Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jakes Branch County Park, Beachwood, NJ

ABOUT THE PARK:  Jakes Branch County Park - Ocean County, NJ Parks & Recreation

GPS Coordinates 39.929279, -74.214299
Park in the Nature Center parking lot.

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Jakes Branch County Park Trail Map
The online map does not show the white-blazed .2 mile long Swamp Spur but this is shown on the printed maps in the kiosk.

4 miles
Distance can be added by connecting with additional sand roads in neighboring Double Trouble State Park

The trail starts at the kiosk at the end of the parking lot closest to the nature center.
When the trail splits, take the right fork of the blue-blazed Tindey Trail.
The trail will cross over several streets with names, which are not streets at all rather sand roads with no vehicular traffic.  All intersections are well-marked and the trail is very well-blazed.

OPTIONAL:  If you want to make the hike longer, a right turn on Pine Street takes you out of Jakes Branch County Park and into Double Trouble State Park on a network of unmarked sand roads covered with pine needles.  Note that this area of Double Trouble State Park is for hunting so only try this section on Sundays during hunting season.  There is a power cut in this area that is heavily littered with broken glass and beer cans.

Although the roads along the power cut would bring you to Pinewald-Keswick Road to cross over to Mill Pond Reservoir and the cranberry bogs at Double Trouble State Park, none of the sand roads were passable due to swamps covering the roads. 
I did manage to get across this swampy section on a different sand road only to have the road end in a loop.
I've seen old cars in the woods before but this is the first time I have seen boats.

Back on the blue Tinday Trail, turn right on the white-blazed Swamp Spur at 2.45 miles.

The white spur trail ends at a creek.  Retrace back to the blue trail, turn right and head towards the visitor's center.
At the end of the hike, it's worth taking a trip up to the nature center's five story observation deck.  The steps are inside the building so even someone like me who has issues with climbing fire towers can climb those stairs without a problem.

[  0.00]  Start at the kiosk at the end of the parking lot closest to the nature center; right at fork
[  0.10]  Cross Tamarack Road (sand road)
[  0.20]  Cross Chestnut Street (sand road)
[  0.40]  Cross Daisy Road (sand road)
[  0.95]  Cross red-blazed Spruce Street (sand road)
[  1.10]  Cross Sugar Sand Road (sand road)
[  1.30]  Cross Pine Street***
[  2.65]  Turn right on white-blazed trail; cross foot bridge
[  2.85]  White trail ends at creek/swamp; retrace back to blue trail
[  3.05]  Cross foot bridge; turn right on blue Tindey Trail
[  3.35]  Cross two bridges
[  3.80]  Cross red-blazed Spruce Street (sand road)
[  4.00]  Arrive back at parking lot


  1. What a neat place to hike! My favorite hikes are by the water's edge or on waterfall trails. I think the old boats are really cool - I haven't seen that before either. Looks like NJ is a good place for hiking.

  2. Thanks so much for posting this information--looks like this park is a worthwhile trip!

    1. It's a very nice park. The views from the visitor center are great and the nice thing is that even with my fear of heights, being on top of the visitor center did not bother me at all.