Willingboro Lake (County) Park – Olympia Lakes, Willingboro, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: We did 1.7 miles, maybe 3 miles of trails total
Type: Various loop and one way trails
Difficulty: 1 of 10.
Terrain – lovely ridge between two lakes
Trailheads – 40° 2’8.04″N, 74°54’54.17″W
Directions: 60 Beverly Rancocas Road, Willingboro Twp, NJ
Markings – Trails well blazed with signs at intersections
So we first visit this park back in 2014. In 2019/2020, the County completely overhauled the park… great excuse to come back! The park is so different that I’m scratching pretty much the whole original post and completely redoing it.
Olympia Lakes began as old sand quarries that had been filled by natural springs. They were originally preserved by Willingboro, but were sold to the county to turn into a county park. The county dragged their feet on doing anything with the land for decades, but have now turned it into a really nice park, which reopened to the public on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.
So on a rainy Sunday morning, Alix and I took The Pres, Tree Rider, Kite Flyer, and the Big Fella for a little 1.7 mile hike. We started at the main parking lot and opted to first take the Woodland Trail along the eastern part of the lakes.
This trail touches the Olympia Lake Loop Trail in three spots. The second spot, we cut over to the lake trail to check it out. Eventually the Woodland Trail dead ends at the Lake Trail, which continued around the south side between the lakes and Rancocas Creek. Good spot for finding leaves according to my children.
The back end of the preserve gets really interesting after the Lake Drive entrance. There’s a bridge across the water.
After the bridge, the trail curves to the right. There, a short green trail will take you out on a spit of land that juts into one of the lakes. I remembered this as my favorite part of the trail the last time we were here, and it still was even with all the updates.
After getting back on the Olympia Lake Lake Loop Trail, we kept going until we had a chance to check out the green blazed Island Lake Loop. This took us over toward the kayak launch.
After the Big Fella tried to go for a swim (I blame the frog hoodie), we finished up the Island Lake Trail until it dumped into the paved, red blazed Lake Trail.
From here, it wasn’t far until we reached the playground and then the parking lot.
Good adventure, and we didn’t even get rained on!
A few old pictures from 2014:
Two beautiful lakes, well marked trails on an expanded trail system, an awesome bridge... so much to love!
Some of the wildness of the park seems gone with the development of parking areas and a bathroom and a playground, but not enough that I won't be upping my rating of this trail system.