Nature Trail – The Frank H. Stewart Memorial Lake and Park – Woodbury, Gloucester County, NJ
Distance – About 0.75 miles round trip
Type – lollipop (ish)
Difficulty: 1 of 10
Total score: 3 of 10
Website – City of Woodbury – Parks
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – lakeside, meadows, swamp, and woods
Directions – On East Red Bank Ave across from the intersection with Roosevelt Ave
Standouts – Beautiful lake is the highlight of this trail.
Markings – None.
Description – So I’ve been going to Wenonah a lot lately, and every time I do, I drive over the bridge crossing Stewart Lake in Woodbury. Today, it was time to go explore Stewart Lake.
There was not a lot of info (read: pretty much none) on the internet about this one, so we kinda showed up and winged it. The trail isn’t labeled or blazed, I couldn’t find a map or sign anywhere, but a pair of bridges across a creek are a pretty good sign that we found our elusive trail.
We started out on the bike trail, walking toward the fenced in municipal yard area. We then got off trail, cutting down the shore of the lake. From here, you get a beautiful view of the lake going both ways.
When you reach the tree line, walk away from the lake toward the pavement. You’ll see the community garden up ahead and a small, brick building. Just before that small brick building, look right into the woods. There is a path leading into the woods, take it!
You’ll cross a bridge made up of pieces of lumber shoved into the ground, without anything holding them together.
The trail back here will now make roughly a loop, just follow the obviously cleared path around. It will go uphill and loop around.
However, you’ll eventually hit the bane of all Gloucester County trails at the moment, massive blow downs. And I mean massive.
Once you get around the blow downs, you’ll see a bridge to the front of you, this one of much better construction. Don’t take this, but it would put you near the entrance to the community garden.
You can then loop back around, downhill, and recross the plank bridge.
Take another stroll along the lake before you get back in the car, it’s worth it.
Overall recommendation – This is a beautiful lake, but not a beautiful or very interesting hike. Not worth much of a side trip to hike, although well worth a stop to sit by the lakeside or, I suspect, go boating. I will be back, but next time with Ol’ Tippecanoe for a little water tour.
Sources – Roncace, Kelly. “What’s in a Name? Stewart Park and Stewart Lake”. <http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/towns/index.ssf/2012/04/whats_in_a_name_stewart_park_a.html>