordfish and Deadwood are historical mining towns.  The Black Hills are simply amazing.

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Timber Creek County Park (Camden County) – Glendora, NJ

Updated one of the first trails we hiked for this blog – Timber Creek Park in Glendora, NJ! Since our first trip there, we’ve been back about half a dozen times. Has some beautiful trails through a beautiful patch of woods, plus what I hear is the best dog park in the area.

South Jersey Trails

Is Spring here yet? Is Spring here yet?

Timber Creek Trails – Timber Creek County Park – Glendora, Camden County, NJ
Distance: Varies greatly, we hiked about three miles this day, with a stop the mandatory stop at the playground.  Unsure of how many miles of trails in the park, but its at least 5
Type: Interlocking loops
Difficulty: 3 of 10.
Total score: 7 of 10.
Last updated – 10/9/16

Terrain – Hilly, nice views of the creek.

Trailhead –  All trails lead from the parking lot – 39° 49.901’N,  75° 3.460’W

Trailhead toward the dog run. Trailhead toward the dog run.

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Cowan Nature Preserve – Medford, NJ


Cowan Preserve – Medford, Burlington County, NJ
Distance – ???
Type – ???
Difficulty: 9  of 10 – Too overgrown to follow the trail with the kids after about 100 yards.
Total score: 1 of 10

Website – Rancocas Conservancy
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – swamps and woods

Trailheads –  39°53’38.87″N,  74°49’8.62″W – next to preserve sign


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THANK YOU for your support – MS 150 City-to-Shore Bike Ride!

Two Saturdays ago, I went out for a little 45 mile bike ride with 7,000 of my closest friends to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  We had a perfect day for riding – cool, dry, and partially overcast (keeps the sun off!)!  I enjoyed my ride from Hammonton through to Ocean City, finishing the earliest I’ve ever finished.  Overall, the ride raised about $6,000,000 for Multiple Sclerosis research!

BIG thank you to my loyal readers who helped support my own ride – Barbara, Mike, Ann, Erin, the Smith clan, and our ol’ AT thru-hiking friend Dr. Dave and his wife, as well as Kellie, my cousin Susan, and my boss!

A look at my day!

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Wishbone Trail paddle – Rancocas Creek – Mt. Holly to Hainsport, NJ


Wishbone Trail – Rancocas Creek National Water Trail paddle – Mt. Holly to Hainsport, Burlington County, NJ
Distance – roughly 8 miles
Time – usually 3 to 4 hours (took us just over 3)
Type – down the North Branch of Rancocas Creek, then up the South branch!
Difficulty:  7 of 10 (for paddling against the current the last mile and a half)
Total score: 10 of 10

Website – Ranococas Creek National Water Trail (proposed)
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – the river passes through the middle of town, as well as through forests and swamps.

Launches – 
Mount Holly – Launch at 39°59’24.58″N, 74°46’46.55″W (end of Wollner Drive in Iron Works Park) OR just the other side of the dam at Iron Works Park at the footbridge at 39°59’31.00″N, 74°46’55.59″W. We chose the first put in, which required taking the canoe out to portage around the dam.


Take out –  Hainsport at Walnut Ave and Spruce Ave – 39°59’5.79″N,  74°50’37.40″W

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Save the Historic Hugg-Harrison House!

So, I somehow ended up at a public meeting last night.  I’m not normally a public meeting guy.  And it had been a long day at work.  Besides, I hadn’t even planned on going.

But ten minutes before it started, I found my car heading in that direction.  I ended up at the…


Public Meeting at the Bellmawr Public Library.
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Pennsauken Historical Society Nature Trail – Pennsauken, NJ


Pennsauken Historical Society Nature Trail – Pennsauken, Camden County, NJ
Distance – About 0.2 miles total (total out-and-back)
Type – out-and-back
Difficulty: 1 of 10
Total score: 2 of 10

Website – Pennsauken Historical Society Facebook
Open – Unsure of days and hours.  The Burrough-Dover House, run by the Pennsauken Historical Society, is open for tours the first Sunday of each month.

Terrain – Short path down to Pennsauken Creek

Trailhead – 39°58’27.20″N, 75° 1’6.24″W

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