Riverview Beach Park – Pennsville, NJ

Riverview Beach Park – Pennsville, Salem County, NJ
Distance – About 1 3/4 to 2 miles total miles of trails.  Our loop was maybe 1.3 miles.
Type – Loop
Difficulty:  1 of 10

Website – Pennsville Recreation Department
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – field
Surface – paved with some dirt

Trailheads – N 39° 39.449 W 075° 31.246

Directions – 5 N Broadway, Pennsville, NJ 08070

Parking – Medium sized lot

Dog friendly? Unsure
Stroller friendly? Yes
Benches? Yes

Facilities?: Bathrooms and playground

Markings – None
Map –

 

Description –

Do you have those places that you drive by over and over again, always promising yourself that one of these days, you are going to stop?  Well, Riverview Beach Park in Pennsville was one of those places for me, as that gateway always intrigued me.  So earlier the month, as I drove past it for the zillionth time, I made myself turn the wheel of my car and drove under the arch to finally explore the park.

Riverview Beach Park was an old amusement park, with entertainment there going back to 1845 there was a tavern here at a ferry stop.  By 1851, there was a picnic ground and folks would take a boat from Philadelphia to visit, something that would continue for over a century.  The first ride, a temporary man-powered merry-go-round, was used starting in 1889.  After 1909, the park really began to develop.  At different times, the park had two carousels, swings, movies, a dance hall, a Ferris wheel, gardens, a pool, and more.  The park closed in 1967, and the town bought it for a park in 1976.

Photograph from the Pennsville Historical Society slide show.

For more on the history and historical pictures of the park, you can check out a slideshow from the historic society or Yummygal’s The Legacy of Riverview Beach Amusement Park article.

Sadly, I was too late for an airplane ride, but I could still hike!  I parked in the parking lot, leaving by the entrance that led toward the river. I made an immediate hard left turn  (kept the bathroom to my right) to walk to the outer edge of the park.

The path after I stepped out of the parking lot. This path would also take you right the river, but I made a hard left instead.

Once I reached the intersection by the Southeast corner of the park, I made the right turn to take the tree lined path toward the river.  It’s about a 1/3 of a mile down this stretch, which will put you at the Swedish monument near the water.

After taking in the marker, I headed north along the water.  There’s about 1/3 of a mile of walking along the river here, but if you’re like me, you’ll need to stop and swing on the swinging benches because SWINGING BENCHES!  About halfway down the path, you’ll run into a pavilion and also get to start admiring the lake.

What a view.
Need to stop and swing, because reasons.
Bit of the lake view.

Of course, I’d driven past this park a million times in lovely weather.  So now that I’d actually stopped, I got hit with a major downpour.  I had, of course, walked right past the pavilion and cover, so instead I hung out under a tree for 15 minutes while the storm passed.

It was a really nice spot to hang out.  I stayed remarkably dry.  Thanks tree!

With the storm temporarily halted, I decided to to hustle along the river and finish the hike, rather than just retreat to my car.

Sadly, this meant I didn’t get to admire the lake from too many other angles other than my shelter tree.  Darn rain.

Anyway, I reached the end of the trail along the lake, and turned right to head down the dirt path through the trees.  This stretch was a bit longer than the other sides, but still have to be under 1/2 a mile total.

After passing a baseball diamond, the trail hooked to the right for the final edge of the park that I hadn’t walked yet.

As the trail crossed the entrance road, I was able to check out the veterans monument, as well as to get a good look at the entrance archway.

I made it back to my car with about a minute to spare before the next wave of rain hit.  Hooray!

Nearby: The other fun hike in Pennsville is Fort Mott.  You can also, in season and on the right days, take a ferry to explore Fort Delaware State Park on Pea Patch Island.



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