Berlin Park – Berlin Borough, Camden County, NJ
Distance: A little under 1.5 mile trail on North side of Cross Keys Rd, 5 miles on south side of Cross Keys.
Difficulty: 1 of 10.
Total score: 3 of 10.
NOTE: Short days meant we only had time to check out the north end of the park (paved, surrounded by roads). We’ll be back to check out the five miles of trails on the other side of Cross Keys Road.
Terrain –forests and fields surrounding the mouth of the Egg Harbor River.
Trailheads – 39°47’47.92″N, 74°56’13.03″W
Directions: South Park Drive, directly off of the White Horse Pike (Rt 30)
Standouts – the river
Markings – None, but clear pathways
Parking – Ample sized lot.
Description: At some point in the winter, you head out when it’s bitterly cold just because its a few degrees warmer than preceding days. It was one of those days that The Pres, Tree Rider, and I met up some friends to walk the paved paths of Berlin Borough. It was a work day, so we got out there with the sun already low in the sky.
The north end of the park isn’t difficult to follow, just take the concrete path around the outside of the park. It should be a little over a mile in length. Our walk was just under a mile, as we skipped part of the trail to avoid where they were repaving part of the road.
You’ll circle the headwaters of the Egg Harbor River, pass some nice trees and, perhaps, cross the bridge onto the peninsula. Lots of birds around if you keep your eyes open.
Overall recommendation: Nice little stroll around the river, although the closeness of the roads does take away from this side somewhat (or at least it did with a paving crew right next to the trail). Hope to get back to see the other side soon.
Nearby: Right next to the park is one of my favorite places ever – the Berlin Farmers Market.. Saturday and Sunday has outside stalls year round where you can find just about anything if you come often enough. Over the years (and I started buying when I was pretty young), I’ve purchased everything from glass bottles to hockey pads to instruments to an etching of the Indian King Tavern and, of course, scores and scores of records (which is what got me hooked on the Mart in the first place). Inside (open Thursdays to Sundays, except during Christmas when it’s seven days a week) you can buy a suit, get a fancy hat or wig, eat at the clam bar, run as quickly as possible past the clam bar, hunt through the second-hand shop, or get your hair cut. My favorite places in the complex are the fresh pretzel place where you can watch the pretzels roll out of the oven and Fred and Nan’s Record Shop, where I’ve bought my fair share of harmonicas and records over the years.