Hartford Crossing Trails – Medford, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: Under contruction. We did 1.25 miles on the main loop.
Type: One big loop, side loops being built.
Difficulty: 4 of 10 – mostly due to the newness of the trail (needs some better bridges) and that we went after a wet week.
Total score: 3 of 10 (will definitely go up as the trails are developed)
Terrain – forest, wetlands, small meadows.
Official Facebook Group –Hartford Crossing Trails Medford
Trailheads – 39°55’0.60″N, 74°51’26.81″W (Southwest corner of the Hartford Crossing fields)
Directions – 106 Church Road, Medford, NJ. Across from Lenape High School and catty-corner to Johnson’s Farm
Parking – huge lot because of the ball fields. Park in the southeast corner of the lot (furthers from the entrance).
Standouts – Nice big trees, exciting stream crossings.
Markings – At the moment, ribbons tied on trees.
Map – They seem to have blazed more trails since this came out in November 2014.
Description: This trail system is just getting started, thanks to some hard working volunteers over in Medford. We were in the area the day before Easter and in need of another hike, so we decided to check it out.
To warn you in advance, this is a work in progress! The trails aren’t blazed permanently yet, there are parts of the trail that had drainage issues (we also went there the day after a rainy day), the bridges are of a temporary nature, and trails are still being expanded. I’m very excited about the possibilities (it reminds me a lot of the Cherry Hill Trail Crew’s Kresson Trail), but it’ll be a while. So why not join the Facebook group and help with trail building?
That being said, we came in at the trailhead and went straight, doing the back end first. There was a lot of mud because of the rain, which slowed The Pres down, but he had fun hopping over the streams. For the time being, we ignored the side trails because they weren’t on the map that we had.
After a bit, you’ll come to a stream that you can’t jump, where a very rudimentary bridge is in place. It looks rickety because it is, which is the fun part. Continue onward through the damp areas until the trail comes to a T intersection.
After the back leg of the trail, the other three sides of the box are MUCH, MUCH drier and better drained. We enjoyed our stroll past some big trees and an old hunting stand. The hunting stand was well placed, because Tree Rider and I spotted three deer grazing.
No option at this corner, you’ll simply bear left and head across the top of the box. There are some “tunnel” areas of trees (which I love) and a re-crossing of the same stream from earlier on a better constructed bridge. We also found scattered deer bones.
Finally, the home stretch down to where we entered the trail system. This section is mostly the same, but with a few small fields thrown in, especially as you approach the exit to the system.
Overall recommendation: This system is just getting started, and I’m excited about the possibilities. If you don’t mind potentially wet feet and hairy stream crossings (or if, like The Pres, you crave them), get out there and check out what they already have!
Nearby: Catty-corner to the trail system is Johnson’s Farm, a massively popular area favorite (The Pres likes the playground and animals). There is a small fee to feed the animals and do the activities (such as pick-your-own and using some pedal go-karts that The Pres can’t quite work yet), and also a farm market.