Tindall Island Trail – Greenwich, Cumberland County, NJ
Distance – 1.4 miles total, can do a bit more if you time the tides right!
Type – Out-and-back
Difficulty: 2 of 10
Website – No official websites I can find
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – Swamp and woods
Surface – Grass, dirt
Trailheads – N 39° 22.263 W 075° 22.035
Directions – 496 Ragged Island St, Greenwich, NJ 08323
Parking – Roadsides parking for a few cars
Dog friendly? Unknown
Stroller friendly? Off road stroller should be fine
Benches? No benches
Facilities?: No facilities
Markings – None, but trail is very wide and clear
At the end of October, I left a hike at Parvin State Park and “accidently” ended up in historic Greenwich, New Jersey. Like you do.
For those who have not been there, it’s full of very old and historic houses and was the site of New Jersey’s own tea party in the lead up the War for Independence.
I highly recommend ending up there “accidently”. Or even on purpose, if you are that sort of person.
Anyway, the Eagles game had just ended on the radio (beat the Steelers! We can’t beat every team this year, can we? Future answer – almost!) and I had taken all the pictures I wanted for the time being, but I had a little bit of time left. Opened up my favorite adventure app, spotted a short trail nearby that I’d never done, and decided it was a great way to spend 30 or 40 minutes.
So off I drove, arriving at the Tindall Island Trail on Ragged Island Street. I didn’t find out until later, but the island was named for it’s first English owner, Richard Tindall, who bought in the late 1600s. There was also a battle between either British soldiers or pirates and a number of cows there in May of 1776. The culprits were scared off by the local militia. (History provided, as it almost always is, by local historian Jerseyman. You can read more including some primary sources here).
Anyway, I parked along the side of the road, pulled on my orange just in case, and set off down the trail. The trail is really, really wide at the start, wide enough for vehicle to easily drive down if it needed to.
The beginning of the trail is full of fine, large deciduous trees (or a word much like that) that were just starting to show some color when I was there.
As the trail began to curve to the left, the landscape changed dramatically. The trees were now very small and mostly evergreens. Soon, reeds would take over each side of the trail as it narrowed dramatically.
The trail eventually turned into a tunnel of small evergreens. The water was just past the trees as the pathway became a narrow causeway. A few spots allowed peaks of the marshlands on either side. There was also a sign that let you know that the causeway is breeched, so that you can’t go as far as you used to.
Shortly before the trail reached the gap in the causeway, I found balloon # (Note to editor: get time machine and go back and count balloons properly and then insert the correct number here) for the year.
Eventually, I came to the end of the line. This used to connect, but was washed out a while ago now. At low tide, you can still get across here to explore the further parts along the trail (which is VERY overgrown on the other side), but you need to time it very, very carefully or you’ll have chest deep water to get through when you return to this spot. Alas, another day!
The way back I enjoyed some more color and some birds as the light began to slowly fade away.
All-in-all, a great bonus hike!
Nearby: Serious visit Greenwich, especially when the museums are open.
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Beautiful marsh views, lots of birds.
I'm sure bugs are absolute murder in the Summer and early Fall. Don't mess with greenheads, you will lose.