Lake Lonnie – Delran, Burlington County, NJ
Distance – 0.6 of a mile, but more areas to explore back there.
Type – Loop
Difficulty: 5 of 10 – dodging dirt bikes
Total score: 3 of 10
Open – 8:30 AM to 7 PM (September 1 – March 31), 8:30 AM – 9 PM (April 1 to August 31)
Terrain – Lakeside forest and dunes
Trailheads – 40° 1’23.30″N, 74°58’20.91″W
Directions – Located at the end of 5th Street, past Leon Ave. When entering the large parking area next to Swedes Lake, turn left at the end of the chain link fence, and follow the road around to the parking area for Lake Lonnie
Markings – None, but easy to follow around.
Description – Right next to Swedes Lake in Delran is Lake Lonnie. This former farm was acquired in the 1940s by Mr. Karl Scott. In 1945, he dug a fairly deep lake (reportedly 15 feet deep in the middle), named it after his wife, and , 1953, opened a swimming resort. This was a popular place over the next several decades, a place for picnics and learning to swim. The lake operated until 1976, when it was acquired by the township after the popularity fell. The lake was used by the township for town events until at least the 1990s, such as Delran’s 100th Anniversary celebration and Scout campouts. Eventually, the swimming area was shut down, but more recently the town constructed hiking trails around the lake.
So, after wrapping up our hike at Swedes Lake, we walked across the parking areas to the trailhead for Lake Lonnie, next to what appeared to be the old snackbar. We went clockwise around the lake, following the well worn trails around for about 0.6 of a mile.
There were lots more areas leading around this spot next to Swede’s Run, but we exited pretty quickly. Why? Quad and dirt bikes. The kids riding them were very polite, slowing down when they passed the kiddos and myself and moving off to other areas after noticing we were walking two little ones around, but loyal readers of the South Jersey Trails blog that frequent the area say that the riders are not always so polite or careful. I like to think it’s my charming personality that made the difference, or maybe my “don’t mess with me, I work with Camden kids” aura that follows me around, but it might just be my 6’1″ frame and scary mountain man beard. Whichever way it is, be careful if you go here!
DiStefano, Joseph N. “Litter Collectors Find Treasure Among The Trash In Delran.” Philadelphia Inquirer 25 Apr. 1990: n. pag. Philly.com. Web. 3 Jan. 2016. <http://articles.philly.com/1990-04-25/news/25915995_1_roadsides-township-medical-explorers>.
Ruza Family. “Lake Lonnie.” Postitive Press. July 2011.
Thank you to those who shared on the Facebook page about Lake Lonnie!
Pretty little lake, lots of history here.
Have to dodge dirt bikers. They were nice, but had to worry about them potentially coming around a blind curve and crashing into my kid, which made the hike not very enjoyable.