Tom’s Pond Trail – Batsto, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: 1.8 miles round trip.
Difficulty: 2 of 10. – Great hike to do with kids.
Total score: 8 of 10.
Terrain – Swamps and pitch pines
Trailheads – 39°38’37.13″N, 74°39’17.00″W (Batsto Lake Road, just past the end of the old workers cabins). NOTE – if you park at the visitor’s center lot, you’ll have about a mile to walk through Batsto Village before you get to the trailhead. It’s a lovely walk, just be warned it makes this a three mile trek.
Standouts – Mullica River, swamps with pitcher plants, scrub pines.
Markings – Orange blazes.
Description: A nice short hike of just over a mile, the Tom’s Pond Trail packs a lot into a little.
The trail heads out into a swamp immediately, before coming to the Mullica River, which it crosses on a footbridge.
After the bridge, you’ll walk along the edge of this river through some lovely pine forest. The yellow Mullica River Trail splits off to the right, but stick with the orange. Just after this is a lovely view downstream.
From here, the trail crosses another swamp (look here for pitcher plants. You’ll know you’re in the right spot because there is a giant educational signboard talking about carnivorous plants) before starting a short loop through the pines.
Once you complete this loop, simply head back the way you came, 0.4 miles or so back to the trailhead.
Overall recommendation: This is a short one, but a beauty. I love bridges, rivers, and carnivorous plants, so I loved this hike. Many thanks to the wife and kid and my buddy Pat for trooping along on this one.
Check out nearby: This is right on the edge of Batsto Village. If you’ve never been there (or even if you have), it’s a must-see for the Pine Barrens. Explore the old outbuildings, see the movie at the visitor’s center, and tour the mansion if any slots are available. If you’d like to expand your hike, several loops through Batsto Lake start at the Visitor’s Center lot (will be posted at some point) or the 53 mile Batona Trail runs through the picnic area, which you can hike a section of.