Whitesbog Hiking Trails – Pemberton, NJ

Whitesbog Village Trails, Brown’s Mills (Pemberton Township), Burlington County, NJ
Cranberry Trail, Nature Trail (formerly the Old Bog Trail), Blueberry Trail
Distance: various, depending on the trail
Difficulty: varies by trail
Updated – 5/5/24 – Added Cranberry and Blueberry Trails, new photos to Nature Trail (formerly Old Bog Trail)

Website – Whitesbog Preservation Trust
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.  General store open Saturdays and Sundays, 10 AM to 4 PM, February to December.

Directions: 120 W Whites Bogs Rd #34, Browns Mills, NJ 08015

Parking: There is a lot on Whitesbog Road, the main entrance road.  It’s directly across from the general store.

Facilities: Port-a-potties by the workers houses:

Note – I started to update the Old Bog Trail post and realized that, with the new trails, I really needed a totally new post.  Still have another trail to hike here (the Rome Village Trail) and a trail I need to find the photos of or go do again so that I can add it (Union Pond Trail).

Cranberry Trail – 1.1 miles

Review from April 2024
Not to be confused with the Cranberry Trail in nearby Brendan Bryne State Forest.

Terrain – forest, swamp, and bog
Trailheads – N 39° 57.535 W 074° 30.562 (exit of parking lot)
Markings – Follow the blue blazes to start, then there are no markings.

My track –

In April 2024, I had a table at the 1st Annual Whitesbog Book Fair to sell my book that I co-authored (order at your local bookstore or can be found online)!  I went out early to do some hiking at the Parker Preserve, but I still managed to get to Whitesbog way too early.  Which meant time to hike another Whitesbog Trail!  I opted for the 1.1 mile long Cranberry Trail, since it went right past the book fair.

From the parking area at Whitesbog Village, exit the parking lot and turn left up the main road toward the General Store.

Walk that way.
General Store

The General Store is a great spot to buy books, blueberry stuff, t-shirts, and all sorts of goodies.  When you are done, turn left and head down past the workers houses (now museums you can poke your head into), past the barrel factory, and past the barrel warehouse, and past the ruins of the cranberry packing house on the opposite side behind the fence.

Barrell factory
Barrell storehouse, likely not holding a book fair when you walk this trail.
Across the way from the warehouse is the ruins of the cranberry packing house.

After the ruins, the trail quickly enters the woods.  This was just after the 93 feet of rain (just kidding, it was 114 feet of rain) we had in the spring of 2024, so the puddles were pretty large.  I was able to get around all of them in sneakers, but I’d imagine they are usually smaller.

Your first chance to turn left, you’ll turn left down another old farm road.

Left!

This stretch will arrive at some of the old cranberry bogs, offering some nice views across the water.

It will then lose the views and reenter a more closely forested area, until the woods to your left becomes a very nice looking swamp full of Atlantic white cedars.





The trail will near the main road in, but won’t directly meet it.  Instead, you’ll make a sharp left to take the trail up the other side of the cedar swamp until it meets the main road.

Left!
Down the old road.
More cedars.
We made it to the main road!

Turn left here and carefully walk down the road (traffic probably won’t be bad unless there is an event).  Try not to be too distracted by the views across the bogs as you walk!





Eventually, you’ll come back to the parking lot entrance with the general store straight ahead of you.  If you’d like some more walking, as soon you reach the parking lot entrance, look right to see the trailhead for the…

Nature Trail (formerly the Old Bog Trail) – 0.6 miles with closing the loop via the road

Review from April 2015

Terrain – bog, swamp, mixed forest, and native plant garden.

Trailheads – N 39° 57.535 W 074° 30.562 (exit of parking lot)

Markings – No trail markers, but you can follow the numbered signs (correspond to a free trail guide in the general store).

oldbogtrailmarker

My track –
oldbogmap2



After completing the Mount Misery Trail on a lovely spring morning, I’d had plans to tackle another “too long to do with a toddler” hike.  But after ten miles, my knee (still sore from the beating it took on the Appalachian Trail two weeks ago) was a little too stiff to consider another seven miles. Not one to waste a day that my little ones are away (couldn’t go with, have to hang out with Jerry Blavat at work), I decided to head to nearby Whitesbog Village, home to Elizabeth White, who played a major role in making blueberries a cultivated crop.

Not, I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but in 22 years of coming out to the pines, I’d never been to Whitesbog (update – we’ve made up for it in the 9+ years since!). I don’t know if it’s because I tend to stick to the vicinity of Wharton, or if I just have a mental block against blueberries.  Either way, I fixed it yesterday.  We’ll start with The Old Bog Trail, a short nature trail that starts across from the general store.

You’ll start at the information sign filled with flyers.  Directly behind that is the info sign for the trail, which is pretty difficult to read at the moment.  Nevertheless, onward!  Take a straight line for the small pond.

Start.
Start.
Head for the pond.
Head for the pond.

You’ll get up on the boardwalk and walk along the bank of the pond.  The trail will cross the pond on a small bridge.  Make a left and get to my favorite trail marker ever.

Boardwalk is an eagle project. Nice job Ian.
Boardwalk is an eagle project. Nice job Ian.
Take a walk...
Take a walk…
... along the shore.
… along the shore.
Cross the bridge.
Cross the bridge.
Looking back toward where we started along the pond.
Looking back toward where we started along the pond.
My favorite trail marker ever.
My favorite trail marker ever.
The view from it (up).
The view from it (up).

That you’ve done a u-turn (or if there isn’t space, a K-turn), you’ll walk a few dozen feet up and recross the pond (now more of a stream) on another bridge.  The trail then heads back, up on another boardwalk, and down  to the edge of the bogs and follows along the edge, occasionally giving you space to poke your head out for a peak.

Heading for this bridge.
Heading for this bridge.
Seconds later... made it.
Seconds later… made it.
Another nice boardwalk.
Another nice boardwalk.
Follow the edge of the bogs.
Follow the edge of the bogs.
Like I said, occasional views through.
Like I said, occasional views through.
Holly leaves are fun.
Holly leaves are fun.
Still going.
Still going.

You’ll cross another small bridge, get onto another boardwalk, and then end up behind Sunningive, Elizabeth White’s home.

Another bridge.
Another bridge.
Another boardwalk.
Another boardwalk.
Back end of Sunningive.
Back end of Sunningive.

I lost the trail here.  Totally on purpose.  Why? Because Elizabeth White kept a very large native plant garden surrounding her home.  I could have walked 30 feet to the road and ended the trail.  Instead I wandered the garden.  The part you walk into is dedicated to native plants.  There is a nice view of the bogs at the back end.  The other side of the house is dedicated to what I have to assume are blueberry bushes.  Well worth wandering through.

Trails here are really, really clear. And lined.
Trails here are really, really clear. And lined.
I want to build a bridge like this in my backyard. Seriously.
I want to build a bridge like this in my backyard. Seriously.
Peeking out at the bogs.
Peeking out at the bogs.
Nice view at the back end.
Nice view at the back end.
I believe this is Laurel.
I believe this is Laurel.
I have no idea what's going on here.
I have no idea what’s going on here.
I want a yard swamp!
I want a yard swamp!
Sunningive from the road.
Sunningive from the road.
History lesson.
History lesson.

From here, you can walk back down the road to where you started.  There are a couple of old houses along the way.  OR you can make your hike longer by heading onto the Blueberry Trail across the road from Sunningive… (see below)

To learn more about Elizabeth White and her work, With Eager Hands: The Life of Elizabeth Coleman White by Albertine Senske (South Jersey Culture & History Center, 2020) is excellent.

Road back.
Road back.
Nice wheel.
Nice wheel.

Total, the trail is probably just under 0.4 of a mile, I did just over 0.6 with the roadwalk and wandering the garden.

Blueberry Trail – 0.4 miles (one way)

Review from April 2024 (from 2017 hike that I never managed to post)

Terrain – forest, swamp, and field
Trailheads – N 39° 57.635 W 074° 30.407 (across the road from the far side of Sunningive)
Markings – Blue markers

Map:

On a lovely Fall day in 2017, The Pres, Tree Rider, and I went to hike some of the new trails here, but then I didn’t post them for like 7 years.  Whoops.

Anyway, if you’d like to keep hiking after the Nature Trail (formerly the Old Bog Trail), walk past Elizabeth White’s house and then cross the swamp on the bridge on the opposite side of the road from the house.

Good bridge.
A very good bridge.


The trail then meanders through pitch pines mixed with blueberry bushes, mountain laurel, and an occasional holly.




The trail eventually emerges at the Triangle Field, a patch used for blueberry growing.

If you want MORE hiking, you can pick up the Union Pond Trail, which we’ve done but I can’t seem to find the pictures from it (they have to be somewhere) or backtrack to the beginning of the Blueberry Trail and make a left and walk down the road a little ways to the Rome Village Trail…

Whitesbog Village

The hiking isn’t the only thing here!  Whitesbog Village is lovely, with a general store you can spend money at and museum buildings to walk through.

The general store.
The general store.
Also for the sweet old coke machine.
Also for the sweet old coke machine.

whitesbog03

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whitesbog06Special Events

They have fun activities here, like the Blueberry Festival, Makers Day, the Book Festival, full moon hikes, music, and more!

Bullseye!

 

Better a blueberry than a finger

 

The Pres loves owls.


The engine clubs are fun!
Getting bubbles.

Historic Bog Tour during the Blueberry Festival
Tour was hosted by pine barrens historian Ted Gordon.
The Pres makes rope!

Driving Tour

Finally, there is a three mile driving tour around the bogs.  Totally worth the time, although be careful driving along the tops of the dikes.

whitesbog08

whitesbog09

whitesbog10
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Whitesbog is well worth the visit!

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