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.
Total score: 7 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
Standouts – Nice swamp areas and views of the Delaware, great for birding.
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.
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.
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.
But as pretty as high tide is, at low tide, there is a beach here that you can explore. A pretty sizable one. Tides 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!
Overall recommendation: Minus the trash, this is a great little hike. Nature, birds, old house remains, wetlands, river… so much to see here along the way.