Bortons Mills Trails – Cherry Hill, Camden County, NJ
Distance: Maybe a mile and half of trails with all the loops (we did 0.9 miles)
Type: interlocking loops
Difficulty: 1 of 10.
Note: This trail connects across the street with the
Terrain – flat, immature forest
Trailheads – 39° 53.759’N, 75° 0.863’W (Bortons Mill Road)
Directions: Parking lot is on Bortons Mill Road at the intersection of Kitty Hawk Road.
Parking: Lot (used mostly for soccer fields there)
Markings – Well labeled trails by color
Description: This is a nice, simple walk through some fairly young forest. No great views, not much of a chance for animals, no challenging climbs, you won’t even escape road noise, but a pleasant way to spend thirty minutes.
We made a big loop of the blue, brown, yellow, and red trails, but there is plenty of room to poke around the woods.
BONUS: This trail connects to the Croft Farm Trails (just cross Brace Road), which has further connections to the Hopkins Pond Trail and the Watchable Wildlife Trail, with a connecting trail all the way out to Cooper River Park in Pennsauken. With all the connections, you could easily turn this into a hike of a dozen miles.
A nice walk through the trees
Too close to roads.
you may know I’ve been looking through your blog and find this detailed information very helpful, so thanks. We (husband and i) and trying to get better at primitive camping so we can go on longer backpacking trips in National Parks. We are from the woods, lived in Wharton State Forest all our lives actually, so we know these woods. But I’ve followed your hikes tips and we’ve been on some nice trips. I want to carry my pack on me when we hike, so we stick to WSP, hiking to Mullica River campground. don’t really like people and multi use trails…. My big issue on the internet is that every hike in Southern NJ is EASY.. can you help me out and tell me in your opinion the best day hike or overnighter trails in South Jersey for what I’m looking for? A backpack wearing hike, with scenic-ish spot for lunch/hammock 🙂 driving within an hour from Wharton area.
I’d really appreciate it. I feel trapped in the ‘flatlands’….Thanks!!
How’s it going? Thanks for reading! Unfortunately, there just isn’t that much not flat around here, especially for overnights.
Day hikes that aren’t all flat:
– Northern end of Batona Trail (has some hills, nothing too strenuous, but it’s some elevation), Brendan Byrne Ranger Station to Ongs Hat. Scenery would only be mostly climbing the fire tower. (in the pines)
– Maurice River Bluffs Preserve – a surprising amount of hills for being so far south, no huge climbs, but will get your legs working on the bumps (especially the northern parts of the trails). There is a very nice view of the Maurice River from the top of the bluffs, complete with a lone picnic table (The Pres and I had a snack there). (1 hour 10 minutes from Chatsworth)
– One I haven’t done yet, but I’ve heard good things about – Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldplate Mountain (Titusville, NJ in Mercer County) – 12 miles of trails, 400 foot elevation gains, (1 hour from Chatsworth). That one might be the ticket for a good day hike with pack practice, I’m hoping to get to explore it this Fall.
– Blueberry Hill in Gibbsboro has one steep climb and that’s about it, might be nice for a change of pace (45 minutes from Chatsworth), and they have a view of the Philly skyline from the top.
– Only real overnights with primitive camping at all in South Jersey are the Mullica River Trail (which you have been doing) and the Batona Trail, which has very little elevation change. You could change it up a bit and do the Quaker Bridge Trail split from the Mullica River Trail (coming from Atsion), over to the Batona Trail, and up to the Lower Forge backpacker site.
– If you’re willing to travel further, a nice weekend with some really good practice is the Delaware Water Gap at Worthington State Forest and DWG National Recreation Area (2 1/2 hours from Chatsworth). There is a 1200 ft climb to the backpackers camp (primitive camping, no fee, no water pump, but does have pit toilets), over either 1 1/2 miles from the parking lot at the state campground, or over 4 or 5 miles from the AT parking lot on the interstate. You can do a nice 12 mile (total) out and back from the backpacker camp to the Mohican Outdoors Center and back if you don’t mind staying in the same spot two nights. Beautiful 360 degree view from the top of the mountain (I’ve never been at the top in the Fall, but it has to be gorgeous), and another beautiful walk around Sunfish Pond at the top of the mountain.You can also pay to stay at a nice grassy state park campsite at the bottom of the mountain, which has nicer amenities (but a lot of people). If you want another nice little climb before you leave, you can pay the toll to cross into Pennsylvania (I think it’s $1) and climb Mt Minsi just on the other side of the Water Gap, which has beautiful views down into the gap itself.
I’ve used the Sunfish Pond hike as a warm up for most of my AT backpacking trips, and as a when I went out to Grand Teton to backpack six days, and it’s served me well as a practice site (I didn’t find a steeper climb in the Tetons, despite more elevation gain).
Hope this helps! Sorry there aren’t too many more options in and around the Pines for elevation gain! As for backpacking in the National Parks, have fun! If you don’t mind sharing, I’d love to hear about some of them, the Scout troop I run is always looking for new backpacking trips (For National Parks, we’ve done Shenandoah and Grand Tetons so far)!
Thanks for getting back so soon. trying to go this w/e.
I think we’ll check out the Maurice River bluffs and do all the trails, maybe try to pack down my rod and reel. It’ll be a nice change from the pines too.
By the way, Shenandoah NP is what brought on the fever..but we were in a cabin for honeymoon. Can’t wait to get back there and backpack! Have a great holiday weekend. Thanks again.
South Jersey Trails: Hey — haven’t “seen” you for a while — welcome back! I first discovered these trails (along with Croft Farm) last October sort of “accidentally” while exploring Wallworth Pond park. While the Croft Farm trails were well-marked, it didn’t seem to be the case across the street at Bortons Mill Trails. (The trails were there, and I had a trail map, but there really weren’t very many trail markers…I think that was still under construction. I returned to Bortons Mills in early June of this year, and while most of the trails are short, I still enjoyed seeing all parts of the trails. I have similar pictures to you (well, minus The Pres — and he looks all the more classy with the hat! 🙂
Anyway — I also revisited Croft Farms trails as well as Barclay Farm trails in early June, and Kresson Trails in mid-May. I am duly impressed with the way Cherry Hill constructed their trail system. The only other trails I have seen (but not revisited) are the Old Orchard trails. I hope to see a few more of the trails in the near future!
Jerseyorganic: I agree with South Jersey Trails, in that most of South Jersey is indeed flat (albeit sandy!) Wharton State Forest is very nice; I’ve hiked the entire Batona Trail (not in one “shot”, though) — including the newer rerouted sections, and the entire Mullica River Trail, along with the “Batsto Lake” trails at Wharton. I know next to nothing about many of the parks in the northern part of the state, but I once again second what SJ Trails suggests. I have been to many of the Monmouth County parks, and they have many trails that are anything but “flat” — esepecially Hartshorne Woods park; however, this park is extremely popular with mountain bikers, and I gather (from your comment) that that is what you are trying to “escape”! Have you considered the Appalachian Trail? I’ve never hiked on any part of it myself, but I know there are some sections that are pretty challenging! Also, there are some long distance trails that run through PA: The Mason-Dixon trail, which runs starting from somewhere along the Brandywine River to the Appalachian Trail, is 192 miles long. The Horseshoe Trail starts in Valley Forge National Park and runs 142 miles to the AT somewhere north of Hershey, PA. Then there is the Conestoga Trail, a 63-mile trail which bisects Lancaster County, and connects the Horseshoe Trail with the Mason-Dixon Trail. The southern part of this trails is supposedly the most challenging, and runs past a campground in Pequea…may be worth checking out.
SJ Trails and Jerseyorganic: Happy hiking!
Thanks Jim! I was away most of August having non-South Jersey adventures, but we’re back now.
I second the Cherry Hill Trail Crews valiant efforts, they are really doing a great job building an impressive trail system. Croft, Barclay, and Kresson are the three highlights of the system, Bunker Hill is nice (was REALLY muddy when I went, but they’ve been building bridges back there like crazy) and Downs Farm is good (nice stream back there and backs up to PATCO, so you can do some train watching).
Earlton Trails North aren’t worth heading to (it’s a short concrete path in a big field) and Cherry Valley hadn’t really been worked on yet when I was there last Fall (we just stumbled around the woods for a while on deer paths, which was pretty fun).
I haven’t done the Richterman Trail yet, and I’ve been to Old Orchards twice, but they have a playground at the trailhead and I haven’t managed to get The Pres past it yet and onto the actual trail.
oh, and not easy. lol
Jerseyorganic ~ You’re welcome! I did the AT in Shenandoah from just outside the northern border to Big Meadows last summer. Beautifully maintained trail, lots of great overlooks (and frequent at that), very well constructed shelters (although I tented every night, it was quieter), and great chance to see animals (I almost walked into a bear!), you and your husband will love it.
Jim mentioned the trail near Pequea, which is one of my favorites (I really should do a write up of it). If you’re willing to drive the two hours to get there, the Conestoga Trail from Pequea Creek Campground to House Rock is a great (and challenging) section of trail. House Rock is a great spot for lunch, and bring flashlights to explore Wind Cave on the way on the way back (pack a sweatshirt, it’s COLD in the cave!). The folks who run the campground, who are super nice people, have a map of the cave that you can take in, and the trail leaves pretty much directly from the campstore there. The camping isn’t primitive, but the hike is scenic and a real leg burner.
Have fun at Maurice River Bluffs!
Borton mills could be a beautiful biking and hiking trail to be enjoyed with children, dogs and such. I have been visiting this trail system with my dog over the past few weeks and I am appalled at the complete disregard of the laws regarding curbing and leasing your dog! The amount of dog feces all over the trails and grassy field are dangerously unhealthy. My dog and bike are covered in the feces after riding a few trails. This is disgusting. This is not the Cherry Hill I remember and love. Anyone frequenting this park that does not clean up after themselves and dogs should be ashamed. Local law enforcers??? Shameful! Get it together people. Stop being lazy and clean up after yourselves.
I’d put a call into someone in the township if you haven’t already. With the soccer fields there and the foot traffic the area gets, if it’s that bad than something definitely needs to be done.