Trails West of Tracks – Wenonah Woods – Wenonah, NJ

Far end of Wenonah Lake.

Far end of Wenonah Lake.

 

Trails West of the railroad tracks –Frank Eggert Trail, Wenonah Lake Loop, Break Back Run Trail, and Mantua Creek Trail – Wenonah Woods Trails – Wenonah, Gloucester County, NJ

* NOTE – The Wenonah Conservation Area has a lot of trails and miles, I’ve decided to split it up but what’s east and west of the railroad tracks that split the town (which is how their map also splits it up). Click here for the trails east of the tracks!

Distance – about 3.5 miles total for all the trails on this side of the tracks.  Trail milage will vary according to how you loop them!
Type: lolipop trail (Eggert Trail), loop trail (Wenonah Lake Trail), and out-and-back (Break Back Run Trail and Mantua Creek Trail).
Difficulty: 4 of 10 – some ups and downs and a few trails on hillsides with tricky footing.
Total score: 7 of 10.

Website – Wenonah Trail System
Facebook page – Of course – Friends of Wenonah Trails

Terrain – marsh, woods, hills, creeks

Directions – Park at Wenonah Lake parking area, located at Maple Street and N. Jefferson Ave

Trailhead – At edge of parking lot –  39°47’55.36″N,  75° 9’8.03″W
Glen Trail –  39°47’12.50″N,  75° 9’5.57″W

Parking – Parking lot for lake (Northern end) or roadside parking (any area not by the lake)

Standouts – Nice swamp area, pretty lake, bit of up and down.  Mantua Creek is beautiful.

Markings – Carved sign posts at most intersections.  Use the map!

Map – Can be found at Wenonah Trail System.  The Frank Eggert Trail is not on there yet, but splits off from the Wenonah Lake Loop.

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Description –

Having done the parade and fireworks already (our town did they a day early this year), Tree Rider and I showed up for the 19th Annual  Wenonah 4th of July Trail Hike.  His older brother and I had done the eastern sections of these trails about a year and a half ago, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to check out a chunk of the western trails.

This day was extra special, because in addition to the usual hike, they were unveiling a monument and dedicating a trail to the late Frank Eggert, a man who seemed to be everywhere in town – Boy Scout leader (and Eagle Scout), trail maintainer, local town properties researcher, member of the American Legion Post.  While I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Eggert, his fingerprints are all over these trails – he maintained the pathways, created many of the carved signs, and led hikes along the trails.

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Unveiling of the monument at the trailhead.

Unveiling of the monument at the trailhead.

Beautiful monument to a life well lived.

Beautiful monument to a life well lived.

This town takes it’s conservation seriously, the town has a little more than 2,000 residents and is pretty much exactly one square mile, yet 20% of the land in town is protected as conservation land, and six miles of trails run through that land.  These are great trails too, they hold a well-earned spot on my Top 10 South Jersey Trails list.

Frank Eggert Trail and Wenonah Lake Loop Trail

The 4th of July, fittingly, started down the newly dedicated Frank Eggert Trail.  You’ll start up the Wenonah Lake Loop Trail (found at the top of the parking lot for Wenonah Lake), then split off to the right where you see the sign naming this new trail.  The trail makes a loop out through a nice patch of woods, then makes it way back around to the point where you left the Wenonah Lake Loop.

Start on the lake loop.

Start on the lake loop.

Head straight down the trail.

Head straight down the trail.

Except it looked like this during the very well attended 4th of July hike.

Except it looked like this during the very well attended 4th of July hike.

Split right onto the Frank Eggert Trail.

Split right onto the Frank Eggert Trail.

We were at the back, so I kept turning around and getting people-free pictures.

We were at the back, so I kept turning around and getting people-free pictures.

Big blow down from the storm.

Big blow down from the storm.

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Once we made it back to the loop trail, most people headed straight and back into the parking lot.  The trail guide offered to take anyone who wanted to around the lake, so Tree Rider and I decided to go for it (he didn’t have much choice, being a non-walker in a backpack).  For those not on a guided hike, this will be a right turn, keep an eye out for the trail sign with yellow paint.

The loop trail follows around the lake for roughly a half mile.  Keep your eyes peeled for beaver activity (found a gnawed on tree) and turtle nests. There are also some great views of the lake, which I overheard are extra good in the Fall.  With our new house only twenty minutes from here, there is a good chance we’ll be back for that.

Trail sign is not subtle.

Trail sign is not subtle.

Where the trail splits, there will immediately be a short bridge. We ended up in the middle of the pack for this part of the hike, which meant I got to learn more!

Where the trail splits, there will immediately be a short bridge.
We ended up in the middle of the pack for this part of the hike, which meant I got to learn more!

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Beaver activity.

Beaver activity.

Giant mushroom.

Giant mushroom.

We were told that the CCC built a bridge across the lake here, but it fell down about 70 years ago.

We were told that the CCC built a bridge across the lake here, but it fell down about 70 years ago.

The trail led down into a swamp, which was awesome.  It's there little pathways and bridges that make me love these trails.

The trail led down into a swamp, which was awesome.  It’s there little pathways and bridges that make me love these trails.

 

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Small creek.

Small creek.

Far end of Wenonah Lake.

Far end of Wenonah Lake.

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The bottom of a few of the trees are painted. We were told (I think, someone was talking in my ear and point to the doggie) that this keeps the beavers from chewing on them.

The bottom of a few of the trees are painted. We were told (I think, someone was talking in my ear and point to the doggie) that this keeps the beavers from chewing on them.

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Turtle nest. There were egg shells in there. They were leathery, not anything like a bird egg. Weird.

Turtle nest. There were egg shells in there. They were leathery, not anything like a bird egg. Weird.

The trail comes out of the woods and onto the road. The Break Back Run Trail comes in across the road here, which will carry you south. We'll be back to do that one.

The trail comes out of the woods and onto the road. The Break Back Run Trail comes in across the road here, which will carry you south. We’ll be back to do that one.

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Break Back Run Trail

Friday after the 4th of July, I went back to hike the Break Back Run Trail.  This is a 1/2 mile trail that runs from Wenonah Lake to Mantua Ave in town.  On the way back, I walked through the middle of town, then up the railroad tracks so that I could check out the Wenonah School Trail (East of the Tracks trail).  Total walk was about 1 3/4 miles.

Trailhead – At edge of parking lot –  39°47’51.55″N,  75° 9’11.42″W
Parking – Parking lot for Wenonah Lake

Description – This trail starts on Ogden Station Rd/N Maple Ave, across from Wenonah Lake and right by the town’s border.  Look for the sign!

Across from the lake.

Across from the lake.

Sign at the trailhead.

Sign at the trailhead.

As always, look for the carved trailhead signs.

As always, look for the carved trailhead signs.

This first half of this trail is a real workout, going up and down and up and down in little 10 or 15 foot elevation climbs and drops.  Each drop had a bridge at the bottom of it made of a few boards.

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Tree getting ready to come all the way down.

Tree getting ready to come all the way down.

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A short ways in, the trial will reach a T intersection.

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The trail to the left will take you out to North Jefferson Ave.

bbt11You want right, which will keep you on the trail.  A few more trails will come in on the left at various places, they always lead up to the streets.

Staying on the trail.

Staying on the trail.

The trail then continues it’s roller coaster ways, getting closer and closer to the creek.  Along the way are some nice swamp views, so take it all in.

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Toward the end of the trail, it will finally level out and stop acting like a roller coaster.

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The trail will leave the woods and emerge onto North Hayes Ave.  Turn left and walk down the road.

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At the end of North Hayes Street, you would turn right onto West Mantua Ave.  After  a short distance, the trailhead for the Mantua Creek Trail will be on the left.

Mantua Creek Trail and Glen Trail

In July 2015, my buddy Pat and I took The Pres and Tree Rider down to finish off these last two of the Wenonah Trails west of the railroad tracks.  When I think I’m out of nice things to say about Wenonah, they surprise me again.  As with every park in the area, there was a bazillion downed trees after the microburst/tornadoes back in the beginning of the month.  Wenonah had cut every tree up and removed every branch from this trail, and it had not even been two weeks yet.  These folks are amazing!

Anyway, we started at the short Glen Trail  and headed left, toward the railroad tracks.

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Into the woods

As always, everything is well labeled.

As always, everything is well labeled.

Thank you!

Thank you!

Wenonah looks like it was hit as hard as anywhere, but the trails where clear.

Wenonah looks like it was hit as hard as anywhere, but the trails where clear.

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We turned left onto the Mantua Creek Trail and headed for the tracks a ways, before turning around and backtracking to take the trail north toward where I had stopped after the Break Back Trail a week or so before.
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View down the little stream.

View down the little stream.

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We turned around about here and backtracked to take in the rest of the trail.

We turned around about here and backtracked to take in the rest of the trail.

Once turned around, we ran into a damaged bridge, the first one I’d ever seen out here.  Looks like the storm got a pretty good number in on it, but I’m sure it was quickly fixed.

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Soon after, the trail winds down to follow the creek closely, which led to really nice views of the marsh and water.

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The views right next to the creek were particularly nice.

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Once away from the creek, it’s a nice, cool walk through the woods toward Maple Ave.

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To connect with the Break Back Run Trail, turn right and walk up Maple Ave.

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Take the almost immediate left next to the baseball field, and that trail will start on the right side part way down the road.

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Overall recommendation: Every time I did a new section of these trails, I’d be tempted to brand it my favorite section.  Then I realized this was silly, they were just all that good.  Really, other than the School Trail east of the tracks, all of these trails are really nice and “can’t miss”.  It’s well worth making the trip to hike these trails.

Nearby – Of course, there are the Wenonah Woods Trails East of the Tracks to check out.

Wenonah is also a great town to take a stroll through.

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6 Comments

Filed under Hiking, Outdoors., South Jersey, Wildlife.

6 responses to “Trails West of Tracks – Wenonah Woods – Wenonah, NJ

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