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Whitman’s Walk, Laurel Springs Borough Park –  Laurel Springs, Camden County, NJ
Distance – 0.8 miles total (includes some out-and-back spots)
Type – web of trails
Difficulty:  1 of 10 – some small blow downs

Website – https://www.facebook.com/whitmanwalklaurelspringsnj/
Open – 7 AM to 7 PM

Terrain – creekside forest and swamp
Surface – Mostly boards, with a dirt section along the creek bank also available.

Trailheads –  39°49’1.84″N,  75° 0’13.91″W

Directions – Lakeview Ave and W Elma Ave, Laurel Springs, NJ

Parking – Streetside parking

Dog friendly? Yes, if leashed and cleaned up after.
Stroller friendly? A few blowdowns off the boardwalk would be annoying
Benches? TONS of benches to sit and enjoy nature
Facilities?: None

Rules:

Standouts – Beautiful views of Timber Creek, Walt Whitman quotes along the boards.
Markings – None, but follow boardwalk or obvious trail tread.
Map –

The trail “t”ed almost immediately. I think we actually went left this time though.

Description –

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on the South Jersey Trails Facebook group about the Whitman Walk near the old Crystal Spring in Laurel Springs, NJ.  This spot was one of poet Walt Whitman’s favorite places, and he often would drink at the spring and bath in Timber Creek.




Just off the corner of Lakeview Ave and W Elma Ave, you can walk down the road-sized path down past the stone stack labeled “Crystal Spring”.


The trail drops down eight or ten feet in elevation into a flat area.  Straight ahead is the trailhead sign.  The spring is pretty much immediately to the right, but we saved that for later.


Now I wasn’t expecting a lot, but what we found was an intimate set of boardwalks along Big Timber Creek.  Inscribed on some boards were lines of verse that Whitman had written while in the area or thinking of the area.


Now I’m not usually much one for poetry, but poetry inscribed in the trail itself?  Let’s do this!


We quickly hit a four way intersection.  To the right was a bench next to the creek.



To the straight or left was a loop along a further area of the creek, which also had a bench to sit and reflect at at its furthest point.

Reflecting on some lines of Whitman, if that’s your thing.

Kite Flyer is enjoying nature.



To the left is another bench along the creek. To the right completes the loop at the four way intersection.



We reached the furthest bit of boardwalk along the creek, where there was another bench of sitting.

We then headed back along the loop to the original four way intersection.


We then headed back the way we had started, to the original “T” intersection.  I figured this short trail was done, but we were delighted to discover that the boardwalk stretched a bit on the other direction.  The trail followed the creek, went across a little mini-bridge, past a nice fishing spot comp, and reached a spot where the boardwalk ended.

Eventually, we’ll come back here and go down that side trail. It loops around to the spring by the original spot we reached the trail system.

Checking out a mushroom.








Checking out a mushroom.

Around here, the trail ran out. Or did it?  No, just the boardwalk ran out!  So we continued on along a dirt trail, which continued to follow the creek.  Eventually, it ran up a small hill, where it seemed to head into someone’s yard.  This is where we turned around.

Remains of something. Bridge? Dock?








Remains of something. Dock? Bridge?

Only blow down on the whole trail. Not bad.

Up the hill! This is where we turned around, as it seemed to be heading into someone’s yard.


Up the hill! This is where we called it quits, as it seemed to be running into someone’s yard.

We then headed back the way we came, returned to the boardwalk, crossed the little concrete arch, and made our way back to the only bit of boardwalk we hadn’t done.



Here, we turned left to cover the last bit of boardwalk.  It went a short way and quickly turned right and went over a small bridge.


One more poem, and then we reached the old spring.


After a few minutes, we headed back up the small hill and got back in the car.



 

The Good

Beautiful boardwalk, pretty creek, little nooks to reflect in.

The Could Be Better

Not very long, houses visible along the creek for most of the trail.

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Bottom Line

This is really a neat little trail, but its a little trail (well under a mile with our wanderings). If you're nearby or going past, stop and check it out.

Mike's Review
Your Reviews
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southjerseytrails
  • Michael S Brown
    September 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm
    The Good

    Great quiet spot with lots of fishing opportunities along the way.

    The Could Be Better

    Would love for it to be longer.

    Hi… I’m Mike and I am the foreman of the Laurel Springs Public Works. I placed all of that boardwalk and it was my idea for the Whitman quotes to be inscribed into to boards. I’d love to get more funding to purchase more boards for along the wet areas down by the spring. The trail area you mentioned as possibly going into a residence actually is a public area heading back to the street. There is also a dirt trail that heads about 2 more blocks along the creek and up to another street. Thanks for visiting!

    • southjerseytrails
      September 28, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      Awesome! Thanks Mike for the hard work on his project, it’s great! We’ll head back and finish the trail soon!

  • Lori Kanitz
    October 6, 2017 at 3:29 pm
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    I came from Wisconsin to attend a surprise birthday party in Laurel Springs. My hosts, knowing I was a huge Walt Whitman fan, took me to Whitman Walk on 10/1/17. I was so impressed by the beauty, and thrilled to be where Walt Whitman had been. The quotes enscribed on the boardwalk were a delight to me. It was so peaceful, and sitting on a bench I could understand why Walt Whitman loved it. So did I!

  • Bill Mosko
    October 10, 2017 at 9:10 pm
    The Good

    I'm sure Walt Whitman would have loved this place. Oh, he did. . ..

    The Could Be Better

    I'd like to see more boards. We went a few hundred more feet after the boards before it got too wet and dangerous because of the steep parts.

    Rating
    Rating

    For what this is and what it represents it is super.
    Thanks to both Mikes!

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