TURTLES, beautiful lake and creek views, and popular fishing spot (lake is stocked twice a year).
It would be really great if the trail looped the whole lake.
Greenwich Lake Park – Greenwich Township (Gibbstown), Gloucester County, NJ
Distance – 2 miles total (includes backtracking)
Type – Pair of out and backs on either side of the lake (could not connect them as a loop)
Difficulty: 3 of 10 – some high growth and muddy areas
Website – Gloucester County Parks
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – Lakeside and wetlands
Surface – Varies from gravel to grass to dirt to mud
Trailheads – 39°48’43.69″N, 75°17’32.73″W
Directions – Located on Tomlin Station Road in Gibbstown, NJ, just off of Route 295 Exit 15 (less than 1/4 of a mile from the exit).
Parking – Large lot
Dog friendly? No animals allowed in park
Stroller friendly? Parts are, up until the mud
Benches? Many along the edges of the lake
Facilities?: Bathrooms looked they were under repair, there was a port-a-potty set up.
Markings – None
Last month, The Pres and I had a few hours, so we decided to do a pair of hikes in Gibbstown.
Our first stop was Greenwich Lake County Park. We didn’t know if there were any trails there, but we found well worn paths around the lake, frequently used by fishermen.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Park your car in the lot and walk down the parallel tire tracks toward the lake. You’ll have bits of wetlands and small ponds along the way to look at. This will go for a tenth of a mile until you cross the bridge. Be careful here, people driving their boats down to the launch will use this stretch of road (but there is no closer parking area).
Once over the bridge, you’ll walk past another pond, then hang right to get off of the road and follow the sidewalk. When it splits, take the right split. The lake will stretch out before you.
At the end of the sidewalk, you’ll have a choice to head right or left around the main lake. We opted for the right, by virtue of the Pres decided that was the way that we should go.
This stretch was fun, because we were on a bit of land between the lake and a swamp. It was a beautiful June day, so lots of people were out fishing along this stretch. We kept going until we reached a bit of water that we didn’t feel we could jump.
Out of room to hike headed back to where we had first reached the edge of the lake…
This time, we went left, between the lake and the small pond. The trail (well, the grass) wrapped around until it remet the road. We followed the road for a few steps until we reached the boat launch area.
At this point, we kept following the edge of the lake. For a time, the trail was as wide as a road, but quite obviously not driven on hardly ever. To our right, Greenwich Lake. To our left? Repaupo Creek.
Eventually, the trail narrows and became pretty wet underfoot. We pressed forward, and it did dry out after ten or fifteen yards. As we approached Route 295, we found a nice little cove just before reaching the back corner of the lake.
At this point, any reasonable person would have turned around. But The Pres insisted that we circle as much of the lake as possible. There was a footpath still, although small and grassy, so we took it. When we rounded the back corner of the lake, a couple fishing told us they’d seen a ton of snakes in the water heading toward shore where we were, but we didn’t have the luck to see any.
I let him lead us almost halfway along the back side of the lake, but then we really had to turn around. The trail here was overgrown (worrisome in a back tick year) and, with 295 just off our shoulder, the noise was really bad.
So back we went, all the way around the corner, back through the mud, and back to the boat launch.
From here, we opted to walk along the road to the boat launch so that we could see if there were any more nice views of the creek and to keep an eye out for a heron we’d seen earlier. We didn’t get the heron, but we got some nice turtles and some nice views of the creek.
The road then passed where we’d left it on the sidewalk, recrossed the car bridge, and headed back to the parking lot.
After a few more turtles, we were back in the car and headed for Riverfront Park and Floodgates Road, just ten minutes away by road (little longer by canoe).
Nearby: Riverfront Park/Floodgates Road is a few miles off in Gibbstown. We did these on the same day, and it was a nice pairing.