Miriam and Melvin Wurst Nature Preserve – Medford, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: 0.8 miles (officially a little longer, but not much)
Difficulty: 3 of 10 – lack of blazes and large amount of deer trails can become confusing.
Total score: 4 of 10.
Official Website –Rancocas Conservancy
Terrain – pinelands and lake
Trailheads – only one – 39°48’30.71″N, 74°51’44.36″W
Directions: Easiest way is to go to the Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge (6 Sawmill Rd, Medford, NJ 08055). When Sawmill Road turns, stay straight onto Tansboro Rd. It will become dirt, that’s okay. Drive until you are forced to make a left onto Oakridge Rd, BUT instead of making a left, make a right and drive along the fence. There is enough parking for two cars. If you need more, park at the side of the road.
Parking – A very small lot with room for two cars. Plenty of parking along Tansboro or Oakridge Roads.
Standouts – nice little pond
Markings – No trail blazes
Map – Official map is found here
Note: Recently was quadrupled in size (now on both sides of Tansboro Road), so maybe more trails coming??
Description: This was definitely the Wurst hike (don’t worry, I’ve got plenty more folks). Other than a great excuse for stupid puns (which I exploited to it’s fullest), this is a nice little hike through a small preserve. The trail, which is unblazed (take a copy of the map with you), can be confusing.
When you enter the gate, the loop will be straight and to your right. Go straight. Shortly, you’ll arrive at an old road, which the trail parallels for a while. Follow that.
When the trail leaves the road, it will head straight for a pond (we opted to follow the longer, outside route on the map, but it didn’t really exist. We were on more or less a deer trail and a few sticker bushes to navigate. Skip the hassle). You’ll follow it to the pond. You’ll go around the pond clockwise until you reach where the wood posts and metal thingee are (that’s a technical term).
Follow the trail away from the lake, through some nice bit of wetlands. Soon, you’ll spot you car through the trees and arrive back where you started.
Overall recommendation: This preserve took a while to get to (45 minutes to get to Medford!? How does it take 45 minutest to get to a place in Medford!?), because it’s not really near anything. While we enjoyed this Wurst of hikes, it really only makes sense to go see if you are in the area already. So pair it up with a visit to extremely nearby Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge (which you’ll pass on the way in) and make it an afternoon.