Taylor Wildlife Preserve – Cinnaminson, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: We did the loop and went 3.5 miles. Official miles of trail has to be just above that.
Difficulty: 4 of 10.
Last updated: March 6, 2017 (complete overhaul now that we’ve walked the whole loop)
Website – Friends of Taylor Wildlife Preserve
Open – Sunrise to Sunset
Terrain – swamps, harbor, and Delaware River.
Trailheads – 40° 1’34.12″N, 74°59’5.50″W
Directions: 5 Taylor’s Lane, Cinnaminson, NJ (just off of Broad Street)
Parking: Small lot with room for four or five cars near Broad Street…
…another small lot closer to the river…
Dog friendly? – Nothing posted against dogs on the information board or website
Stroller friendly? – Would be tough in parts
Benches? – A few
Restrooms/changing tables – No facilities on the premises
Markings – Occasional, but don’t count on them.
Map – Brand new, hot off the presses map here
Description: So I’ve made two visits to the Taylor Farm & Preserve in Cinnaminson, the last remaining farm on the Delaware between Camden and Trenton. The first time was in 2015 when my wife went to visit a friend and I was drafted to take the pair of three year olds out, The Pres and his buddy Chicken. We did the part of the trails on the very right side of the Preserve. The Pres and I came back in 2017 to do the whole big loop through the Preserve, which netted us 3.5 miles. For this write-up, we’ll be describing the big loop.
Anyway, The Pres and I headed down Broad Street, made the turn onto Taylor Farm Road, and drove down until we reached the sign marked “private drive” and “public parking”. Here, we parked. This is just after a little mini-circle, and yes, you should go toward the houses.
Once here, walk South along the road, through the farm fields. This will be the start of the loop.
If you ignore our warnings about turning a sharp right, you’ll then bear right at the end of the road and head into the woods, past a few small informational markers. This will quickly bring you to the Delaware, where we made a right and followed the shore up to where the trail dead ends. This is where that previous turn would have put you, so totally go that way.
As stated, we backtracked now to the “No trash, No fires” sign. We then followed the shoreline around into Wright Cove, passing the marker, and working our way around the edge. There was a nice bench here with views of the Betsy Ross Bridge and Philadelphia. We continued until we reached the bridge/bench.
So we stopped to admire the bridge/bench, because I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s super great, and has a nice view of the wetlands.
From there, we opted to stay right to take the spur around Wright Cove. The new map shows a whole web of trails, which was totally not on the old map, we and wish this map had come out like a month earlier. We stuck to the water along the trail/old road. At a certain point, the trail heads up a hill to the right, but we totally missed it. We ended up wandering through a web of roads on the state land adjacent to the Taylor Preserve. This is state land, so you can totally wander and explore (recommended exploring by reader Mike Millman!).
Anyway, we missed the trail and ended up wandering (turning right at every option) until we found the river again.
Here the trail climbs up and to the right. See it? We didn’t either (at least not until we came back that way). It’s okay, you can stay on the roads.
From here, we followed the other side of Wright Cove along the water, working our way back until the trail eventually plopped us back on the road. Some nice wetlands view here.
We now headed back toward the main loop. Left at the first intersection (backtracking), then right to take the east side of the wetlands. We followed the trail around the edge of the wetlands, so that The Pres could keep looking for birds. The soon put us on the Abby Trail, the only named trail we found in the Preserve.
This ends at an orange chain, marking the end of the trails. This also puts you in the community gardens section of the preserve. Make a right and then bear left to walk up the middle section of the gardens. They will stretch for a good, long while, until you hit Taylor Lane that we drove in on.
Here, you’ll cross the road diagonally to the right, which will put you in the second parking lot for the Preserve. The trail is right behind the kiosk.
This also marks the section that I had first hiked here with The Pres and his buddy Chicken two years before, so my pictures for the next stretch are a mix of “Oh no, it’s February” winter and “Hooray for Spring!” April. Check for snow in the shots to know the difference.
Anyway, the trail goes around the roped off area that used to be a road, cuts through to an open field (check out Wink Pond on the left), and follows an much more open area, the result of a water pipe being put in relatively recently. You’ll pass the foundations of a house here at the two old roads intersection, but I didn’t see anything. The trail will then curve around to the right and enter the woods, where there are more ruins off to the right, which we will get to in a moment.
Pond in April.
Its in this stretch that you’ll pass the remains of an old farm. The sign is a little vague, but either these foundations or the ones around the corner are the remains of the Joseph Wright House, built in 1771 and knocked down in the 1960s.
Joseph Wright House – Library of Congress. See all the images here.
From here, continue up to the next intersection, just before reaching Dredge Harbor. Well, I say intersection, because the sign says intersection, but the sign is a dirty, rotten liar. It says you can turn right and take a trail back to the parking lot. You can’t, and you’ll end up bushwhacking while carrying two three year old boys at the same time who don’t like sticker bushes. Seriously, there will be a person out in the woods waiting to hand you two small children if you try to go right here and find that trail (that doesn’t exist). And you’ll deserve the back ache, because this blog warned you.
What you actually do after hunting for foundations is follow the trail up to Dredge Harbor, then follow the curve around to the left, which will carry you parallel to the shoreline. Dredge Harbor is pretty interesting, because one hundred years ago, it was just farm fields. Throw in a sand mining operation and the Army Corp of Engineers, and you now have a harbor and Amico Island County Park (across the way) and even an egret rookery. It’s pretty crazy.
After this is what I like to call “the fun part”. The trail narrows down to practically a bridge, then curves around to front the Delaware River again. You’ll hike down a walkway between a swamp and the Delaware.
Swamp to your left.
High tide is pretty.one.
But as pretty as high tide is, at low tide, there is a beach here that you can explore. A pretty sizableTides are crazy.
After the beach, it was back up to walk between the swamp and river for a while. In 2015, there were some really tricky parts to this. In 2017, it seemed much easier. There were obvious signs of trail work, but I’ve sure having two three year olds along in 2015 didn’t make the trail easier either. Anyway, enjoy the section, it’s pretty interesting, but all completely trashed. The kids slide and the bowling ball stand out. I really need to haul one or the other of those out next time I am here.
You’ll follow until you hit a another clearing, with the water pump station visible inland.
The first time I made this clearing, I sat and enjoyed the view while the boys threw rocks in the water. I then desperately tried to figure out how to get back, and instead ended up backtracking, then taking the nonexistent trail, then having two of the three of us get carried out of there (Hint – I didn’t get carried).
When The Pres and I reached this point this time, I realized the solution (according to the map) was laughably simple… cross the nice metal bridge there and walk up the utility property. There are even bird houses along the way. How could I have not realized this the first time? So this time, we just did that.
From here, you are back on the road you drove in on. Walk down past the houses (maybe spot 15 turkeys along the way like we did) and they you are back at your car.
Thus ends 3 1/2 miles of good times. Thanks to The Pres for adventuring with me and not giving me a hard time when I way underestimated how long this hike was!
Nearby – Amico Island, Lake Lonnie, and Swedes Lake are all very close.
Nice swamp areas and views of the Delaware, great for birding. SUNSETS.
Trails are a bit confusing at times, but newer map helps. Too much trash washes up here (despite the heroic efforts of the volunteers), or it'd be even higher than a "7". Also, bring bug spray at certain times of the year.
Hiking daycare! Brilliant!
Hiking daycare?! Sweet, where do I drop off the kids? I haven’t been down to the Taylor preserve since it was more an idea of a preserve. The signage looks nice.
BTW, two Saturdays ago me and the four kiddies followed retraced three of your trips in one day (Worth Lake, Saddler’s Woods, Blueberry Hill). It was nice having your posts up on the phone as we navigated. Thanks for doing these! And here’s our Flickr sets:
Looks like a great day… I feel bad for whatever squirrel was trying to hide out in that tree at Saddler’s Woods!
tried to do Taylor’s Preserve a few weeks ago and could not find a trial head/ perhaps i will try again with your info. i agree about the trash.seems like this area just gets hit by it. notice it along the river at Palmyra Nature cove as well. Just think it’s the tides from the Delaware, but it is sad
I would have never found it if I hadn’t put the address in the GPS. The trail starts just off of Broad Street, whether your headed to the unmapped part we did, or the mapped part the other way.
well, hello, i was looking in the wrong spot. went back and re read your post. i get it now. we were there earlier today and went down the gravel road to the houses and looped back up. a car was coming and we found a random newly built wooden bridge. drops you off no where at the other end. well, not no where but you either tramp through the woods with out a trail or you go through someone’s yard. we tramped. will have to check out your suggestions next week. my friend’s son work on that trail as his Eagle Scout project. but seeing the ‘gate” i thought that part was closed to hikers. makes a lot more sense now. thanks
I’m lucky enough to live right near this one. I highly recommend you give it another shot, and this time go the other way as mapped (and even farther.. you can see that they stop the trails at the “NJ State Lands”, but they continue, and they are very nice). There are some stunning views back there near Wright’s Cove and farther southwest along the riverbank of there. Riverton Cove (a bit “off map”, but you can see it marked as “Cove” at the top left corner of the hand drawn map) has some beautiful views as well, and there’s a pretty nice ~25′ cliff between the two coves. Finally, you can find a 1935 USGS marker near Wright’s cove as well.
Also highly recommend taking in the view from the spot on the map marked “bridge and bench”. It’s beautiful in the early fall just before sunset, with the sun at your back.
“Bridge and Bench” view:
View of Philadelphia and Tacony Palmyra Bridge from Wright’s Point/Cove
Thanks for the reply Mike! I definitely want to get back and see the remainder of the park, just one of those things that hasn’t happened yet. Your pictures definitely make me want to move it up my list though, will have to get there soon!
My only suggestion would be to BRING BUG SPRAY! I got eaten alive by chiggers last time I went through there.
Long pants, long sleeves, bug spray, and a hat. Ticks are a mess out there too.
There are some auxiliary trails that I think are made by dirt bikers, be careful on those, because they start out clean and easy, but end up in thick brush a lot of times.
Don’t worry, though… there are plenty of easy trails as well, big enough to drive on even. I love it back there.
Maybe I’ll wait until the first freeze then, thanks for the tip!
Reblogged this on South Jersey Trails and commented:
Completely redid the review of this wildlife preserve that shares space with the last farm remaining on the Delaware River between Camden and Trenton. The Pres and I did the whole loop (about 3 1/2 miles) now and not just the one trail, and aside for a bit of washed up trash, was pretty awesome. Birding, swamps, old foundations, the Delaware River… so much to see here.
Thanks for visiting and noticing the differences in our trails, since the last time you were here. Glad to see that the kids made it all the way around! The preserve is a wonder any time of the year.
Many wonderful volunteers are involved with maintaining the trails throughout the year. We also have cleanup days to try to manage the trash that washes up along the shores. It’s quite the task!
Now that there is a new map, we’ll be working on trail blazing and will reflect this on a future updated map for easier hiking. Next time you’ll have to check out the new boardwalk we built about a year and a half ago that links the little lane with the main Taylors Ln gravel road. It’s pretty cool.
We hope you don’t mind if we post this to our http://www.taylorwildlifepreserve.org blog. And feel free to send any photos that you take on future visits. We love to post visitors photos.
~Friends of Taylor Wildlife Preserve
We don’t mind sharing our post at all! Thank you to the wonderful volunteers who have made this such a great place to go hike!
Finally got out to this one today (4/30/17). A very nice place (I see a lot of Palmyra Cove Park in this one; guess because the real PC is not really that far away!)
I parked in the “lot” closest to River Road/Broad Street) and began on the trail that goes by Winks Pond and Dredge Harbor. Maybe your eyes are better than mine…at first, I lost the trail and headed straight for some cut down trees, but I then turned around and discovered where the trail was supposed to go (i.e. by Winks Pond). Finally, the trail turned into the wider double-track trail as it paralleled Taylors Lane and went by Dredge Harbor. (I knew it was Dredge harbor not just from the map, but also from a huge sign on a building that said “Dredge Harbor”!) The next section (i.e. between the swamp and the mighty Delaware) was the part that reminded me _heavily_ of Palmyra Cove’s Cove Trail (i.e. before the boardwalk section.) Unfortunately, it was a bit foggy on the Delaware, so I didn’t get ideal shots of the Betsy Ross Bridge & Philly, but they weren’t too bad.
One section I checked out which I don’t think you & The Pres did was the long trail between the Wetland areas. (This connects the farm area with Broad Street.) I was greeted with no less than…oh, say about a *million* Red-winged Blackbirds (which is O.K., since they’re my favorite bird!) Almost as loud as a gang of cicadas on the hotter summer days! But about halfway down the trail or so is a small observation deck (complete with a bench), and a boardwalk that cuts across towards Taylors Lane — if you ever go back to this place, I would strongly recommend checking this out!
The Abby Trail was beautiful, but I didn’t see a definitive end to it. (Incidentally, I began from the community gardens and headed towards Wright Cove.) I think I ran into that area where the trail splits. (My original intention was to cut back across towards the farm area and taking the “Bench Bridge” in the process — somehow missed this in my initial pass.) I ended up keeping left on the trail, and somehow worked my way in a circle and ended right back at this intersection; it was kind of a weird experience! (As you may have guessed, I don’t use GPS — I do have it on my phone…maybe this would be a good time to start using it! 😉
Well, enough about my adventure — I will end by thanking you (once again) for sharing this place in your blog…it certainly didn’t disappoint! Looking forward to your next adventure!
Glad you enjoyed it! We have not done the cut-through trail! That will give us something to check out next time.
The trails at the south end of the preserve (and just off the preserve) turn into a web, which can be a bit confusing. The brand new map that just came out (after we hike last) has those on there, which will make it easier to navigate.
Gorgeous view of the Philly skyline
Signage is poor, and the trails are covered in weeds…some are basically impassable. it’s a shame, because it has so much potential,
I may come back in the winter on a nice day, but it’s a haven for ticks and chiggers during the summer.