Sunday, May 26, 2013

John A. Phillips Preserve, NJ

John A. Phillips Preserve - Middlesex County Parks and Recreation

GPS Coordinates 40.382676, -74.349773

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Huge parking lot near playground, athletic fields, restrooms.

John A. Phillips Preserve Trail Map - Middlesex County Parks and Recreation

DISTANCE:  5 miles

From the parking lot, locate the playground and restroom building (to the left of the bleachers in this picture) and take the paved paths between the athletic fields to the far corner (to the right of the bleachers) where you will find...
... a kiosk and the trailhead.
The yellow-blazed Nature Trail starts from the kiosk
The white-blazed Pleasant Valley Trail.
Iresick Brook
Some cleared Sandy blowdowns.
Crossing Pleasant Valley Road.
The trail becomes more rugged on the other side of Pleasant Valley Road.
At this large circular clearing with debris in the center, keep right and the white trail will continue to the right. (No blazes through the clearing.)
The white trail turns left right before this brook crossing with a rickety bridge.
The start of the blue-blazed Old Bridge Sands Trail.
A creek crossing on wobbly logs.
The one on the left who was carried across versus the one on the right who slogged on through and had to be hosed down later.
Lots of boardwalks over swampy areas.
Crossing back over Pleasant Valley Road.
The orange-blazed Blueberry Flats Trail.
Happy Hikers
More litter.
Packing out litter.  And poop.
Back on the white trail.
The yellow trail back to the athletic fields.
Heading back to the parking lot.

[  0.00]  Facing the playground and restrooms, turn right and head towards the far corner on the paved paths between the athletic fields
[  0.20]  Take the yellow trail at the kiosk, yellow trail turns left a few steps later
[  0.70]  Turn right on white just before post with #9
[  1.05]  Turn right on white when orange goes left
[  1.45]  Turn right on white - if you see the beginning of the blue trail on the left, you just missed the turn; a few steps later keep to the right of the big circular clearing and continue on white
[  1.80]  Turn left on white (straight leads to rickety creek crossing on unmarked)
[  2.15]  White turns left at T-intersection
[  2.25]  Right on blue
[  2.45]  Trail goes left other side of first boardwalk
[  3.25]  Right on orange
[  3.45]  At clearing after boardwalk, keep left on orange when white Pine Glen Spur goes right
[  3.95]  At intersection where orange goes both ways, turn right on orange towards bridge
[  4.00]  Orange ends, turn right on white
[  4.35]  White ends, turn right on yellow towards #9 post
[  4.60]  Right on yellow at the fork
[  4.70]  At T-intersection turn right towards kiosk, take paved paths back to parking lot
[  5.00]  Back at parking lot


  1. Thanks for this one. I had come across the preserve on one of the websites and wondered what it was really like. Truth be told, it doesn't look all that interesting, but at least now I know. Looks like it might be better in winter when the leaves are down.

    1. Ken,

      It's quiet and peaceful on the trails. You'll have 30 people walking on the paved park paths around the athletic fields but not another soul back in the woods on the trails. Kinda like it that way :)