Crook Horn Creek Nature Trail – Ocean City, Cape May County, NJ
Distance – 0.75 of a mile one way
Type – Out-and-back
Difficulty: 2 of 10
Total score: 6 of 10
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – marshlands
Trailheads – 39°13’51.59″N, 74°37’58.88″W
OR 39°13’53.15″N, 74°38’28.58″W
Directions – Trailhead is located on 51st street where it dead ends at the bay, just off of Haven Ave
Markings – None, follow the old roadbed.
Description – So one day I was on Facebook, and one my friends posted about hiking a trail in Ocean City. I’d never heard of it, so I made a mental note that, next time I was in Ocean City, I would find and hike that trail. At the end of August (months and months and months later), I found myself in Ocean City again. So early one morning, I set off to find the Crooked Horn Creek Trail.
I did, without much trouble, and immediately realized that I had walked on this before, my folks previous retirement place had been less than two blocks from here. I remember my then girlfriend (now affectionately known as “The Wife”) trying to walk this to see the sunset one evening, only to be viciously assaulted by mosquitoes and flies on all sides and quickly retreat to the safety of indoors.
I was prepared this time, put on some bug spray, and soldiered on. Sunscreen is a good idea too, there is no cover at all.
The trail is obviously the remains of a paved road, although it hasn’t been repaved in ages. It heads out into the bay, following the old railway line that crossed over to the mainland.
The major challenge of this trail is getting around some of the larger puddles, which this road has plenty of. None of them are too bad as long as you walk carefully around the edges.
For the first part of the trail, the bay is visible on your right, and rows of houses on the left, separated from the road by a ditch and a bunch of trees. This lasts about halfway down the trail. At this very end part of the houses, there is a small footbridge to the left, which leads a dozen steps to West 52nd Street at Ensign Ave. We’ll stop here on our way back.
From here on, it will be bay on both sides, just keep going until you run out of road.
Keep an eye out below you for crabs. I saw a couple!
And finally, arrive at the end of the road. When I was there, there were folks fishing and a few boats and jetskis went by.
Then you turn around and come back. On the way back, take the little bridge to West 52nd Street.
But you can take a few steps up Ensign Street for a birds nest with, hopefully, birds.
Back on the trail, it’s a short distance until you’re back at the car.
Nearby – Hiking wise, Corson’s Inlet State Park is maybe a mile away! Or take in the beaches and boardwalk and maybe some 10 cent Skeeball.
beautiful views of the marsh, birds, and crabs. Also remains of the railroad line. Also also sunsets.
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