Hammonton Lake Park and Smith Conservation Area, Hammonton, Atlantic County, NJ
Distance – 2.2 miles
Type – Two loops connected by a short road walk
Difficulty: 1 of 10
Total score: 6 of 10
Updated: December 30, 2016
Website – Hammonton Parks and Recreation
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – Lakeside forests
Trailheads – 39°37’46.75″N, 74°47’17.37″W (starting at the trail sign near the beach)
Directions – Park Ave, Hammonton, NJ 08037
Parking – Large lot at Hammonton Lake Park (playground, playing fields, canoe club, swimming area… so lots of parking to match)
Dog friendly? – Unsure
Stroller friendly? – Yes, if an offroading stroller
Benches? – A few in Hammonton Lake Park, none in the Smith Woods Conservation Area.
Bathrooms/Changing Tables – port-a-potties. Have real bathrooms too, but were locked when we were there. Unsure if the “real” bathrooms have changing tables.
Standouts – Nice views of Hammonton Lake from each park.
Markings – Painted blazes
Description – Back in the beginning of March, my wife went away for a long weekend. We got a lot of hiking done that weekend!
This was our hike from Saturday, where we headed out to Hammonton Lake Park and the adjacent Smith Woods Conservation Area for a lovely 2.2 mile hike! And 9 months later, I found where I hid my pictures (hence the update). Yay!
You’ll start in the parking area at Hammonton Lake Park. The best spot to park is near the swimming area on the lake. There, you’ll find the trailhead map and the first blazes.
From that map, we headed straight across the field, past the swimming area. The trail heads straight until it meets the lake, then turns right and follows the shoreline. This must be a popular spot, because even in the cold there was a gentleman fishing out here!
The trail follows the shoreline until it nears the road, where it gets too swampy to continue. At this point, the trail turns right away from the lake. It approaches the parking area, but curves left before it quite gets there, and ends up along the road. Turn left on the road, cross the bridge, enjoy the swamps, and leave Hammonton Lake Park.
Luckily, your hike isn’t over, because next door is the Smith Woods Conservation Area. This spot has no parking of its own, so its accessible only the way we’re going, by parking in Hammonton Lake Park and following the trail. So picking back up with our road walk, we’ll turn left into the woods, entering the Smith Woods Conservation Area.
The trail here will quickly split into two. From here on out, the trail continually loops back on itself, forming a figure eight with an extra loop to boot. We chose right every time, but for no particular reason. After the initial split, the trail will meet back up with itself two more times.
The very farthest loop will give you views of the lake itself, which are quite nice.
After reaching the views of the lake at the end, follow the loops back to the road, turn right to retrace your steps down the road, then turn right into Hammonton Lake Park.
From here, you can retrace your steps past the lake, or you can do what we did and walk down the parking area access road a short distance and connect with one of the two nearly overlapping walking trails in the park, which will carry you back to your starting point at the trailhead sign.
Overall recommendation – This is a nice, little hike with some nice lake areas, and plenty of stuff to do at the park after you’re done hiking. Totally worth checking out.