Waterworks Woods – Moorestown, Burlington County, NJ
Distance – 1.6 miles total (which seemed to cover all the trails except for a little connector)
Type – A few interconnecting loops, with lollipops at the end.
Difficulty: 3 of 10
Website – S.T.E.M (Save the Environment of Moorestown)
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – Lakeside woods and swamp
Surface – mostly dirt
King’s Highway – 39°57’6.55″N, 74°58’8.86″W
Nixon Road – 39°56’55.97″N, 74°57’50.91″W
Directions – Located next to the waterworks on Kings Highway, Moorestown, NJ (address is something close to 189 Kings Highway, Moorestown, NJ), but there is no parking here and its a busy road. For parking, you have to go up to Haines Drive. (Address is about 117 Haines Drive)
Parking – Parking located on Haines Dr, just past the intersection with Kings Highway, in Moorestown, NJ (note, this is the opposite side of the lake from the trail, as you’ll see soon). A few spots seem to also be located near the end of Nixon Road in Moorestown.
Dog friendly?: Unsure, did not see any signs or information on their website.
Stroller friendly? Might be possible, but the trail is a bit tight in spots.
Benches? On the lake side, but not on the trails themselves
Markings – None
After my job let out for the summer, the kids and I launched straight into adventure mode! One adventure a day! At least until the baby shows (well, showed) up!
After our article ran in the Inquirer, Joe Ponessa over at STEM e-mailed us and recommended this one to us. How could we not go?
We parked over on Haines Ave in the parking spaces. These are often lots of folks at the park walking their dogs or fishing, but we were in the middle of the day on a weekday, so we got a spot close to Kings Highway. To get to the trailhead, we had to walk on the grass back toward Kings Highway, keeping the lake to our left.
Once you reach Kings Highway, get as close to the trees next to the road as possible before stepping up on the road. Then EXTREMELY CAREFULLY walk down the median of the road, crossing the bridge across the lake. Once across, you’ll see wooden rails. Just BEFORE the wooden rails is the trailhead for the Waterworks Woods, turn left and go down the ramp.
Everyone is safely off the road now? Whew. Congrats, you made it onto the trail!
You’ll head down the dirt trail, with the waterworks buildings on your right, until you read the dam (insert dam joke here). It’s well worth take the few steps out to the platform on the dam, it’s gives you some nice views there.
Back on the trail, you’ll walk down until the trail splits. The left split runs along the lake, the right split heads up the hill. We opted to go right and take on the hill.
We headed up the trail, which quickly hit another intersection. We opted right again to stay to the outside of the trails. The trail then curved around and paralleled a row of homes (which could just be seen through the trees) until we came to a third intersection. The trail right here seemed to go into someone’s yard, so we headed left back toward the lake.
On our way, we stumbled across the first of two old bbqs, possibly from the 20s (Joe had mentioned these in his email, or we wouldn’t have been as sure what they were).
We then got back onto the trail and kept going. Eventually, we made out way to a swampy pond with a concrete spillway (just four or five yards past another trail intersection, which we’ll come back to).
On the concrete spillway, the trail goes two ways. The first is left along the edge of Strawbridge Lake. The other goes right along the edge of the swampy pond. We chose right to follow the pond.
The trail rounded the lake side. At one point, we split to the left and climbed a hill, only to find that the trail led to the back of a commercial building, so we went back down and rounded the rest of the way behind the lake. Back there, it was a little swampier, so had several boards crossing wet spots. We also found the second of two barbecues from the 1920s. Eventually, this trail met back up with the trail down to the lake we’d been on a bit before it reached the concrete spillway.
When we reached the trail intersection, we went right and headed back to the concrete spillway. This time, we headed left toward Strawbridge Lake.
This part of the trail followed the lake, and had some pretty little views. It was also the only area that was remotely overgrown, but even this was not very bad at all. Eventually, the trail dumped out onto Nixon Drive.
From here we admired the view from this small ?parking area?…
… then it was back down the trail to the concrete spillway again.
From this spillway (last time, I promise), we took a few steps, then took the right at the intersection we’d skipped before.
The put us on the trail alongside Strawbridge Lake. There were some muddy spots along the way, but there were boards to help you along. The eventually met up with the very first intersection we’d come to (remember? We had turned and gone up the hill!)
From here, it’s a straight shot along the lake side back to Kings Highway. But step out on the dam again, it’s such a nice view.
Then its up the ramp and back down Kings Highway.
Then its back around to your car. Or, bring a fishing rod and spend some more time here (my buddy Danny and I used to love coming here to fish).
Thank you to Joe Ponessa for encouraging us to push this up our list (and telling us where the trailhead was, which would have been quite a puzzle)!
Nearby: STEM has a number of preserves, including Little Woods on the Rancocas, Pompeston Park, and Ferrago Farm. There is also Boundary Creek Natural Resource Area, a county park, in Moorestown. For info on the other STEM lands in town (several with trails), check out their website (we’ll get to them all. Oh yes, we’ll get to them all).
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Beautiful views of the lake plus some swamp areas. Trails very clear overall.
Trails are not blazed, which can be a bit confusing.