Not So Lazy Days: Hitting the trail along the Rancocas at Boundary Creek
The trails at Boundary Creek are probably the closest in South Jersey to our house, but we have never walked them-- until today.
As you pull into the parking lot, it almost has the feel that you are at a park, not a natural resource area. There's a perfect lawn with picnic tables and a paths, a bathroom/information pavilion partially made with stone and a gazebo surrounded by a garden in the distance.
I was almost concerned we should have brought the frisbee instead of the bug spray, but my concerns were short-lived.
The 34-acre park has 1.3 miles of trails, including the boardwalks for creek viewing. Butterflies are plentiful since there are many plants attractive to butterflies in the park. When we got to the gazebo, or "overlook," we found there was also a small man-made pond that is the home to several frogs.
The little one, once convinced the frogs were not dead (they were sitting very still with only their heads popped out of the water), loved watching the frogs, and jumped when one finally jumped out of water into some plants along the edge.
We continued along the trail, still in view of the parking lot, and came upon a Human Sundial that sparked the oldest one's curiosity. After reading the directions, he stood on the line between August and September and held his arm in the air and looked for where his shadow was pointing. He asked me to check the time on my phone, and sure enough, his shadow was correct.
We then took the trail to the west, and followed along an area close to what looked like homes before reaching the woods along the creek. This was the sunniest trail we've walked, and perhaps that's because this park is fairly new (acquired in 2002, opened in 2009). The land used to be a peach orchard and was to be a housing development before Burlington County acquired it.
Soon, we reached our first boardwalk. We walked along it, looking for signs of flooding from the weekend's hurricane. When we reached the end, there was a metal shelter with cut-outs of water foliage and clouds. This, we learned, was a bird blind. The bird blinds allow for viewing of wildlife while minimizing human impact, according to park literature.
The next boardwalk along the trail had a much larger, open viewing area. It had two levels and two binocular platforms for viewing across the creek. The boys enjoyed the opportunity to see the water up close through the binoculars, and it was hard get them back to the trail.
We reached a fork in the trail, and decided to head back to parking rather than continue along the trail. Even though we only explored half of the park, we still spent a good hour soaking up everything we could.
Boundary Creek is probably great for nature beginners, because there was never a moment the kids were concerned about what "may" come out of the woods, and the car is never too far away. It also felt like a great place to get away for quiet reading or writing. Just don't forget the sunscreen and/or hat and bug spray.
About the Not So Lazy Days series
I've challenged myself to find a new activity to do five days a week every week of the kids' summer vacation. Activities will fall under one of three categories: Arts & Crafts, Sports & Games or Field Trips. Follow me on Twitter @readallaboutsam for immediate updates on posts!