Medford Wildlife Management Area – Medford, Burlington County, NJ
Distance – We did a mile, but there are miles and miles of potential hiking paths out here around the field edges
Type – Unmarked trails, but pretty easy to follow where the horses have made paths.
Difficulty: 2 of 10
Total score: 4 of 10
Website – None
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – Mostly open fields along the edge of woods, with a few paths through the woods.
Directions – Located on Ark Road near the intersection with Brace Road in Medford, NJ
Parking – Very large lot.
Dog friendly? – Yes
Stroller friendly? – Offroad strollers should do fine
Benches? – No benches
Bathrooms/changing tables – No facilities available.
Standouts – Nice fields to walk along and look for birds. Also, wildflowers.
Markings – No marked trails, but some well worn areas where the horses frequently walk loops.
Description – So, it was a beautiful Thursday, and the kids and I needed to get out and enjoy the day after several days in a row of rain. Our first attempt at hiking at the Cowan Preserve fell through (see also: that post… once I make it), but the Medford Wildlife Management Area was only a few miles away, so we headed for that.
Upon arrival, I realized that there are no trails here.
We headed a few dozen feet into the preserve along an old road, admiring the pretty flowers along the side. The Pres was checking out two turkey vultures that were hovering over us.
At this point, something unexpected happened… two horses came walking up to us. Tree Rider was over the moon about it.
As I often do on these hikes, I fell into conversation. With the riders, not the horses. I’m not that crazy. This time.
Anyway, the two ladies let me know that there were no official trails, but the easiest thing to do was walk around the edges of the fields. That way, you’d be sure to to see the flowers and the birds. While ticks and overgrowth could be a problem later in the year, right now was perfect… just follow the trail the horses have worn in around the edges of the field.
That sounded like a good plan, so we took it. After Tree Rider waved bye to the horses.
So we walked down the old road into the woods, but were forced back when it became too muddy.
We then followed the path worn by the horses around one of the large fields. We saw flowers and birds had generally enjoyed ourselves in the beautiful weather.
After a lap around one of the fields, it was time to head back to the car and go home for dinner and bedtime.
Overall recommendation – We really enjoyed this on a fine, early Spring day. I think this hike would not be nearly as nice once the grass gets very high, and we were warned that ticks become a major problem. While not the best hike of the year, we certainly enjoyed ourselves.