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It’s summer.  Hiking is hot.  But you still want to do it.  Because its awesome. But it’s hot.

Solution?  Go for a hike, then for a swim! Here are six South Jersey hikes that you can swim after without having to get back into the car to go somewhere else!

Note -click on the name of the trail to go to the trail information about that trail!

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#6 – Red and Blue Trails – Wharton State Forest – Shamong, Burlington/Atlantic County, NJ – 1 mile
Cost – $5 per car during the week, $10 per car on the weekend (2017 – New Jersey residents, more expensive for those from other states)
Official information – Wharton State Forest

Just off of Route 206 lies the old Atsion Lake, which helped power the various mills and iron works that have existed there over the centuries.  These days, it has a more important job – keeping summer time cool for the thousands that visit each summer.

It also has a pair of trails, the Atsion Lake Red and Blue Trails, that are pretty great.  These trails combine for a mile of trail, which loops through the boggy areas next to the lake.  There are some really great lake views, and as a bonus there are blueberry bushes all along the trail!  When you’re done, it’s time to go swimming in Atsion Lake!

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#5 – Wenonah Lake Loop – Wenonah, Gloucester County, NJ – 1 mile
Cost – $8 per person weekday/ $10 per person weekend (for non-residents of Wenonah.  You can also buy a season pass as a non-resident if you’d like)
Official information – Wenonah Township 

To long time readers of this blog, it’s no secret that I LOVE the Wenonah Trail system.  This town of only one square mile has SIX miles of beautiful trails.  And in the northwest corner of town is Wenonah Lake.  Here, you can hike a mile around the outside loop of the lake, or stretch your hike out a bit on the Frank Eggert Trail or the Break Back Run Trail.

Afterwards?  You guessed it, cool off in this beautiful lake.

Photo credit: Debbie Magown Soden

#4 – Bass River State Forest – Bass River Township – Burlington/Atlantic Counties, NJ
Cost – $5 per car during the week, $10 per car on the weekend (2017 – New Jersey residents, more expensive for those from other states)
Official information – Bass River State Forest 

I’m cheating, as I’ve never actually logged a trail here other than the Batona (although I have hiked here, and its nice!  It was just pre-blog!).  It’s on my list, I promise!  But until then, there are a whole range of trails around Lake Absegami (in fact, all major trails EXCEPT the Batona start at the lake), so you can loop from half a mile to three miles on a trail before coming back for a dip!

Photo credit – Debbie Magown Soden . Thank you for letting me use these great pictures Debbie!




Note to self: Take your own advice on this one and do it this this summer!

 

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#3 – Rail Trail, Yellow Trail, and Red Trail – Corson’s Inlet State Park – Ocean City, Cape May County, NJ – about two miles of hiking
Cost – Ocean City Beach tag information
Official Information – Corson’s Inlet State Park

I love hiking through this park… the dunes… the elevated rail trail… the beach… there is just so much to love!  Killer sunsets certainly don’t hurt either.  So why not hike the trails, then hit the beaches of Ocean City?  The red trail dumps you directly onto the beach, it’s like the trail is TELLING you to go swimming.

#2 – Nature Trail 1 and 2 – Belleplain State Forest – Woodbine, Cape May County, NJ –
Cost – $5 per car during the week, $10 per car on the weekend (2017 – New Jersey residents, more expensive for those from other states)
Official information – Belleplain State Forest

There are bazillion miles of trails here, but I suggest doing a nice mile hike on Nature Trail #1 and #2.  These two trails are two loops of a figure 8, and leave right from the parking lot.  Along the way, you’ll have nice views of the lake, as well as a chance to spot birds, turtles, and frogs.

Like all good nature trails, this one has signs that you can read to help learn about what plants and animals you may be looking at.

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#1 – Parvin Lake Trail – Parvin State Park – Elmer, Salem County, NJ – 3 miles
Cost – $2 per person to swim (2017 – NJ State Resident or nonresident)
Official information – Parvin State Park

Down in Salem County lies a like a that is beautiful to hike around.  This was the site of a Civilian Conservation Corp camp during the Great Depression, and the CCC did a beautiful job building this park.  As would be expected, there are beautiful views of the lake as you walk around, and also a nice cedar swamp on the back end of this trail.



Three miles not doing it for you?  The park has 15 miles of connected trails to hike, so you can go a lot further before taking your swim in the lake.

So get on out there, get a great hike in, and then go for a dip!

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  • July 13, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Makes me want to grab my trunk and hop in my car and hike a trail in NJ. – Rowdy

  • Snowglazed
    July 13, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    I am 61 years old, have lived my entire life in South Jersey, and had NEVER been to Parvin until last weekend. This place is beautiful!
    Did not hike, though there are plenty of trails and camping spots. We spent the entire day on the sandy beach of that beautiful lake, rented kayaks and simply enjoyed the beauty of the place. I could not believe that the entrance fee is only $2… A beautifully maintained place with plenty to do, especially if you have kids (or even if you don’t!)

  • John pedrick
    July 14, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Lake Garrison’s a good place to swim in Gloucester County

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