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Nature Trail – Wheaton Arts – Millville, Cumberland County, NJ
Distance – 1/2 mile one way on an out-and-back trail (1 mile total)
Type – out-and-back
Difficulty:  1 of 10

Website – Wheaton Arts
Open – April through December
Open Six Days: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission – $10.00 Adults, $9.00 Senior Adults (62+), $7.00 Students, Children 5 and under are free (2018 rates… check http://www.wheatonarts.org/ for current rates)

Terrain – Woods and pond.
Surface – Gravel

Trailheads –  39°24’34.06″N,  75° 1’16.66″W

Directions – 1000 Village Drive, Millville, NJ (or written directions here)

Parking – Odd lot along both sides of a circle.  It’s weird, but it works.

Dog friendly? No.
Stroller friendly? Probably an offroad stroller would be fine.
Benches? A few
Facilities?: Bathrooms and water fountains available in Wheaton Village

Markings – Nature signs along the way keep you on track
Map –

Our track of actual trail.

Map of the complex. Notice the trailhead at the back, right corner of the complex, next to the Pottery and Flamework Studio.

Scavenger Hunt?  – Yes, yes they do have one.




Description –

We like to visit the library, where my kids take out about 27,000 books at a time (seriously, they have a problem.  Thank goodness for library cards).  When I take them, I like to check out the museum passes that they have there.  When I spotted the Wheaton Arts Pass, I had to check it out for us to use.  Glassblowing, plus a relatively new nature trail?  How could we not go!?

We were joined by my buddy Pat.  We didn’t go right to the nature trail, but for the purposes of saving face in this blog (I can hear the angry e-mails now… “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DIDN’T DO THE NATURE TRAIL FIRST!?  YOU’RE NOT A REAL SOUTH JERSEY HIKING BLOG!”)

So we totally ran at top speed directly to the hiking trail.  Totally.  The trailhead is located at the back right corner of the property.

We later figured out the trail was supposed to go right from this sign, but we went forward past the pavilions and hay bales.  It meets up with the trail just on the other side.

Once on the trail, you’re in a well-wooded area.  What makes this trail stand out is that the interpretive signs are numerous and very informative.  It’s probably the best labeled nature trail I’ve been on in South Jersey.



I’ve always wondered about this.

 

The trail slowly works it was around to the lake, passing the remains of an old bridge (which I’d really like to know the story behind if anyone knows it).



The lake comes into view through the trees after a bit, and then a little side trail will split to the left and reach the water after a few seconds.  There’s a bench here and a nice view of the lake.



Back on the main trail, you’ll continue onward until you reach the split for the loop.

At the split for the loop part of the lollipop, we headed left.

It’s a very, very short loop, so it doesn’t really matter which way that you went.  We chose left to see the lake view first.

The loop part surrounds a vernal pond, which are vital for frogs and other animals.  After the loop, you’ll head left to go back the way that you came.  We noticed plenty of other things around us on the way back, so keep your eyes open!

Left to backtrack the way that you came.

Thank you to Junior Ranger Sarah for posting about this trail last year, which brought it to our attention!

Of course, the rest of the Wheaton Arts complex is fascinating and well worth exploring for hours.



We started with the pottery and flamework studios, where the artists showed the boys how they created their art.

We also went to the glassblowing demonstrations, which was fascinating.  They are currently working on creating 7000 or so glass pumpkins for a Halloween  event.

There is also a museum of glass (which we skipped this time), some small museums, and some shops that are fun to explore.  Wander!

Overall, a great hike and a great day!  Thanks for coming with us Pat!

Nearby:
The Maurice River Walking and Biking Trail, Maurice River Bluffs, and the Peek Preserve are all close by, as is the Millville Army Airfield Museum.

The Good

Very well labeled and well detailed nature trail with tons of great information. Nice views of the lake too.

The Could Be Better

The trail was so nice, I wish it was longer.

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Bottom Line

It's short, but it's really nice. Along with the arts center, who wouldn't want to stop?

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