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.
Updated: February 17, 2020 – a million new pictures. Expanded write up.
Activities – hiking, mountain biking (including a specially built offroad biking trail), geocaching, bird watching, hanging out with beavers, photography, orienteering (although there is currently a post missing)
Terrain – Woods, wetlands, old bogs.
Map – Updated Map (now with interaction!) You can also use REI’s Hiking Project App or All Trails to follow your route as you hike or bike.
Well done, informative promotional video – Sure, why not
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 seven or eight cars just off Kettle Run Road (although people can get really creative with parking). A newer, larger lot is located just across Kettle Run Road and has a handy, dandy sign saying “Black Run Parking”. People also park along the road, but PLEASE BE CAREFUL!
Markings – Colored markers on trees.
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.
So this is the second most popular trail in South Jersey, at least according to views on my website (only nearby Blueberry Hill in Gibbsboro has more views). We’ve been coming here for almost eight years now, and Black Run just gets better with time. Even when they are hit with a beaver-made disaster, like building a giant dam that floods out access to a bunch of trails, they just fundraise like crazy so that they can build a new walking bridge (almost have enough as of February 2020), go help if you can!
What makes Black Run so special? Well, what I love is that there are beavers that you can go see pretty much any dusk. Or is it that my Boy Scouts and Cub can use it for meetings (you haven’t seen a bunch of elementary kids so quiet as when they are sneaking up on beavers)? Or is it the beautiful sunsets? Or getting to feel like you’re deep in the pine barrens when you are about three minutes from the shopping centers on Route 73? Or how its a lovely hike in any season? Or how its always being improved? Or its free programs? Or the turtles, snakes, and frogs?
Why are you even reading this? Just go! Go now!
Tour (now with some updated pictures inserted):
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 (update – 300,000 times? I lost track a long time ago how many times we’ve been here in the last 8 years). 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). There’s now an online map and the trails are on apps like REI’s
For a nice hour walk (2 1/2 miles), I suggest walking in on the blue trail, crossing down the white trail, and coming back on the orange trail.. (I’ll share some looks at the other trails afterwards).
What we did is make a loop of the blue, white, and orange 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.
Kettle (White) Trail:
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.
The Back End (Cross Trail, Borton’s Connector, Long Path, etc):
The back end of the preserve is also amazing, but far less visited. You can hike all the way back here, or there is a second trailhead with just a few parking spots on Kettle Run Road.
Black Trail (other side of Kettle Run Road): BEAVER TIME!!!
Anyway, so much to explore here. You could just come here forever and it would be awesome.
Peaceful woods, old roads, large bogs and marshes.
None at all.