Nehaunsey Park – Gibbstown, Gloucester County, NJ
Distance – A little over a mile one way (2.25 out-and-back)
Type – Out-and-back
Difficulty: 3 of 10 – few blow downs, trail a little tricky to follow in places
Total score: 6 of 10
Website – None. (Whoa)
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – mostly forest and swampland.
Trailheads – 39°49’19.27″N, 75°16’45.32″W (two parts of the trail start here, one down the gated off road, one that starts next to the chain link fence. Either one meets up later on the main walking trail).
39°49’9.87″N, 75°16’8.51″W (behind school)
39°49’16.09″N, 75°16’29.78″W (power cut on Cucinotta Drive)
Directions – South Home Ave, Gibbstown, NJ
Parking – A few roadside parking spots
Dog friendly? – Yes
Stroller friendly? – Not at the moment, several blow downs on the trail that would be tough to get a stroller over.
Benches? – Several, but all in the eastern section of the park
Bathrooms/Changing Tables – No facilities!
Standouts – Beautiful marshland.
Markings – No trail markings, trail gets a little tough to follow in a few places.
On a beautiful Saturday, Tree Rider, The Pres, and I gave The Wife a break by heading out exploring. We ended up at Nehaunsey Park in Gibbstown, Gloucester County, NJ, where we did the Nehaunsey Walking Trail. This trail wasn’t blazed, and had a few rough patches, but overall wasn’t bad to follow.
We started by crossing the gate and walking down the closed off section of road toward Nehaunsey Creek.
Where the road intersects with the trail proper, a little peek down toward the creek (with some help from some Spring colors) led to a gorgeous view.
Here, we hung a left and walked down the trail. The trail starts off mostly as grass, but soon converts to what seem to be crushed shells.
The trail then hits a bit of swampland, but a small bridge takes you across the water. From the bridge, another really nice view down toward the creek.
Once across the bridge, you’ll quickly intersect with an unmarked trail on the right, which leads to the creek. We opted to take it.
This trail loops ahead to reconnect with the original trail. At this point, the trail crosses some blow downs and emerges at a power line cut.
Here, we ran into a kid who was exploring the woods. He told us he had seen a clubhouse in the woods a bit down the power line cut. Of course, we had to check it out. Pretty impressive.
We then backtracked to the power line cut, and backtracked to the trail. The trail reentered the woods here. In a short while, we began to see nature signs (a turtle was on the first one), which signified the more developed portion of the trail. The trail crossed a few bridges before ending up at a viewing platform.
The platform was in honor of Dr. Silvia Alice Earle, a local girl who became a scientist and worked in deep underwater exploration. Pretty awesome.
The trail then went around a blown down tree before veering off to the right to avoid a massive series of downed trees. We didn’t notice the turn in the trail at first and tried to get through the blow downs, but they were pretty terrible.
After turning, the trail passed a few benches, a few more signs, crossed another bridge or two, and ended at the back playing fields of the elementary school.. the end of the trail.
At this point, we’d done a little over a mile. I let Tree Rider out of the the pack, and we started back down the trail the way that we’d come. We followed the trail nearly back to the very first intersection.
Just a few hundred feet before we would have made it back to the first intersection, we crossed a ditch on a small bridge and took a path through the woods, emerging next to the fence that we’d parked our car next to.
Nothing left to do but hop in the car and head home after our lovely hour in the woods.
Overall recommendation – This trail was not at all what I expected. While close to neighborhoods, it felt more wild than I had imagined. There were some beautiful views of the swamps and creek, much more scenic than I ever would have guessed. The only draw backs were that a) they should really blaze the trail and b) something needs to be done about the blow downs. Still, well worth hiking if you’re in the area!