Summary: East Creek Trail is the premiere trail of Belleplain State Forest. It is a 7.16 mile loop which spans from Lake Nummy to Rt. 347.
The trail is usually well-maintained. There is less than a 50-foot climb in elevation for the entire hike (South Jersey is on the Atlantic Coastal Plain). Hurricane Isabel blew through here a month ago and there are a few dozen fallen trees along the way. The land managers will be moving these shortly.
The loop has plenty to see. Belleplain is part of New Jersey's Pine Barrens. The sandy trail is dotted with pines, holly, cedars, and oaks as well as greenbriars and laurel.
The path I take is a counterclockwise loop about the pond. It's about 2.25 miles out to Rt. 347, .33 miles along 347 and then about 2 miles back to the lake (all by the way the crow flies).
Trailhead: There are a few places at which to begin the East Creek Trail loop. I like beginning at Lake Nummy Lake Nummy is on Champion Road. You can enter near the forest office off Woodbine Road (Rt. 550). Circle around the lake until you get to the parking area. During the season (Memorial Day to Labor Day) there is a fee to enter the forest this way. The trailhead is on Champion Road across from the parking lot.
To avoid the parking fees, one may legally park in the lot on Rt. 347 on the south end of East Creek Pond. The trailhead is in the parking lot or one can walk .33 miles along Rt. 347 to the SE corner of the pond to the trailhead entrance there. (Lat:39.24716 Lon:-74.85903)
Trail Guides for East Creek Trail:
50 Hikes in New Jersey
by Bruce C. Scofield (Backcountry Publishing)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Bikes,
Ranger Contact: Belleplain State Forest (609) 861-2404
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Frolickin
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by JPG on 12/7/2009
Easy hike. Very little elevation change. Due to the thickness of the forest on either side of the trail, there is not much of a view at any point. The trail is more or less underwater if there has been any rain prior to a hike. We hiked 12/09 and the trail was in good shape, but underwater much of the time.
Reviewed by royman62 on 11/27/2006
It's a decent trail. Most of the year it's pretty infested with Lyme carrying ticks. Big bummer. After it rains there are parts of the trail that are nearly impassable with huge puddles and boggy areas that cause you to have to bushwhack through some very dense thickets. There are some bridges and downed logs to pass over some of these bad areas, but the logs can be tricky. It's a fun walk but a lot of work after a rainy period.
Reviewed by bk on 7/21/2005
trail easy to hike, typical pines. just some fallen trees hear and there but not biggy. only problem is the ticks.
Reviewed by Horalka on 6/29/2005
It was a very nice day for this, maybe little to hot and humid, but the woods were shading us the whole trip (only little part of the trail is on the road). We parked at the park headquarters - visitor center and it was also free. It just ads about another 1.3 miles to the trip but you walk thru some beautiful woods and partially around lake Nummy. So it was very nice walk, but the reason why I would not do this again (or at least not in summer) is the sever amount of ticks along this trail. My husband pulled about 100(dog and deer). There is a little sign at the trail head about this, but this was the most infested area I have ever seen. We were checking our selves about every 10 to 15 min and every time pulled about 10-20. So be careful!!
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