Amico Island County Park – Delran, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: 2 trail miles, can string together something slightly longer. (We’ve done as little as 1 1/2 miles here and as much as 2.6 miles)
Type: Interlocking loops leading from one parking lot
Difficulty: 2 of 10 (The Pres rates it a difficulty of 10 of 10, but that’s because he has little toddler legs and doesn’t like to walk in the snow)
Updated – 12/26/21
Terrain – Beautiful woodlands on an “island” (Note: you’ll notice from the map it’s not really an island).
Directions: 81 Norman Ave, Delran, NJ. Very close to Rt 130.
Hours: 8 AM to dusk. Note – while many parks are a bit vague about “dusk”, Amico has posted signs about when it closes, plus a gate that locks and people that lock it.
Markings – Posts and paint marks.
UPDATE – December 26, 2021 – We come here often enough that we have a “regular” route now, so figured close to 8 years and maybe a dozen visits meant I should update this page. The story shall remain the same, any additional notes will be in brackets. You’ll know the newer pictures because they won’t have a bunch of snow in them.
Description: Cabin fever, the promise of decent temperatures, and a crushing loss of the US hockey team to Canada drove us out for our first real hike of 2014. The Pres and I decided to check out Amico Island County Park, which we had picked up a beautiful map of last Spring and hadn’t gotten to yet.
The good news was that it was already in the mid-40s, heading for the mid-50s. The bad news…
Nevertheless, we had an awesome two hours, just at a slower pace than usual (and the only time I’ve seen him hike without running).
Having picked up a beautiful map of the trails, I left it at home by mistake. So we took a left onto the blue trail because that’s the direction a dog was heading (Needless to say, I didn’t pick the direction). The blue trail weaves through marshier areas, mixed in with lovely clumps of trees. You’ll have half a dozen stairs to climb at one point (or be carried up, if you’re so lucky).
After the stairs, we quickly arrived at a point where you can walk out onto the shoreline to check out what’s going on. This day, it was tons of birds hanging out on or next to the ice. The only bird I could definitely identify was the seagull (The Pres’s favorite… he doesn’t get that from me), but those ones with the necks might be herons. Or might not. We spent a half hour or so here pointing and saying “dir-dee” over and over again. Time well spent.
Getting back on the trail, I figured it was around the corner to the parking lot. My sense of directions today was as bad as my map-remembering skills. It was time to give The Pres a lift, and we strolled down the snow covered trail, around a little cove, up on a bit of a ridge, past a pair of lovely overlooks complete with benches, and down a steeper hill than I expected on such a small peninsula.
[You can hook around here to the picnic area and rejoin the Blue Trail, but we’ve had it flooded out with tides at times when we’ve tried it, so we usually just backtrack to the Blue Trail where we left it]
The blue trail finally hooks back toward the parking lot. We stopped for a sit and a drink at the beach at this point, checking out more (but much further away) birdies.
After a while hanging out there, someone was really, really tired. He fell half asleep on my shoulder as I carried him the rest of the way to the parking lot. Along this stretch, the red trail split off twice (it’s a loop). Somewhere off to our left, the yellow trail split from the red trail to take you to the northern-most part of the “island”, where Rancocas Creek comes in (that part is in hindsight, after checking out the map when we made it home). Someday soon, we’ll be back to tackle those trails and see what the island looks like when it’s green.
Overall, it was a perfect day.
Until the USA lost to Finland in the Bronze medal game on the way home. My radio is in pieces somewhere along Haddonfield Road as we speak.
THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES MANY YEARS LATER:
But of course we couldn’t not check out the rest of the island, which we’ve done a bunch of times now, just without updating the website. We start back where the Red Trail leaves the Blue Trail near the center of the “island”. We hook a left to check out the North part of the island. The trail here first parallels the beach and then threads between the Delaware River and the lake on the northern part of Amico Island.
We always stick on the Red Trail until the Yellow Trail splits to the left. We then follow the Yellow Trail up to the northernmost point on the island, which offers a view of the mouth of Rancocas Creek. The boys love the rocks that were stashed up here.
The Yellow Trail then heads south, hooking around to meet back up with the Red Trail. We make a left on the Red Trail, which takes you back to the junction right by the parking lot. You’ll usually pass a lot of fishermen on this last stretch.
Finally, an assortment of fun pictures we’ve taken over the years!
Also check out about Amico Island:
South Jersey History & Adventures (aka Yummygal’s Blog) – great post with pictures without snow. Also great historical information passed along from historian Paul Schopp.
Official Park Page
Beautiful views of the Delaware River, birds galore, deer (saw plenty of tracks, didn't see any live ones), picnic spots, and fishing.
Trash washed up in the park.