Scotland Run Park – Clayton, NJ


Scotland Run Park – Clayton ,  Gloucester County, NJ
Distance –  Unknown miles of trails total ( we covered 2.8 miles by doing the outside loop behind the nature center, the Nature Trail, and the road walk to the boat ramp road, plus the distance between the trailheads).
Type – Loops/out-and-backs
Difficulty: 2  of 10 – trails unmarked
Total score: 5 of 10

Website – Gloucester County Parks
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – Lake, woods, fields
Surface – Part paved, part grass, part dirt

Trailheads – Nature Trail –  39°39’27.27″N,  75° 3’9.80″W
Trails behind Nature Center –  39°39’20.19″N,  75° 3’6.17″W

Road walk down to boat ramp (closed to traffic) –  39°39’27.09″N,  75° 3’7.11″W

Directions – 980 East Academy Street, Clayton, NJ

Parking – Two large lots, one on either side of the road.

Dog friendly? I think it is NOT dog friendly, but the sign is worded oddly.
Stroller friendly? One with large wheels should be fine.
Benches? A few scattered through the park
Facilities?: Bathrooms open in season (or at least they weren’t open when we were there)

Other notes – Nature Center, playground, canoe and kayak rentals available on weekends in season.

Markings – None, but paths are clear.
Map – No map of the whole park, which is a bit frustrating.  I can help with a map of the trails behind the nature center –
scotlandrunmap2And a copy of my track, which includes the trails on the map above, the nature trail (errr, other nature trail?) and the road walk to the boat ramp.


Rules –

Description – Like many parks in South Jersey, the internet presence on this one is pretty bad, and I never could work out if there were 25 feet of trails here or 25 miles of trails.  If only there was some sort of South Jersey hiking blog that would make themselves willing guinea pigs to go figur… alright, alright, we’re going, we’re going.

So, on a cloudy April day, The Pres, Tree Rider, and I headed down to Clayton to check this one out.  We parked in front of the Nature Center, and headed down the trails into the woods behind the Nature Center.


Having no map to work from, we used the tried and true method of wandering down trails while attempting to look like we knew what we were doing (only later did we discover a map posted on a bulletin board by the lake, which is now posted in this post… our mistakes are your good fortune!)

Anyway, we headed down the trails along the creek.  At one point a trail went down toward the creek, which we followed (it was a four way intersection, right would have taken us to a cut through trail known as “The tunnel”).  We quickly discovered it wasn’t a real trail, and bushwhacked to the main trail, an old road.  From here on out, we stuck to the wide path, and it worked out well.  We eventually crossed a footbridge.


Ooooh, let’s go left. Right would have taken us to “the tunnel”.
Left seems like a good idea.
Left maybe wasn’t a good idea?
Nothing crashing through some brush can’t fix.
The Pres is still crashing.
Back on the trail.



Just after the footbridge is another intersection.  We opted again to stay straight to stay on the outside loop of trails, and soon the trail curved around.  At the back corner, we reached another four way intersection.

We stayed straight at the intersection.


Nice woods.


Here, we opted to turn left and head out further from the parking area.  This turned out to be a spur, and we followed it out to the end, then backtracked to this intersection.

Off we go, no need to wait for Daddy.


Only obstacle the whole day on the trails, and super easy to get around.  Nice, clear paths.
Yep, definitely Spring.
And just like that, the trail is done.  Time to turn around!
Yep, Spring in here.

Once back at the four way intersection, we opted to go left (or what would have originally be straight).  We hit another intersection immediately, but stayed straight, which put us in an area of more recent growth.  There was another intersection right after that, but we stayed straight again.  We followed the trail all the way out to the road.


Fries Mills Road.

From here, we backtracked to the most recent intersection, where we turned left to continue around the more open area of recent growth.  Some neat birds here, but also BEES.  I hate stupid bees, but we soldiered on (sometimes at a very quick pace).  The trail ended in a “T”, and I went left just to make sure that it went back to the road, which it did.


Turned left here.




Next T-intersection.  Looking left, I could see the road, but I walked down just to be thorough.
Yep, definitely a road (Fries Mills Road)

We then turned and looked for the first intersection to get us out of the fields.  We found it within a few dozen feet, and turned left to stay on the outside of the loop again (if we had gone straight, we would have gone through “the tunnel”).  This quickly curved through more woods back to where we had entered next to the nature center.  We then turned left and walked back to the parking lot.


Sat on the bench for a few, then onward!
Turned left here to stay to the outside of the trail system.


Tree Rider is a happy hiker today!


Behind the maintenance shed.
Left onto the trail to the parking lot.
Back at the nature center!

This is where we’d usually sign off… but more trails!  Yay!

We headed straight toward the road, crossed under some pretty blooming trees, then crossed the road, entering the gate into the lake half of the park.


The paved walkway goes past the playground, then crosses  a small bridge, and finally hooks left to head away from the lake and toward the lake side parking lot.  On the right, the access road to the parking lot will be abruptly gated off after the parking spaces.  This was the spot for our next hike toward the boat launch.


Next hike!

The road hike is basic.  The road curves to the right, then to the left, and ends up dead ending at the boat launch access road.  It’s a nice little walk.


Here, we could have gone right and walked down the open-to-traffic boat ramp access, but I decided I wasn’t up for that with the kiddos this day, so we turned around.  There unmapped trails on the other side of the boat launch road that have some cool stuff on them (thanks for letting us know Amy!).  No map, but a reason to go back!

Anyway, we got back to the gate and decided we should end with the Nature Trail through the arboretum.  It’s short and sweet, although its an odd figure-8 shape.  This led us to do it the way I’d write an 8, rather than walk it as a loop.  Still, nice little walk, lots of interesting trees, and labels to go with them.

When you reach the gate to the road, turn right and walk along the fence.
When you run out of fence, turn right onto the trail.
Across the meadow. The trail splits here, but its a lollipop, so either way will bring you back here.
We went right, because flowering tree.


Tree signs off to the left.  The trail is actually a figure 8.  We probably should have gone straight here, but went left instead, through the middle of the eight.


Other side of the eight, we went right to loop back around.


This tree was something else in its day.
Ahead, we turned right to get to the last part of the “8” we hadn’t seen.


Then, it was back for views of the lake, followed by playground time.  A little something for everyone.



After the playground, it was back across the street to where we’d left our car.


Nearby – Glassboro WMA is down the street!  One for the to-do list!

6 thoughts on “Scotland Run Park – Clayton, NJ

  1. no pics of “oddly worded dog sign?” If the wording is that ambiguous, I would argue that it’s likelier to mean dogs ARE allowed. (At least that will be my defense when I get in trouble for bringing my dog there! ) But what was the wording, now you have my curiosity piqued.

    1. Whoops! Didn’t realize I hadn’t posted that picture, I just added it below the map. It says “Do not bring or release pets in the park.” I get “Don’t release pets in the park”, but it’s either poorly worded or poorly combined.

    2. Hi Caiti, dogs are not allowed in the park, leashed or not. The sign is referring to releasing pets into the wild. It harms the environment, and the animal, when people abandon pets, such as turtles or other creatures. Some of the signs are rather old, but the Nature Center does accept donations which go to the county to improve the park. The Nature Center was renovated April 2019, so hopefully you were able to come and see the new live animals and aquariums!

  2. We’re in the playground area with a service dog for a party and of course I open up SJ Trails to see what’s around. Five minutes after reading about the ambiguous dog policy a ranger in a pickup truck came up to tell us dogs aren’t allowed. He was cool when told it was a service dog.

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