Saddler’s Woods – Haddon Township, NJ

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Saddler’s Woods – Haddon Township, Camden County, NJ
Distance: 1.4 miles – that was with wandering and backtracking so that we could check out all the parts of the trail system.
Type: Trail network.
Difficulty: 2 of 10.
Total score: 8 of 10.

Website: http://www.saddlerswoods.org/ or like them on facebook

Map:

Map of the trails.

Map of the trails.

Terrain – Mostly flat forests. Patch of meadow at the end of the red trail.

Trailheads – 250 MacArthur Blvd Haddon Township, NJ. There are three ways into the woods within a short stretch on this road. One is partially paved.

Standouts – One of the largest stretches of old growth forest in South Jersey.

Markings – Trails are labeled in colors on the map, but there are no blazes in the actual preserve.

Description: I’d been meaning to check out Saddler’s Woods for a few years, and I got the chance this week.  There was a break in the heat, the baby wanted to run around, so why not?

The draw of Saddler’s Woods is some very large, very old trees.  I don’t know as much about trees as I would like to, but I can tell you that these are beauties.  Or as their website puts it, “Saddler’s Woods is a 25.8 acre, old growth forest fragment which provides a good example of what the landscape looked like when European settlers arrived.

The Pres and I headed in on the green trail, which begins at the large “Saddler’s Woods” sign.

Green trail starts by that building.

Green trail starts by that building.

In a very short time, this connects with the red trail, hitting the heart of the old growth section of the reserve.

Lovely trail.

Lovely trail.

We opted to turn left here and head down the red trail.  The trees here are really big, and the trail winds down to Saddler’s Creek.  Here, a fallen tree crosses the creek.

Saddler's Run.

Saddler’s Run.

Looking at the picture, the way the trail goes is to the left of the tree over those rocks.  We got confused and went over the right of the tree, “waded” through the creek (it didn’t get my socks wet in my sneakers), and blundered up an unofficial trail to the yellow trail.  This did let us see a tree that came down pretty recently, so it was no loss:

Big tree.

Big tree.

Saddler's Run where we "waded" across.

Saddler’s Run where we “waded” across.

This is a big one that looks like it came down pretty recently.

This is a big one that looks like it came down pretty recently.

The red trail crosses the yellow, goes out to another large tree. and ends up at the school yard.  We looked at said big tree, then headed back to the yellow trail.  The yellow trail is far more finished than the trails on the other side of the creek, parts of it are even paved!  I saw a bunch of people on this side, but no one on the other.  We followed the yellow trail past some more impressive trees to the other side of the school yard where it ended up.

Not messing around with these big trees.

Not messing around with these big trees.

We then turned around and retraced our steps to the red trail, but opted to stay on the yellow trail to see where it popped out onto MacArthur Blvd.

The answer is "here".

The answer is “here”.

Not wanting to miss anything, we headed back to the red trail (found the real one this time), recrossed Saddler’s Run at the correct spot, and headed back to the first intersection we had come to.

Correct red trail.

Correct red trail.

Coming back!

Coming back!

Hop across using these rocks... no problem!

Hop across using these rocks… no problem!

Once we got back to the intersection of the red and green trails, we headed up the red trail in the opposite direction.  At the end of the trail is a very small meadow, but there were butterflies hanging out there.

I'm guessing kids ride bikes here. The trail goes to the LEFT, not up that hill.

I’m guessing kids ride bikes here. The trail goes to the LEFT, not up that hill.

Someone got tired of riding in the pack and decided to hike for himself.

Someone got tired of riding in the pack and decided to hike for himself.

Meadows = butterflies.

Meadows = butterflies.

On the way back, we took the purple loop through the younger section of forest.  The Pres made sure that every stick was played with on the trail.

"I have a stick" is what he would have said if his vocabulary was larger.

“I have a stick” is what he would have said if his vocabulary was larger.

Young growth forest.

Young growth forest.

We then went out the way we came in.

Been back many times since 2013 (it’s right across from the library, which I can never remember the correct opening times for), so I’ll occasionally add pictures from different seasons –

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Overall recommendation: Very nice walk in the woods.  I love this hike because it’s not marked, which makes it more like exploring  without the area being so large that you could get lost in it.  The large trees are impressive, and make this hike different from the multitude of other hiking trails in Camden County and non-Pine Barrens areas of Burlington County.  No part of the hike is very hard, the trails aren’t very long, so take your time and soak it all on (or, play with sticks).

Check out nearby: Drive around the corner to see the old Rhoads Church and houses that made up historic Saddlertown.

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3 Comments

Filed under Hiking, History, Outdoors., South Jersey

3 responses to “Saddler’s Woods – Haddon Township, NJ

  1. Looks like a great place….next time I am in the area, will check it out. Thanks!

  2. John Harvey

    Having visited most of the forests of South Jersey, this to me is the second best their is if your a tree nut. (The best being Bear Swamp) The old growth here is impressive. There are two Willow Oaks off trail near the elementary school that are two of the largest trees in New Jersey. The huge Beech tree on trail is maybe the oldest (300 plus) in NJ.

  3. Pingback: Daddy-Kid Hike III – February 13, 2016 | South Jersey Trails

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