Piper’s Corner Preserve – Shamong, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: No official listing, but I did 1.4 miles and missed two cut through trails
Type: Loop with some offshoots and cut throughs.
Difficulty: 2 of 10 (trail tricky to follow in places).
Total score: 1000 of 10 (because I saw a fox.)
Total score (minus fox siting): 3 of 10
Website – Rancocas Conservancy
Open – Sunrise to Sunset
Terrain – Pine forest
Trailheads – 39°49’55.05″N, 74°46’11.58″W
Directions: Shawnee Lane, Shamong, NJ (also lists as Medford Lakes for some reason, but I’m almost positive it’s in Shamong… Google Maps is backing me up on this one)
Parking: Parking by the side of the road in a neighborhood. Look for the “no motor vehicles” sign and the lady mowing her lawn. Admittedly, she might not be mowing her lawn that day.
Standouts – I SAW A FOX!!! The tractor is also pretty sweet.
Markings – Mostly plastic trail markers nailed to trees. Also some white paint used for blazing.
This was third and final hike of ridiculous hike day. With not much of a map and no mileage estimates, I had no idea what to expect. What I ended up with is a unevenly maintained trail that doesn’t come close to following the map (for example: the map does not have the trail looping), which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Head in at the trailhead, following to the right of the chain link fence. When you reach the end of the fence, you can turn right into the woods, or walk along the back end of the fence to the other part of the white trail. I went right.
Back to the white trail, it will curve around and enter an area with very little brush. There’s some sort of shelter here (looks like a kid’s playfort), but mostly just open underbrush. It can be tough to stay on trail here, keep alert for white markers or blazes. First one yellow trail, then another will come in on the left. These simply cut back to the field behind the fence. Push through a narrow part of trail and see an old tractor labeled “No hunting.”
The map makes it look like the trail should keep going to the right. I went down a bit, but couldn’t find anything resembling a marker, so I turned around and went the other way down the cleared trail, where a white blaze appeared almost immediately. The trail winds around until it hits a cul-de-sac, which it goes along the edge of.
The trail heads back into the woods, but pops out at the big field at the back of the first chain link fence that you saw. Walk across the field. The yellow trails that you past previously will emerge here, and at the end of the fence, you can turn right and head back out of the woods.
Wait, I forgot the important part. I SAW A FOX HERE IN THIS FIELD!!!!! For serious!
Overall: A nice little walk, but there are so many other good hikes near here that I wouldn’t make this a special trip (as the third hike in a day, it was a nice stop). On the other hand, a fox totally lives in this preserve, so go right now. Even if it’s dark out.