Camden County College Trails – Blackwood, Camden County, NJ
Distance – supposedly 8 miles of trails total. We did 2 1/2 miles, but missed a lot.
Type – Series of interlocking loops
Difficulty: 3 of 10 – built for bikes, so more climbs and descents than a normal trail in South Jersey
Website – None
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – Hills, swamps, forests
Surface – Largely sandy and rooty, fun!
Directions – Turnerville Hickstown Rd, Sicklerville, NJ 08081 (Parking is at Gloucester Township Community Park)
Parking – Several large lots at Gloucester Township Community Park. In theory, you could park at the college maybe, but their parking situation is so bad during classes (and I’m unsure of parking permit situation), that I’d just park in the park.
Dog friendly? Unsure of the rules, but I would NOT walk a dog here due to its popularity with mountain bikers.
Stroller friendly? Definitely not
Benches? None that I saw
Facilities?: None that I saw
Map – Map with our track. Accidentally cropped a bit of trail in the top left corner. The “trail” above are the walkways for the college buildings, and the trails below are paved walkways around Gloucester Township Community Park
So The Pres and I went to check these trails out in August, yay! This was the third attempt to do so, as the first two times we came there were a bike race here and police safety drills. But third time was the charm, and what a charm it was!
So these trails were built for mountain biking, and I’ve heard nothing but good things from people who go biking here. Unfortunately, offroad biking is not really our thing, but we can walk with the best of them! The trails do an awful lot of twisting and turning, which make for good adventuring.
We started out exploring the Northwest part, the part closest to Peter Cheeseman Road, which is a great name for a road. Up here, the trail goes up and down some small hills, fun on a bike, fun if you are a kid that runs everywhere anyway.
The map shows that this section is not connected to the rest of the trail system except by backtracking. That’s because there’s a good sized wetlands that the trails in this stretch go along the edges of.
While no trails officially connect this section with the rest of the trails, it was August and it was hot. Going all the way around on the trails seemed to far. Going right back to the car seemed too short. Luckily, one of the roads through the college property also cuts through here. We took the trail out to the road, made a left, walked down the road a short ways, and then reentered the trail system in the middle section.
This middle section is true mountain biking trails – sharp turns, lots of cutbacks, and a crazy maze of a trail system.
We had a good time in this stretch with the crazy twists-and-turns, but as we got back toward the parking lot, we decided we hadn’t had quite enough. So we decided to dip our toes into the lower western section of the trails.
And by dip our toes in, we mean that we’ve fallen a little hard for Geocaching over quarentine and there was one more we wanted for the day. Either way, a peak at another section of trail! This one has some larger hills, which were a nice change of pace from the central, twisty section.
After that, we headed back for the car.
The trails work their way up to the edge of the fields, which we followed back to the parking lot.
We then checked out some of the paved paths (aka, went to find another geocache) before getting back into our car to head home.
Then, suddenly, it’s Fall, and we’re back! This time we came to check out the western end of the trails. We parked MUCH closer this time (hooray for the parking lot right at the trailhead being open this time), headed down the trail that runs along the edges of the field that we’d ended our hike on last time, and ducked into the woods.
At some point during quarantine, my kids started climbing everything in the world. Luckily, they also started running down the trail ahead of me to do it, so it works out perfectly. We ended up where we’d left off before and pressed on toward the stream at the western end of the trails.
Having made to the westernmost part of the trails, we began to loop back. Along the way, we found another creature. Please, PLEASE don’t drop your pets off in the woods, this could have ended very, very badly.
Along the way, we found another abandoned vehicle. How do these get back here?
Soon after, the boys discovered a tree absolutely covered in spotted lantern flies. They have a system by now, as one gets them to jump, then the other one squishes the bug.
With the excitement of battle over, we looped our way back through the western end, taking in the Fall colors.
The nice thing about being delayed in writing a post for four months is that we tend to end back up at a place a bunch of times when we find a nice spot. So our most recent visit was on Christmas Eve where I attempted to walk some of the craziness out of them.
Nearby: Gloucester Township Health and Fitness Trail/Blackwood Rail Trail – Blackwood, NJ
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It's fun walking bike trails as long as you're careful! Ups and downs, lots of twisting and winding. Also, fun for biking.
Easy enough to get turned around with all the twists.