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
Facilities?: Bathrooms and playground
Markings – None
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
River views, lake views, A SWINGING BENCH, and a playground.
My only regret is that there isn't more trail here. And that I can't get on that airplane ride. Just walk it twice though. And definitely walk around the lake more than I was able to.