0
The Good

pretty views of the lake, cedars, and pinelands

The Could Be Better

Usually have to fight some bushes to get get views of the lake.

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7.0
Bottom Line

This is a great little trail through the pine barrens, with plenty of pinelands scenery, but enough variety by the lake to make it interesting.

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Mill Pond Trail – Port Republic Trail System  – Port Republic, Atlantic County, NJ
Distance – 1.9 miles total (does not include the cut through, nor the access trail to get to other parts of the wider trail system)
Type – Loop
Difficulty:  2 of 10
Total score: 7 of 10

Website – Port Republic Trail System (Facebook page, no website)
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – pine forest with a bit of swamp
Surface – dirt

Trailheads –  39°30’39.03″N,  74°30’15.30″W

Directions – 301 Riverside Dr, Port Republic, NJ 08241

Parking – Roadside parking on the shoulder

Dog friendly? Yes, but must be on a leash and cleaned up after.
Stroller friendly?  Should be doable with big wheels
Benches? A few
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Facilities?: None

Markings – painted blazes and posts with arrows

Map –
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Description – This trail system was brought to my attention via the wonderful Jersey Pine Barrens Facebook group, so we decided to stop here back in March after checking out the A Jerome Walnut Nature Trail and the wreck of the Sea King on LBI.

It took us a turnaround to find the trailhead, but we did manage to find it and park along the roadside.  Packs on, kids out, away we go.

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After a walk of thirty seconds, you’ll come to a split in the trail.  We opted for right.  It was only at the end that we realized we should have gone left, then immediately right.  We ended up following an old roadway for several minutes instead of being on the trail, which was in the woods off to our left.




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We hiked up, past where we would have merged with the trail that we had been on this whole time, and were back on track.  Our next spotter was the intersection with the Red Trail, which serves as a cut through so that either side of the system can be accessed quickly.  We hung a right to stay on the Green, which is the outer loop.

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From here, the loop heads slowly down toward the water, and the pine trees slowly begin to have some cedars mix in with them.

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No intersection here, just taking you off the old road and onto the trail here.

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He’s hiking!  Not fast, but he’s hiking!

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Another fake intersection, just follow the markers.



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Dropping toward the lake.

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My favorite part of the trail, the cedar tunnel.

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Nicest of the lake views I found.

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Finally arriving at the little point of land in the lake (that top right corner of the map).

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At the point is a nice little pioneering project/bench.  You have water on nearly three sides, so enjoy a sit for while.

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After reading the point, you’ll have to climb up from the lake front. The trail will arch just slightly, coming around until you are within easy viewing distance of the part of the Green Trail that we’d already walked.

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Up and out.

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Whithin site of the part of the trail we’d already done.

From here, the trail separates again, making a wide arc around until it meets up with the other end of the Red Trail cut-through.  This is mostly more pine forest as you move away from the water.

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From here, it is a short walk until the trail splits again, giving you the option to leave the Mill Pond Trail and access other parts of the trail system across English Creek Road.  We stuck with the Mill Pond Trail for today, staying left.

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Then, with a few wind arcs back and forth, the trail will head back to where we started, passing the turn where you will pick up the trail initially (and we missed), then hanging right toward the road, then popping out of the woods at the trail’s informational kiosk.

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This is just past where the turn to redo the Green Trail is to the left.  Walk forward and turn right toward the road.

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We made it!

Nearby: There is the rest of the Port Republic Trail System, which we will have to head back and hike in the future.  The Bog Trail in particular has grabbed our attention.

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