Tag Archives: Delaware River

Soupy Island – Thorofare, NJ

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Throwback.

Sports players.  Restaurants.  Clothes.  Local personalities. It’s a popular word in the greater Philadelphia area.

But the greatest throwback of them of them all might be the Sanitarium Playground.

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Fish House Cove Nature Trail – Pennsauken, NJ

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Fish House Cove Nature Trail – Pennsauken, Camden County, NJ
Distance –  About 0.2 of a mile one way (o.4 rought trip)
Type – Out-and-back
Difficulty:  1 of 10
Total score:  4 of 10

Website – None
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – Marshland (boardwalk over top!)

Trailheads –  39°58’12.86″N,  75° 4’2.60″W (cross tracks to get there)

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Fort Delaware and Pea Patch Island

peapatch20Fort Delaware – Pea Patch Island – Fort Delaware State Park, , Delaware City, Delaware

Official Website – Fort Delaware State Park
Ferry information – Forts Ferry Crossing

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Directions – You can leave from the pier at Fort Mott State Park in Pennsville, NJ or from the dock at Fort Delaware State Park in Delaware City, Delaware.

Fort Mott State Park (New Jersey side) – 454 Fort Mott Road Pennsville, NJ 08070
Fort Dupot (Delaware Side) – 45 Clinton St, Delaware City, DE 19706

Tickets – Check Forts Ferry Crossing page for current rates.  Can buy tickets at the pier in Delaware City (credit or cash) or on the ferry itself in Pennsville (cash only).  If you don’t have cash in Jersey (we didn’t), they’ll take you all the way across to Delaware City to pay, but it’s tricky with the timing, so better to come prepared!

Fort Delaware State Park, located on Pea Patch Island, was part of a chain of three forts that defended Philadelphia for well over 100 years.  The first fortifications were built at the end of the War of 1812, and the bulk of the present fort was built before the Civil War.  During the war, Confederate prisoners were held on the island in barracks, the biggest influx coming after the Battle of Gettysburg.  The fort continued to be used through WWII, then was given over to the state of Delaware.

This is a GREAT place to visit this summer, and the ferry ride on the river alone in the heat might be worth the price of admission!

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Taylor Wildlife Preserve – Cinnaminson, NJ

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Taylor Wildlife Preserve – Cinnaminson, Burlington County, NJ
Distance: We did the loop and went 3.5 miles.  Official miles of trail has to be just above that.
Type: Loop
Difficulty: 4 of 10.
Total score: 7  of 10
Last updated: March 6, 2017 (complete overhaul now that we’ve walked the whole loop)

Website – Friends of Taylor Wildlife Preserve
Open – Sunrise to Sunset

Terrain – swamps, harbor, and Delaware River.

Trailheads –  40° 1’34.12″N,  74°59’5.50″W

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From the lot closer to the river

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From the lot just off of Broad Street.

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Trail visible behind the information kiosk near Broad Street.

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Palmyra Nature Cove Revisted – Palmyra, NJ

Our second guest post!  This one is from my buddy Dave, who (along with his wife Mary) have been loyal followers of this blog, suggesting some great trails that I’ve gone to check out, and hiking many of the trails featured here.  Thanks for sharing your adventure Dave and Mary!

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Palmyra Nature Cover (Revisted) – Palmyra, Burlington County, NJ

Distances: 8 miles of trails (this hike covered four miles)
Difficulty: 2 of 10
Rating: 8 of 10

Highlights: Wildlife and views of Pennsylvania and the bridges

Took advantage of the recent cool weather and got in a 4 mile walk at this hidden gem.  It’s located at the foot of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge on the South Jersey side. Just take the jug handle for in front of the F.C. Kerbeck auto dealer and follow the signs to the park.  The park has a large visitors center which was closed before we finished but definitely worth checking out.  The first thing to mention about this is that it is a nature park. That means no pets allowed. (Our dog Jodi was rather insulted by this).  The trade off is you can walk right up to wild turkeys and deer with no problem.  We saw a group of about 8 turkeys and over 6 deer during our trip.

 

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Wheelabrator Wildlife Refuge – Westville, NJ

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Wheelabrator Wildlife Refuge – Westville , Gloucester County, NJ
Distance: 1.5 miles (one way)
Type: Out and back
Difficulty: 1 of 10.
Total score: 7 of 10.

Terrain – marshland and meadows

Trailheads –  39° 52.288’N,  75° 8.223’W
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Amico Island – Riverside, NJ

Amico Island County Park

Amico Island County Park

Amico Island County Park – Riverside (or Delran), Burlington County, NJ

Distance: 2 trail miles, can string together something slightly longer.  (We walked a mile and a half this day, completing the blue trail and wandering after birdies along the shoreline)
Type: Interlocking loops leading from one parking lot
Difficulty: 3 of 10 (The Pres rates it a difficulty of 10 of 10, but that’s because he has little toddler legs and doesn’t like to walk in the snow)
Total score: 8 of 10.

Terrain – Beautiful woodlands on an “island” (Note: you’ll notice from the map it’s not really an island).

Trailheads – All trails lead from the parking lot at 40° 2.264’N, 74° 58.697’W

Trailhead at the end of the parking lot.  The blue trail starts up on you left and right.  The red trail starts off the blue trail to the right.

Trailhead at the end of the parking lot. The blue trail starts up on you left and right. The red trail starts off the blue trail to the right.

Directions: 81 Norman Ave, Riverside, NJ. Very close to Rt 130.

Hours: 8 AM to sunset

Standouts – Beautiful views of the Delaware River, birds galore, deer (saw plenty of tracks, didn’t see any live ones), picnic spots, and fishing.

Markings – Posts and paint marks.

Map?:

This map can be picked up many places around Burlington County.  I got mine at the County Store in the Moorestown Mall.

This map can be picked up many places around Burlington County. I got mine at the County Store in the Moorestown Mall.  Click for a bigger image.

Description: Cabin fever, the promise of decent temperatures, and a crushing loss of the US hockey team to Canada drove us out for our first real hike of 2014.  The Pres and I decided to check out Amico Island County Park, which we had picked up a beautiful map of last Spring and hadn’t gotten to yet.

The good news was that it was already in the mid-40s, heading for the mid-50s.  The bad news…

"Why are we walking in this?"

“Why are we walking in this Dad?”

Nevertheless, we had an awesome two hours, just at a slower pace than usual (and the only time I’ve seen him hike without running).

Having picked up a beautiful map of the trails, I left it at home by mistake.  So we took a left onto the blue trail because that’s the direction a dog was heading (Needless to say, I didn’t pick the direction).  The blue trail weaves through marshier areas, mixed in with lovely clumps of trees.  You’ll have half a dozen stairs to climb at one point (or be carried up, if you’re so lucky).

Blue trail heads left!

Blue trail heads left!

Lovely marshier areas (no mosquitoes with the snow!)

Lovely marshier areas (no mosquitoes with the snow!)

Bridge.  The stairs are just after this.

Bridge. The stairs are just after this.

After the stairs, we quickly arrived at a point where you can walk out onto the shoreline to check out what’s going on.  This day, it was tons of birds hanging out on or next to the ice.  The only bird I could definitely identify was the seagull (The Pres’s favorite… he doesn’t get that from me), but those ones with the necks might be herons.  Or might not.  We spent a half hour or so here pointing and saying “dir-dee” over and over again.  Time well spent.

Plenty of stay pieces of when this island was not a peaceful county park.

Plenty of stay pieces of when this island was not a peaceful county park.

Dir-dees.

Dir-dees.

Getting back on the trail, I figured it was around the corner to the parking lot.  My sense of directions today was as bad as my map-remembering skills.  It was time to give The Pres a lift, and we strolled down the snow covered trail, around a little cove, up on a bit of a ridge, past a pair of lovely overlooks complete with benches, and down a steeper hill than I expected on such a small peninsula.

Lovely little cove on the south end of the "island".  The Talcony-Palmyra Bridge can be seen waaaay in the distance.

Lovely little cove on the south end of the “island”. The Talcony-Palmyra Bridge can be seen waaaay in the distance.

Down the hill!

Down the hill!  Mikaela Shiffrin took the gold, but The Pres and I put in a good showing.

The blue trail finally hooks back toward the parking lot.  We stopped for a sit and a drink at the beach at this point, checking out more (but much further away) birdies.

Lovely little beach.

Lovely little beach.

Lovely little bench just above the lovely little beach.  I wish we brought some sandwiches for this spot.

Lovely little bench just above the lovely little beach. I wish we brought some sandwiches for this spot.

After a while hanging out there, someone was really, really tired.  He fell half asleep on my shoulder as I carried him the rest of the way to the parking lot.  Along this stretch, the red trail split off twice (it’s a loop).  Somewhere off to our left, the yellow trail split from the red trail to take you to the northern-most part of the “island”, where Rancocas Creek comes in (that part is in hindsight, after checking out the map when we made it home).  Someday soon, we’ll be back to tackle those trails and see what the island looks like when it’s green.

Overall, it was a perfect day.

Until the USA lost to Finland in the Bronze medal game on the way home.  My radio is in pieces somewhere along Haddonfield Road as we speak.

Overall recommendation: Beautiful park, I should have visited sooner! As I said, we will be back (when the snow melts) to check out the northern half of the island.  Also, if you are a little too obsessed with hockey, make sure to become a Canadian citizen so you have a remote chance of seeing your team get a gold medal.

Also check out about Amico Island:
South Jersey History & Adventures (aka Yummygal’s Blog) – great post with pictures without snow.  Also great historical information passed along from historian Paul Schopp.
Official Park Page
South Jersey Sun: Amico Island Park

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