Maybe you have a stroller. Maybe you are out with someone in a wheelchair or who has trouble getting around. Maybe it’s been raining for days and everything is gross out. Maybe you just don’t want to deal with “the wilderness” today. Guess hiking is just out.
Of course not! There are some lovely PAVED and CRUSHED gravel trails in South Jersey that are easy to navigate and are just waiting to be explored. Here are some of our favorites!
Click on the name of the trail or park for our full review of that park, including driving address, GPS coordinates, parking, bathrooms, trail maps, etc
Haddon Lake Park and “the Dell” – Haddon Township & Audubon, NJ – this county park features a paved loop of about a mile around a lovely pond (TONS of birds here), with a paved spur following a little stream if you want to stretch your hike out.
Newton Lake Park – Collingswood, Oaklyn, and , NJ – miles of flat paved trails here along another lovely pond.
Gibbsboro Greenway Trails – Blueberry Hill, Paintworks Lake, United States Ave Trail, Eastwick Ave Trail, and Old Egg Harbor Road Trail – Gibbsboro might be small, but they are mighty when it comes to paved trails. They have an extensive system called the “Gibbsboro Greenway” with miles and miles (and miles and miles) of paved trails. The most popular are the Blueberry Hill Trail that leads to a view of Philadelphia and the Paintworks Trail that circles the lake that powered the old Lucas Paint Works, but the town also has more miles along the United State Ave and Blue Trails. These trails feature lovely lakes, the smokestacks of an old factory, blueberry bushes (in the right season) filled with a tasty hiking treat, and miles of adventure.
Gloucester Township Fitness Trail (formerly the Blackwood Rail Trail) – Blackwood, NJ – this combined bike and walking path goes through the heart of town. There’s a lot more green than you’d imagine, but our favorite stop is the Blackwood Caboose, which is a museum open once a month of tours.
Merchantville Bike Path – Merchantville, NJ – This is 1.1 mile (one way) trail through the heart of town. While its labeled as a bike path, I’ve only ever seen people walking on it while I was there. There are some lovely trees along the way, but also an old railroad station (now a coffee shop!), the Blue Monkey Tavern, a micro-brewery, and a chocolate shop. This is a nice paved walk, but you might have to walk it end to end a few times to work off the calories you can find along the way.
Cooper River Park – Cherry Hill, Pennsauken, Camden, NJ – This is the crown jewel of the Camden County Park System, a 4 mile loop trail that passes the ancient Hopkins House, gives you a great view of the Philly skyline, is home to most of the county’s war memorials, and has tons of birds visiting throughout the year. You can also watch the crew teams race up and down the river.
Beaver Branch/Green Acres Park – Runnemede, NJ – A nice 1 mile loop through the woods along Big Timber Creek. If you like Geocaching, we hid a whole series here.
Assiscunk Creek Park – Burlington Township, NJ – about a three mile hike here is possible along nearly all paved trails. Some lovely views of the creek, even if this trail follows a lot of sports fields. Also some old military gear that you can check out along the trail.
Kinkora Trail – Columbus, NJ – this 2.2 mile trail (one way) leads through patches of forests full of GIANT trees and through lovely farmland. It’s a lovely way to spend some time on the trail.
Elbo Park Walking Trails – a quick 1/2 mile loop through some lovely meadows.
Batsto Lake (Red) Trail – Batsto, NJ – Batsto has TONS of amazing hiking, and the Batsto Lake Red Trail (1 mile) is completely ADA compliant. It’s a nice hike through pitch pines, swamps, and along side the lake, an easy walk for a lot of payoff. You should enjoy that crushed stone, it was tough to move (good job Tim Smith on your Eagle Scout Project to redo the gravel here).
Pennington Park – Delanco, NJ – a mix of paved and crushed gravel paths, nearly 4 miles of trail here along Rancocas Creek are a great way to get some time with nature in.
Mill Creek Park – Willingboro, NJ – over 4 1/2 miles of trails here, over half of which are paved. Playgrounds, Rancocas Creek, lovely patches of woods, and lots of wildlife (especially deer) make this a great spot to get a nature walk in. Wave to the UFO as you go by!
Cranberry Trail – Brendan Bryne State Forest (or Lebanon State Forest for us old timers), New Lisbon, NJ – a 3 mile (one way) crushed stone path through the heart of one of the pine barrens nicest parks. Leads from the Ranger Station down to Pakim Pond.
Riverfront Park/Floodgates Road – Greenwich Township, NJ – 2 miles total – a mostly closed gravel road with lovely views of the Delaware River.
Tall Pines State Preserve – Sewell, NJ – four miles of paved trails here… in a state park? Well, that’s what happens when you convert an old golf course to a park and keep the golf cart paths as trails. Some lovely creeks here, lots of birds and animals (look for turtles and snakes in nice weather!) make for one of our favorite parks period, let along favorite parks with paved walking (Note that the trails after the creek start to get steep. Plenty of hiking available before that point).
Washington Lake Park – Sewell, NJ – this park might LOOK like a bunch of soccer fields, but there’s a lot of hidden beauty along its 5 miles of trails, half of which are paved, and a bit more of which are wide and fairly easy to navigate. Don’t miss the butterfly garden and the koi pond!
Red Bank Battlefield – National Park, NJ – important Revolutionary War Battle? Old house? Views of the Delaware River? Paved paths? Red Bank has it all, so enjoy a stroll, soak in the views, and learn something too!
Elephant Swamp Trail – Elk to Elmer Township, NJ – supposedly, an elephant once escaped a circus and ended up somewhere in these swamps. Six miles (one way) of crushed gravel paths give you PLENTY to explore as you pass through farmers’ fields and swamplands.
Fort Mott Walking Tour – Pennsville, NJ – paved walking paths here take you behind, in front of, and (if you can handle the steps) on top of the massive gun emplacements that were put in place here to defend Philadelphia from ship attacks.
Nature Trail- PSE&G Commercial Township Wetland Restoration Site – Bivalve (Commercial Township), Cumberland County, NJ – this 2 mile (one way) trail leads you across salt marshes in the famous town of Bivalve, NJ. Once the center (along with neighboring Shellpile) of the Delaware Bay oyster industry, the paved and crushed gravel trail here is now a great spot for bird watching. Just be careful in the summer, the flies might carry you away!
Maurice River Bicycle and Walking Trail – Millville, Cumberland County, NJ – need a paved path? Still want to see a bald eagle? This trail along the lovely Maurice (pronounced “Morris”) River 1.5 miles (one way) of heaven.
Cape May County
Cape May County Park Central & Zoo – Cape May Courthouse, Cape May County, NJ – hike through the park on the paved trails through the woods, then head inside and FEED A COW. You can also see other animals, but you’ll really want to FEED A COW.
Corson’s Inlet State Park – Ocean City, NJ – a 3/4 of a mile (total distance out-and-back) rail trail here leads through the salt marshes. Eventually, a bridge may connect this trail to the rest of the road.
Cameron Wildlife Sanctuary (Cape May County Park North) – Palermo, NJ – 1.2 miles of trails here along some old sand mining operations that later became a hunting preserve before becoming a county park. About half the trails are paved, the other half are very easily navigated. LOTS of birds here, and my kids love the swinging benches.
Blackwater Pond Park – Buena, NJ – there is 1 1/2 miles (one way) of paved trail here. Passes through some lovely fields.
Swamp Trail – Estell Manor County Park – Estell Manor, NJ – this trail is composed nearly entirely of boardwalks. It leads through swamps and past just some of the remains of the WWI factory complex.
Cedar Bonnet Island Environmental Trail – Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge – Manahawkin, NJ – 1.5 miles on crushed stone on this island between the mainland and Long Beach Island.
Hiking/Biking Path– Sandy Hook, Gateway National Recreation Area – Fort Hancock (Highlands), Monmouth County, NJ – miles and miles and miles and miles of paved walking/biking paths here. Explore the massive defensive works that protected New York City, see the oldest lighthouse in the country, get uncomfortably close to old nuclear missiles, and learn alot about the ecology of this spit of land that is the northernmost part of the Jersey shore.
Manasquan Reservior County Park – Howell Township, NJ – 7+ miles of hiking paths here at the reservoir, all done with crushed stone. Some really pretty views, lots of birds, and plenty of places to explore.
Grounds for Sculpture – Hamilton Township, NJ – miles of surprises await you on the insanity that is the Grounds for Sculpture. Lots of paved paths here.
Thank you to Christine for the idea for this post and for bugging me over and over and over again when I didn’t follow through on it!
This list is FAR from exhaustive, please let us know of more great paved or crushed gravel trails in the comments!