John T. Hale, Sr Memorial Park – Ashland Woods, Voorhees, Camden County, NJ
Distance: 1 mile
Type: Figure 8
Difficulty: 1 of 10
Total score: 3 of 10
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – Forest
Trailheads – 39°51’14.65″N, 75° 0’56.95″W
Directions: West End Ave, Voorhees, NJ
Parking – streetside parking
Standouts – Cooper River, nice forest along west part of trails.
Markings – Metal posts where maintenance road crosses trails, orange tape everywhere else.
Description: I was very excited to come walk the Ashland Woods at John T. Hale, Sr Memorial Park. Why? Because Josh, one of my Boy Scout troop’s soon-to-be-Eagle-Scouts had just finished up the work creating the trail here, as was covered by Kevin Riordan in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The trail starts at the entrance to the park at West End Ave, and goes straight across the open field to the service road.
The trail makes a figure 8, but I’d suggest taking the left side first. It’s less scenic, so it saves the best for near the end. The left side will curve around through the woods. Nothing very special here, just follow the orange ribbons on the trees through a shady patch of woods. The trail will reemerge back at the service road.
Once you hit the service road, turn left and cross the ditch/stream (you’ll barely notice that you’re crossing anything). At the green post, turn left into the woods again. This section of trail is similar to the first, except at the back end, you’ll end up at a fence. On the other side of that fence is an abandoned looking building, but I’m not sure if it’s abandoned, or we’re just looking at the back of it.
Once again, you’ll emerge onto the service road. Time to check out the other side! The trail is just slightly to the left when crossing the road.
Almost immediately, there will be a short spur down to the Cooper River. It’s worth the detour to check the water out.
You’ll then finish this third loop through a much more mature forest, with bigger trees and more open space. This is definitely the best part of trail system here.
Again, you’ll emerge onto the service road. Turn left and recross the small stream. You’ll reenter the woods for the final time just after. It’s similar to the third section of trail, but no Cooper River within side, just a small stream.
You’ll come out one last time onto the service road. It’s a left turn here, straight across the field, and back to where your car is parked (or, to the swings!).
Overall recommendation: Nice evening walk if you’re in the area. Reminds me a lot of some of the better trails in the Cherry Hill Trail system.