For a great out and back rail trail experience you must try this short but incredibly perfect rail trail 30 minutes South of Trenton. It’s only 1.6 miles in length from Pemberton to Birmingham but there’s a south segment that wyes off of the main trail about half way along its length. This takes you along another former connected right of way that adds another 1.1 miles round trip. At the end, that segment connects to the Rancocas Preserve trail, which has a nice meandering path along Rancocas Creek. Or, just repeat the whole main trail for a 5.5 mile ride. It’s so nice and enjoyable you’ll want to repeat it, believe me. I could ride it multiple times, no problem.
On this particular visit I rode it twice.
Since it takes me an hour to get to Pemberton I also couple it with a ride on the Union Transportation Trail’s south section in Cream Ridge. The south-end trailhead and parking lot is only 20 minutes away. There you can choose how much of a ride you want from 9 miles of well maintained crushed gravel trail that traverses beautiful farmland.
The old Pemberton station depot is magnificent, too. It’s very well maintained and it looks like they might be doing something with it for the trail. The description in the TrailLink app says there’s a museum and old train cars…I don’t know where they got that from but there’s currently no such thing; not even any rails to put old cars on. But it seems to be a dedicated rails to trails park and there are some construction materials inside the building. So, hopefully it will be made into a museum that tells some New Jersey railroad history. That would be a nice centerpiece for the trail and it could generate business for the township.
So, that’s it! Short and sweet but definitely worth the drive to get there. If you live closer than I do so much the better and you probably know of it already. The only negative point for me is that the station building seems to be a preferred loitering spot for some of the young locals, some toting plastic bags of ‘stuff’. But that didn’t totally ruin my time…it would be nice to have that activity curbed, though.
At any rate, have a visit and a ride…you’ll love it.