Nature Trail – Alloway Creek Watershed Wetlands Restoration Site – Elsinboro, Salem County, NJ
Distance – miles total
Type – Lollipop
Difficulty: 100000 of 10 (biting flies)
Website – None
Open – 5 am to 9 pm.
Terrain – Marshland
Surface – Crushed rock and dirt
Directions – Money Island Rd just south of the intersection of Masons Point Road, Elsinboro, NJ
Dog friendly? Leashed dogs allowed
Stroller friendly? Yes
Benches? Not that I saw
So I’ve been obsessed with the colony of New Sweden for a while (two books read, two more on my shelf), so I decided to drive the kids down to Elsinboro and look around this very historic area of South Jersey. It was first settled by Europeans where the Swedes arrived in 1643 when they built Fort Elfsborg to control ship traffic up and down the Delaware (mostly attempting to control Dutch ship traffic, as they also claimed the area and had a fort/trading post further north).
While we were driving around, we decided to scout out the Alloway Creek Watershed Wetlands Restoration Site for future hiking. It would be absolutely crazy to hike this in the summer, because the biting flies will eat you alive.
But when we got there, there was a very stiff breeze keeping the insects at bay. When the breeze didn’t let up, we decided to attempt this 1 1/2 mile trail.
Things were going well, and the wetlands were very pretty, so we hiked onward. Along the way, we stopped to read the nature trail signs.
The trail then entered some trees and curved to the left. Shortly after, you can go left or right to start the loop part of the lollipop. We opted to go left.
We were really enjoying ourselves at this point… then the wind dropped. Immediately, the biting flies descended. Now, as a Jersey native, I handle things like mosquitoes like a champ. I can tolerate pine flies pretty well. But I’m not “shrugging off biting flies on the Jersey bayshore in July” tough.
So we all turned and ran for it. At some point, I moved the baby to my front so that I could defend him from being carried away by the flies.
The breeze eventually started again, letting us slow down and catch our breath.
So we went back to the car with 1.2 miles done. We’ll be back to check out this beautiful spot… after the flies are dead.
Nearby: Lots of beautiful old homes between here and Salem, keep your eyes open for them! The Salem Oak is nearby, which is always worth a stop. The Hancock House, site of a Revolutionary War massacre, is also nearby.
The flies nearly stole the baby. Stupid summer breeze lulling me into a false sense of security.