What’s to love
A bit of a work in progress, the Wickecheoke Trail stitches together areas of dense forest and open fields along a beautiful creek in rural New Jersey. The land is managed by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, which has outlined three loop hikes connected by a few relatively quiet roads. Highlights of the scenery include natural shale ridges, hemlock groves, and a few small waterfalls.
The trails here are very peaceful and uncrowded—my hiking partner and I didn’t see a single other person during our visit. On the flip side, the footpaths can get rocky and they're somewhat infrequently marked (especially loop #2, but I’ll get to that in the tips section), so bring good shoes and expect to consult your map frequently. The Wickecheoke Trail isn’t well-used enough to be marked on the interactive map just yet, so grab the downloadable one from the link above—I stitched it together from a few regional maps.
Tips and quirks
- Of the three loops, #3 is the most interesting but it includes a creek crossing that can be dicey when the water is high. I needed a hand with one jump.
- Speaking of creek crossings, this area by the word “Wickecheoke” where two trails look like they should connect? They don’t. (At least on the day we went, this did not seem possible without going for a quick January swim.)
- From what I could tell, loop #2 is nearly entirely unmarked. I suspect that we actually did it wrong, picking our way over small rocks and brambles in a strip of forest between a private farm and the west edge of the creek, when we should have been on the east side until a crossing became apparent. Either way, the majority of this loop wraps around private property and you get the feeling that you maybe don’t belong there.
- For history buffs, there’s also an 18th century grist mill and the state’s only remaining public covered bridge!
- Check out this blog post for more tips, and if you visit here feel free to send your thoughts via the contact form!
Last updated: January 07 2017