Monday, January 24, 2011

Estell Manor Park, Atlantic County, NJ

ABOUT THE PARK:  Estelle Manor Park, Atlantic County Recreation and Leisure

Nature Center parking lot:
GPS Coordinates: 39.396375,-74.743123

View Larger Map

TRAIL MAP:  Estell Manor Park Trail Map
Although the map shows names for all of the trails, names are inconsistently noted throughout the park.  All trails are blazed with the same white metal marker, not distinguished by color.  Be sure to print the map or grab a copy just inside the nature center on the left opposite the rest rooms.

HIKE DISTANCE:  9 miles; network of woods roads and boardwalks allow for various lengths

If hiking here during hunting season, be sure to hike on Sundays or call the park in advance to find out if the trails are open as most of the park is closed to hikers when hunting is taking place.

The hiking trails start at the far side of the Nature Center by turning right on a paved trail, heading towards the back of the Nature Center.  A short distance ahead the trail forks, the left fork goes to the 1.8 mile boardwalk, the right fork to the fitness trail.  For this hike take the right fork which leads to an observation deck at Stephen's Pond.
Paved trail next to nature center.
Ruins along trail.
Observation deck at Stephen's Pond.
Stephen's Pond view from observation deck.
The hike then follows a short distance along a fitness trail then out to the less manicured part of the park to a clearing which was the site of an old Native American village, along a field with several bird observation blinds, then to the 1.8 mile boardwalk over swamps.
Side sections of the boardwalk lead to views of the South River.
At the end of the boardwalk, Smith Ireland Cemetery on the left with tombstones dated in the early 1800's...
... and on the right, Artesian well ruins
Old packed sand roads run through the northern section of the park along with mountain bike trails.
This land was the site of a glassworks in the 1800's and later a munitions plant during World War 1.  Ruins and foundations along old sand packed roads are are found throughout the center section.

[  0.00]  Right on paved path at far side of nature center; right at split; right at second split on Pond Trail (unmarked) with pond on right
[  0.30]  Straight on Pond Trail when Laurel Trail goes left (marked); trail comes in from right; picnic area on right; trail veers left over bridge; keep right at intersection other side of bridge
[  0.50]  Keep left at split rail fence where bridge goes to the right and ruins ahead; fitness trail begins (called Exercise Trail on map)
[  0.60]  Right at intersection (Center Trail - unmarked); cross paved park road, proceed straight (sign with trail names as park road intersection)
[  0.75]  Turn left to observation deck at Stephen's Creek; retrace steps
[  0.95]  Cross paved park road; continue straight to right on fitness trail
[  1.55]  Right at intersection on ; cross paved park road; veer left briefly then right on Oak Barrel Tree Road (unmarked) trail
[  1.75]  Turn right at intersection (#23 on tree) on Cribbers Road (unmarked)
[  1.95]  Arrive at clearing of Native American village site; retrace
[  2.20]  Keep straight on Cribbers Road (unmarked) at intersection with Oak Barrel Tree Road (unmarked)
[  2.30]  Go either way at fork - comes back together on same trail
[  2.45]  Cribber's Field on left with bird blinds
[  2.85]  Turn right at intersection on to boardwalk; keep straight at split
[  3.10]  Keep straight on boardwalk when Sand Hole Road (marked) and an unmarked trail go left
[  3.50]  Keep straight when boardwalk splits to left
[  3.55]  Keep straight when Frog Pond Road (marked) goes left
[  3.95]  Right on side trail to South River view (not on map)
[  4.15]  Right on side trail to second South River view (not on map)
[  4.25]  Smith Ireland Cemetery on left (tombstones from early 1800's); back on boardwalk briefly to artesian well on right; walk straight by river access on gravel road; straight by road to right with metal barrier; keep straight on Smokeless Powder Trail (unmarked) when Camping Loop Road (unmarked) turns sharply to the left
[  4.55]  Go straight beyond two posts with wire barrier joining briefly with mountain bike trail
[  4.65]  Right at intersection on Duck Farm Road (marked)
[  4.95]  Keep straight on Duck Farm Road at intersection where North End Trail goes left (marked); at next split go either way - meets back up
[  5.40]  Turn left at intersection with mountain bike trail (turn left where tree has both park and mountain bike blazes); trail will follow between two mountain bike trails.  If you miss turn you will know right away as the trail becomes an obvious mountain bike track
[  5.90]  Left at intersection
[  5.95]  Keep straight as mountain bike trail crosses over; trail is hard packed sand covered with pine needles
[  6.30]  Right on Duck Farm Road at #200 on tree
[  6.60]  Keep straight at intersection
[  6.75]  Cross metal barrier and keep left on woods road, not mountain bike trails
[  6.90]  Cross Artesian Well Road following sign for North End Trail
[  7.00]  Stay on North End Trail through parking lot and beyond barrier
[  7.15]  Left at unmarked intersection on Store House Road
[  7.25]  Straight at unmarked intersection where Rabbit Square Trail comes in from left
[  7.40]  Straight at unmarked intersection where Change House Trail comes in from left; trail becomes swampy
[  7.50]  At t-intersection turn right on marked Oak Ridge Trail; pass ponds on right
[  7.70]  Trail becomes boardwalk; first intersection right on Frog Pond Road, next intersection, left on Crossover Trail (unmarked)
[  7.90]  Straight at unmarked intersection of Eight Inch Road; short distance ahead veer left as unmarked Tin Box Road goes right
[  8.05]  Straight over TNT Road at unmarked intersection
[  8.20]  Keep right at unmarked intersection when unmarked Highbank Trail goes left; few steps ahead left on unmarked Sand Hole Road at yield sign
[  8.35]  Left at intersection briefly then right on boardwalk
[  8.55]  Keep right on boardwalk as unmarked Cribbers Road trail is straight ahead
[  8.70]  Jog right off boardwalk then left back on to boardwalk
[  8.80]  Cross paved park road to continuation of boardwalk
[  9.00]  Arrive at paved trail behind Nature Center and follow to parking lot


  1. Gorgeous pics! I just moved to the area and was so happy to find a park that's bike riding distance.

    1. Thanks! Sounds like you will be able to go there often and I believe you can even ride your bike on just about all of the trails except for the boardwalk. Double check that with the park, though, in case I am not remembering correctly.


  2. My name is Lela Smith Albert, my ancestors are buried in the Smith Ireland Cemetery, there once was a house nearby the foundation has yet to be found. I love walking and being at this park.