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Old Orchards Trail – Cherry Hill, NJ

oldorchardtrailhead

Old Orchards Trail – Cherry Hill Trail System– Cherry Hill, Camden County, NJ
Distance: Just under a mile of trails
Type: Figure 8.
Difficulty: 1 of 10.
Total score: 3 of 10.

Maintained by the good people at Cherry Hill Trail Crew

Terrain – Forest and meadow

Trailheads –  39° 53.242’N,  74° 57.223’W

Directions: Located on Thornhill Road in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Parking – Along Thornhill Road or a few spots at the playground.

Standouts – No real standouts, but a nice little hike.

Markings – Color coded signs at intersections

Map – Map available here

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Kresson Trails – Cherry Hill, NJ

Kresson Trails – Cherry Hill, NJ
Type: Loop trails
Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Distance: 0.4 of a mile and up (I combined the outside of the loops to do 2 miles)
Difficulty: 3 of 10.
Total score: 5 of 10.

Terrain – Flat to slight hills.  Wetlands and woods.

Trailhead – Parking lot off of Kresson Road (across from the road from the intersection of Ravenswood Way & Kresson Road)- 39* 53′ 04.92″ N 74* 58’20.47″ W

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Standouts: Branch of the Cooper River, deer, birds, slight hills.

Markings – Tail colors posted on metal posts.  Many, many intersections, only one sign missing on the whole trail.  Make sure to take the map with you (either by printing it or saving it your phone), the loops can get a bit confusing.  Also, the map on the Cherry Hill website is not accurate, the one at the trailhead is.

Map – Map available here

UPDATE (1/23/16) – Red Trail has been devleoped since this write-up. I’ve also returned here three or four times, and enjoyed these trails thoroughly each time.  My favorite section might be the Green Trial that runs alongside the creek.   I’ve spotted deer here every visit.  These also have developed into popular biking trails!

Description: I put together my own loop – orange to green to white to pink to yellow to blue to the trailhead.  By staying on the outside of these loops, I put in exactly 2 miles on the trails.

So I’ll be honest, I was not at all impressed at first.  The trail head, with so many trails coming together, it kind of silly.  It seems to loop back and forth within site of the rest of the trails for more or less no reason.  The sounds of cars on nearby Kresson Road is also very offputting, especially as the orange trail I started on took me back toward the road instead of into the woods.

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The trail soon descends into wetlands and meets up with the green trail.  You descend down into a lower area and start moving away from the road and things improve.  Soon you hit a tiny branch of the Cooper River.

IMG_7908If you hang left on each trail you encounter (not really a left, more of a straight), you’ll end of following the creek back for a while, from the white trail, onto the pink trail.  I saw not one, but two group of deer (widely seperated).  Eventually you curve around to follow another stream and come within view of the fields of Springdale Farm.

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Eventually you switch to the yellow trail, which brings you back toward traffic noises and Springdale Road.  There are some tiny hills here, and the trail crosses them, then winds its way up a ridge.

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To avoid paralleling right next to Springdale Road (as the yellow trail ends up doing), I switched the blue trail.  The part of the trail eventually brings you back to the silly parts of the trail, where everything squishes together and the trail turns and loops for no real reason.  This eventually brings you back to the parking lot.

If you are in the area, it’s a nice two mile walk once you get past the silly parts.  Wear boots, it got muddy!

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Stafford Trail – Voorhees, NJ

Stafford Farm Trail
Type: Out and Back.
Distance: 0.65 miles one way (1.3 miles out and back)
Difficulty: 2 out of 10.
Total score: 6 of 10.

Stafford Trail map

Terrain – Mostly flat, one little gully to contend with

Trailheads – 39 51.195 N 74 58.183 W – Deerfield Road
39 51.672 N 74 58.222 W – Parking Lot off of Evesham Road (look for sign for Frisbee Golf between the doctors offices and the open farm fields).  There is a parking lot here.

This is the entrance to the trail.

This is the Deerfield Rd entrance to the trail.

Parking lot off Evesham Road.

Standouts: Great views of Stafford Farm (founded in the 1700s) and chance to view a herd of deer.

View of the active part of the Stafford Farm.

View of the active part of the Stafford Farm.

Herd of deer - Stafford Trail

Herd of deer – Stafford Trail

Bonus: Bring your frisbee and play some frisbee golf after your hike.

Markings – Very clear except one four way intersection.  At that spot, if coming from Deerfield Rd, take the left turn.  If coming from the parking lot, take a right turn.  Forget which way to go?  Just look down the trail for signs before you walk in any direction.  There are also distance markers every tenth of a mile, which is always nice.

Description: This is a great little hike right where no one would expect it – right next to Eastern Regional High School and in the midst of two expensive housing developments.  How expensive?  Flyer Simon Gagne once owned a house on the street the trail parallels.  It’s a wonderful little escape into the woods in the midst of a sea of houses and strip malls.

I’ve done the hike many times, and I’m very partial to it.  I grew up wandering in the woods across the street from this trail, going through the swamps, watching deer, having Nerf battles in the sand pit filled with abandoned cars and junk.  The land of my childhood has all been turned into a retirement community, but this little bit across the way was saved.  Every time I do this hike, it feels like I’m eight years old again.  Except when I was eight, you couldn’t go on the Stafford Farm because they’d chase you off.

This land was purchased and preserved about a decade ago when the Stafford Family sold it after keeping it in the family for more than 200 years.  The farm across the street (now offices and the Dublin Square complex) was owned by John Stafford, an aide to George Washington during the Revolutionary War.  The Stafford Farm you are walking on here was owned by his son, so it goes waaaaaaay back.  Some people might remember when there was a fire that burned down the barn in the late 1980s/early 1990s that was in the news.

So what do you see on this nice little hike?  There is an excellent chance to spot a herd of deer (sometimes approaching 100 in number) out in the fields.  The trail meanders between old farm fields and the woods, so you can a nice change as you go along.  Toward the parking lot is a view of the active section of the horse farm.  In the beginning, you start out pretty much in people’s backyards, but you quickly become surrounded by the old farm property.  From growing up in these parts, there are deer, wild turkey, possums, squirrels, and other assorted critters running all through these woods.

I’m also partial to this trail because two of my Scouts worked on it as part of their Eagle Projects.  Thanks for the trail and the markers guys!

Stafford Trail.The Stafford Trail.

Me and "the Pres" - Stafford TrailWalking on the Stafford Trail in the early Fall.

Rain clouds roll in - Stafford Trail.Storm clouds blow in during a winter hike.

View from Stafford Trail. Stafford Trail. Trail marker

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