Hopewell Township Park – Hopewell Township, Cumberland County, NJ
Distance – 1 mile walk around the loops (could have added about another half mile if we walked down to the last part of the trail and back)
Type – Interlocking loops
Difficulty: 1 of 10
IMPORTANT NOTE – This is not to be confused with Hopewell Township Park in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, which also has a nice meadow, a playground with turrets, and the intriguingly named Frog War Trail (which turns out to be labeled Frog War Track when you get there – thanks to Martin for working out what the Frog War was!)
Website – Hopewell Township
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – Grasslands and woods
Surface – Mowed paths and dirt paths
Trailheads – N 39° 26.912 W 075° 16.035
Directions – 214 Sewell Road, Hopewell Township, NJ – This will bring you to a two lane rut dirt road, follow that back all the way to the parking area.
Parking – Small grass lot for a few cars
Dog friendly? Unsure
Stroller friendly? Offroad stroller should be able to handle it
Benches? A few benches near the beginning
Markings – Very occasional markings with arrows or a hiker sign, but easy to follow nevertheless.
On a hot August day, I took the kids on a kid and then to the zoo. Nearby, I had noticed this park that I hadn’t heard of… and that Bigfoot was here (thanks Geocaching)! The trails didn’t look like they could be super long, so I drove down to the trailhead and…. the baby was asleep.
So we drove away. But then the baby woke up! Quickly, to the trailhead!
The western half of this park is a rebuilt grassland area, a joint project of federal, local, and private conservation agencies and groups. We started our hike there, keeping a sharp eye out for the big guy. Well mown trails formed a series of small, sunny loops. August seemed the right time of year to be here, as butterflies and bees were in every direction, and an explosion of grass and flowers surrounded us.
The trail then crossed the entrance road. The two sides of the road are completely different – one is open fields and restored natural grasslands, the other is shady woods. And Bigfoot. The kids’ excitement level definitely went up as we crossed.
We were happy at our trio of Bigfoot sightings (wait, isn’t he Big Red Eye in New Jersey? Ugh! Remembered too late and everyone knows that Internet posts can never be changed) and made the left turn to walk down the entrance road back to the car.
It’s not near the trail, but there is also a nice picnic area in this park where the entrance road leaves Sewell Road.
The Bridgeton City Park Trails are very close to this one, which I haven’t reviewed yet (unless I have and have forgotten to go back and update this). Natural Land’s Glades Preserve is about 25 minutes south of here. Tindall Island Trail is less than 20 minutes away (not a good one for the summer, biting flies!) which is near Historic Greenwich, which is well worth exploring. Maurice River Bicycle and Walking Trail is about 20 minutes east of here. Parvin State Park is about 15 minutes northeast. There are also about 74 different Wildlife Management Areas that I haven’t explored down this way. Oh, and some beautiful, old stone churches. And a pretty lighthouse. Make a day of it. Make a weekend of it. Make a week of it. “Down Jersey” of Cumberland and Salem Counties is amazing.
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BIGFOOT! Also, restored grasslands with pretty flowers. Trail is short, but lots of other places to explore in the area.
Parking area could be a bit rough if there were more than two or three cars.