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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.
Updated 10/24/2020

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

Parking lot: Nice paved lot

Markings – Trails well blazed with signs at intersections

Dog friendly? Leashed dogs allowed
Stroller friendly? Offroad stroller should work on many trails
Benches: Benches throughout the trails

Facilities?: Trashcans, bathrooms, kayak launch, playground, small pavilion

Rules –

Description:

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.

He’s hiding, we can’t see him.

Fall colors are going well!

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 Woodland Trail ends on the left. The Olympia Lake Loop continues straight ahead.



View of Rancocas Creek from the top of the hill near the Lake Drive entrance.

 

Side trail up to Lake Drive.

The back end of the preserve gets really interesting after the Lake Drive entrance.  There’s a bridge across the water.

Awesome.

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.

Olympia Lake Loop Trail continues straight, and we’ll come back to it. Turned right onto a trail not on the map.

End of the line, turned around here.

Climbing back up to the Lake Trail.

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.

LEAF!

Oh look, someone decided to walk!

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.

Switching trails

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:

Down to the lake front.

Swan.

View from the first spot of lake. We'll be walking in that direction.

Plants.

Another lake view.

Old swim area?

Trail up on the ridge above the lake.

Get some good height.

I met a snake.

Worth it.

Pat stares off toward Rt 130.

I love Spring.

The Good

Two beautiful lakes, well marked trails on an expanded trail system, an awesome bridge... so much to love!

The Could Be Better

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.

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Bottom Line

Burlington County may have sat on fixing up this park for way too long, but they did a great job once they did!

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