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Miriam and Melvin Wurst Nature Preserve – Medford, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: 0.8 miles (officially a little longer, but not much)
Type: Loop
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.

the Wurst parking.

the Wurst parking.

Standouts – nice little pond

Markings – No trail blazes

Map – Official map is found here

the Wurst map.

the Wurst map.

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.

Away we go. This hike is the Wurst.

Away we go. This hike is the Wurst.

Baby in nature.

Baby in nature.

Making sure Dada isn't up to something.

Making sure Dada isn’t up to something.

Nice pines.

Nice pines.

It's not raining. Or cold. Or both. I have no idea what's going on.

It’s not raining. Or cold. Or both. I have no idea what’s going on.

Bit of wetlands.

Bit of wetlands.

Walking parallel to the dirt road.

Walking parallel to the dirt road.

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).

The Wurst moss.

The Wurst moss.

Arriving at the pond.

Arriving at the pond.



Metal thingee.

Metal thingee.

This is what backpacking training looks like when you wait until a week before to start exercising. Stupid rain. And cold. And both. (Also, he is totally not making this a habit).

This is what backpacking training looks like when you wait until a week before to start exercising. Stupid rain. And cold. And both. (Also, he is totally not making this a habit).

Stream that's dammed to make the pond.

Stream that’s dammed to make the pond.

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.

Tunnel through a swampy area.

Tunnel through a swampy area.

Areas that we were sure are trails were clear except for this, not bad for the winter we had.

Areas that we were sure are trails were clear except for this, not bad for the winter we had.

Home stretch, you can just about see the car through the trees (or at least we could in real life).

Home stretch, you can just about see the car through the trees (or at least we could in real life).

Nearby –  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.

The Good

nice little pond, pine barrens

The Could Be Better

Trails can be a bit confusing

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Bottom Line

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.

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