Blueberry Hill – The Red Trail – Gibbsboro Greenway System – Gibbsboro, NJ
Distance: 0.7 miles for the official length of the red trail (one way), but more trails, both official and unofficial, are connected in this patch of woods. We did over 3 miles without crossing any of the local roads (except to take a picture on the other side).
Difficulty: 3 of 10.
Total score: 8 of 10.
Terrain – Hills, wetlands, woodlands.
Map – Nope, muhahahahahaha!
Trailheads – Multiple trailheads, but only two with parking.
– Cul-de-sac at Berlin Rd & Eastwick Dr (right off Rt 561 – Haddonfield- Berlin Rd) – 39° 49.787’N, 74° 57.339’W
and Pole Hill Park (former Air Force instillation off of Rt 561 behind the old ice rink) – 39° 49.440’N, 74° 57.190’W.
Standouts: Blueberry Hill with a view of Philadelphia, Gibbsboro radar station, trees, small concrete ruins.
Markings – mile markers every 0.1 miles, signs pointing up Blueberry Hill, and many, many unmarked trails.
Description: This is a great little hike. I’ve always parked at the cul-de-sac off of Rt 561. From there, walk into the woods on the duel use bike/hiking trail, part of the Gibbsboro Greenways system, a growing network of biking/hiking/walking trail in Gibbsboro. This trail is paved in parts, gravel in parts, and dirt-ish in parts. You’ll walk along the trail, admiring the views of the wetlands and at the base of the hill. Follow this bike trail as it curves around the base of Blueberry Hill.
At your first intersection, stay straight.
At your second intersection (4 ways), you’ll make a left where the sign point to Blueberry Hill. this is roughly 0.3 miles from the trailhead.
The trail (which is paved here) immediately forks, go right and up the steps.
After 0.2 miles (probably less, it seems shorter), you’ll hit the top of the steps. Look right for a great view of Philadelphia, 13 miles away.
From here, feel free to head back the way that you came, or wander the top of or at the base of Blueberry Hill on the paved or unpaved paths. There are no maps, but the paved trails will lead you eventually to a) the base of the hill or b) Pole Hill Park with a great view of the radar defense system that was once part of the air defenses for Philadelphia. We did three miles without hitting all the paved trails, so you can wander for a while.
The radar station was built in 1957 as part of the Nike Missile Defense system, although no missiles were ever kept here. It’s well worth taking a look at while you’re there. In the meantime, here’s a aerial shot from the distant past of what it looked like.
Overall recommendation: I LOVE this hike. It has a view from elevation (rare in South Jersey), some wetlands and pine trees to look at, concrete ruins to stumble across, and has a million unmarked trails, but in a contained area. You can take a short hike, or stretch it into something longer by walking other trails in the immediate area or connecting with other parts of the Gibbsboro Greenway system.