Friday, March 21, 2014

Abbott Marshlands, NJ - Bordentown Bluffs (part of Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park)


Although Bordentown Bluffs is part of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park it is not mentioned on their site.

GPS Coordinates 40.161122, -74.703328

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Stanton Avenue dead ends at a utility building and it is plenty wide for on-street parking.

Abbott Marshlands - Bordentown Bluffs - NJ Trails Association
Abbott Marshlands - Bordentown Bluffs, NJ at EveryTrail

2.2 miles with some exploring at the northern end.
This was hiked in conjunction with Roebling Memorial Park, a short drive away.

Start of the trail on Stanton Avenue.
Blazes are spray painted - there is a red trail and a yellow trail.
At this T-intersection red goes left to the tidal beach (return route) and also to the right towards Orchard Avenue.
Where red ends and yellow starts.
You don't expect to see mountain laurel and rhododendron in these parts!
Some yellow with green blazes at the overlook.
The trail follows very closely along the edge of the bluff.
Crosswicks Creek
Approaching the overlook from a different direction, a climb up some tree roots to the top.
Heading back south.  The yellow-blazed trail goes farther into the woods where unmarked trails continue along the bluff.
Where the red trail ends ...
... a trail does continue for a while before you have to retrace to back to the sign.
The tidal beach,
Returning to Stanton Avenue on the woods road from the tidal beach around the utility buildings.

Abbott Marshlands, NJ - Roebling Memorial Park

Abbott Marshlands - Friends for the Abbott Marshlands
Roebling Memorial Park - Mercer County Parks
White City Amusement Park - Friends for the Abbott Marshlands

GPS coordinates won't work - enter address:  325 Sewell Avenue, Hamilton, NJ.  At the dead end of Sewell Avenue, turn left on a dirt road not on the map which leads to the Spring Lake parking lot.

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Spring Lake parking lot.

Abbott Marshlands: Roebling Memorial Park - New Jersey Trails Association
Abbott Marshlands - John A Roebling Memorial Park, NJ at EveryTrail

5.5 miles - includes searching for trails that no longer exist beyond main picnic area (the downward loop in the center of the map).
This was hiked in conjunction with Bordentown Bluffs a short drive away.

Spring Lake from the parking lot.
I saw more different kinds of ducks than I have ever seen in one place on this hike.  This is a Northern Shoveler pair in the pond to the right of Spring Lake.
Two paths run parallel between Spring Lake and the pond to the right.  You can weave back and forth from one to the other along the way to get views of both lakes.
Spring Pond
The trail closest to Spring Pond.
This swan came swimming towards us rapidly, which was a little unnerving - they can be very nasty and I thought he had it in for Shawnee, who pays no attention to wildlife.  Turns out the swan thought we had food so he must be used to people feeding him.
There are several short side paths from the trail closest to the pond that lead right to the water for better views.
A twisted tree.
Many, many beaver dams and lodges in the water.
Crossing the bridge at the end of Spring Lake to the island trails.
Trails are sort of blazed but inconsistently and many markers are broken, signs are faded.  Just keep to the right, when you hit a dead end retrace keeping to the right at all intersections and you can work your way around the entire island that way so blazes aren't that important.
Mallards, and where they are usually the most common duck seen, this was the only pair I saw.
American Coot
Female Ring-necked Duck
Male Ring-necked Ducks
Two Gadwall Pairs
Keeping right on all of the trails led all around the island and back to the bridge.
Spring Lake with the parking lot at the far end.
Patriotic Beavers
American Wigeon in front of a Ring-necked Duck
Boat-tailed Grackle
A short out-and-back at the southeastern corner of Spring Lake.
Where the trail ends, looks like someone has been building a bridge to get to the other side.  Really wanted to know where the trail goes on the other side but with Shawnee's balance not what it used to be, didn't want to risk us falling in.
Fish Crow
Heading back.
Continuing along the third side of Spring Lake.
Heading away from Spring Lake towards the main park area in the center.
Large picnic area in the center of the park.  Trails in this area that are on the map fizzle out or if they do exist, are flooded out at this time.
This is one trail marker almost at the end of the gravel park road where the trail starts off well-defined and ends up impassable.
A porta-potty peeper.
At the end of the gravel road, a trail leads out towards the highway...
... and just kind of ends.
Abbott Brook in the area where there should be trails.
Heading back north on the gravel road, a trail to the right leads to flooded out areas that eventually became impassible.  There is actually an orange trail to the left in this picture but could not tell until I was on that trail and arrived at this point from the left.
All the way back north on the gravel road to the trail that starts opposite where the trail comes out from Spring Lake.
Here is that orange trail to the right ...
... ending where we were before on the right.
Continuing on the red trail, rock hop this creek and climb up the incline to the Abbott's Bluff loop.  Follow to the right for these directions.
It gets quite hilly in this area and is a completely different terrain from earlier in the hike.
A female Downy Woodpecker.
As the trail ends on Independence Avenue, a sign for Abbott's Bluff.  Turn left on Independence Avenue here and walk a short distance to ...
... the Abbott's Farm marker on the left.   There is a parking lot shows here on the map but it was gated and closed on this day.
Continue behind the marker through an open field ...
... where there is a trail at the opposite end.
You have to descent into the ravine a bit and climb back up to get around this huge blowdown.
Heading back to Spring Lake.
Old and new.
The end of the path  on the fourth side of Spring Lake leading back to the parking lot.
On the right, remains of the White City Amusement Park staircase.