Black Run Preserve Trails – Evesham, NJ
Distance: 6.5 miles of trails. My “regular” loop is 2.5, but I’ve done 7 1/4 miles in one go there.
Difficulty: 2 of 10.
Total score: 8 of 10.
Trailheads – Multiple. We used the one at Kettle Run and Borton’s Roads – 39°50’45.43″N, 74°53’57.03″W. You can get in on other spots on Kettle Run Road, as well as through the King’s Grant neighborhood.
Directions: From Route 73, turn onto Braddock Mill Road (at Kresson Lake near the Voorhees/Evesham border). Drive down Braddock Mill Road. After the small pond on your right, turn right onto Tomlinson Road. Make an immediate left onto Braddock Mill Road (not a typo). At the first intersection, curve to the right onto Kettle Run Road and park on the side.
Parking: Spots for five or six cars just off Kettle Run Road.
Standouts – peaceful woods, old roads, large bogs and marshes.
Markings – Colored markers on trees – blue, green, orange, purple, red, and yellow on one side of Kettle Run Road, and black on the other side.
Thanks yous – the Friends of the Black Run Preserve do a great job developing and maintaining this place. Want to help out? They meet monthly at REI on Rt 73 in Evesham.
Description: This park in Marlton, NJ was suggested to me by Mark when I first started up this blog. . I took my son and a few of my Scouts out to check it out a few years back. I loved it so much I’ve been back three times. The first three times, I followed pretty much the same route. This last time, James and I (we’ve been trying to hike together for years) hiked pretty much every section of trail in the place, and it was great despite on-again-off-again rain.
Right from the start, I’ve been impressed with how well blazed the trails were. More recently, signposts with little maps have been added at all of the intersections to help you get your bearings (I still got turned around twice this last time).
For a nice hour walk (2 1/2 miles), I suggest walking in on the green trail, across the bridge to the junction of the blue and red trails. (I’ll share some looks at the other trails afterwards).
What we did is make a loop of the blue and red trails. We started heading up the blue trail, which follows a dirt road through the preserve. It will cross the red trail, then the white trail, then the red trail again. Follow it to the second crossing of the red trail. This will be pretty much a straight shot through the preserve, and will give you a chance to see some nice scenery.
The trail will then turn right into the woods and follow the edge of the bog. This is a trail trail, not just an old road. It’s pretty easy to follow, except one or two spots where blow downs make the trail the tiniest bit confusing. Don’t panic, just look ahead for the next marker and you’ll be fine. The red trail will loop around through the woods with some nice water views until it crosses the white trail. The white trail seems to go both ways, the red trail is slightly hidden to your right. Again, it’s well marked. From here, the red trail will will keep going, crossing the blue trail again before stopping at the original red/blue trail junction that we started at.
What else is there to see?
The “tail” of the red trail that’s not covered above:
This small section of trail (out-and-back) goes through the fields,then down through the woods to a dead-end.
Blue/White/Yellow Trails (to complete a larger loop) – You can also follow the Blue Trail all the way around until it hits the road. Note that on the map, it hits the road. In reality, the trail blazes stop at a dirt road. Don’t panic, just turn right and walk down the dirt road until you hit the pavement at Kettle Run Road.
Once you hit the White Trail, you’ll go a short distance to the Yellow Trail. It’s worth walking down the Yellow Trail (another dead end trail) to see the old bogs on either side.
When glancing at the map, you may wonder why the purple trail would even be there? The answer it, because it’s awesome. Walk down it and you’ll get some more bog views and cross a great little bridge.
Black Trail (other side of Kettle Run Road):
Overall recommendation: I LOVE this place. I would not have expected such a nice, secluded spot so close to Evesham and Voorhees. There is a lot of work that’s been put into this place, and I know there is a lot more that they have planned. I’m excited to see what happens! We’ll be back many, many more times.