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The Gloucester Township Health and Fitness Trail, formerly known as the Blackwood Railroad Trail, is a paved bicycle/pedestrian path in Blackwood, Gloucester Township. The bikeway is constructed on an abandoned railroad right-of-way and connects neighborhoods with schools and recreational facilities. One of the trail's highlights is the restored railroad caboose adjacent to the right-of-way near West Church Street.
The trail begins at Brown and East Atlantic avenues, where there is limited space to park cars. It passes through a wooded area before going under New Jersey Route 42, also know as the North-South Freeway. After crossing Clementon Avenue, the trail enters the woods again.
Once out of the woods, Washington Avenue is on the right and a ball field and play lot are on the left. Now running parallel to West Railroad Avenue, the trail passes a large athletic complex with three baseball fields. The trail continues past residential neighborhoods before crossing Elaine Avenue and ending at Main Street by Grenloch Lake.
From New Jersey Route 42, North/South Freeway, exit at New Jersey Route 168/Black Horse Pike. Proceed north on the Black Horse Pike/Route 168 to the first left turn, which is Brown Avenue. At the intersection of Brown and East Atlantic avenues look for the trailhead on the left.
Pros: Lots of shade to make a 90-degree day feel cooler. Clear road signs to stop for oncoming traffic. Nice urban-like scenery, there are some cool houses you pass by, and you also get to ride over one bridge and under another!
Cons: There were a lot of broken branches and even a fallen tree. Not sure how safe this bike trail is at night, but there were some empty patrol cars that were spotted near the bike route that alleviated some anxiety.
Overall experience: Great! This is my 2nd bike trail that I rode since getting my first road bike. It has a lot of potential. It looks like it is still under construction, so if the bike trail became even more extended, was tided up, and also had a bit more supervision, I think it would be an excellent first bike run experience!
This is the first my family rode together on a trail other than a loop track in the park. We thoroughly enjoyed a nice ride.
Nice little trail, took just under an hour to complete at a leisurely pace. Recent storm damage was cleared so no obstacles. Did see two Gloucester Township Policemen on bikes patrolling the path and adjacent apartment complex areas. Enjoyable!
Trail is pretty good. There is a playground mid trail that allows the kids to sit and relax.
There are no serious up hills but there are a few so you get a long of easy cruising on the way back.
You do cross a lot of roads, maybe 5? So if you have kids, your going to want to make sure they know how to cross the roads.
This trail is pretty much crossing through neighborhoods so your behind a lot of peoples homes.
Nonetheless, the trail was very good and we were satisfied.
Nice trail , more of an urban feel but yet woodsy.
clean but could use some trimming in areas but overall nice and easy.
I have not walked or biked this trail before. It's discouraging to hear that residents do not feel safe to use it I'm considering sending an email to glotwp police regarding this.
This could actually be a very nice lightly used exercise trail, however, because of the typical lack of care exhibited by the Camden County Police and the Gloucester Township police that never seem to patrol it, it is rather dangerous.
There are two apartment complexes along the trail. One at the southern end along Lakeland Road and one about 1/3 of the way from its southern end named SCENIC FALLS. Both have, shall we say, rather disreputable characters hanging around with idle hands every time you ride. This is especially true of the SCENIC FALLS apartments. You are watched, and made to feel very uncomfortable, and very concerned for your safety. It would't hurt to have either police force send a bicycle mounted officer through it to alert the characters hanging around that there is a police presence.
Another annoying thing are the double posts that are placed at each intersection. I realize they're there to slow you to stop before entering the road, BUT one would have sufficed! The double posts leave very little room to maneuver between.
Lastly, the traffic never stops for you in clearly delineated bicycle crossing areas. The secondary roads aren't so bad, but on CHURCH street and LAKELAND ROAD, the cars are awful. Again, lack of police enforcement is to blame. I guess the fines are higher for other violations!
SUMMARY: Nice, but questionable safety!
For me and my wife if was our first trail , it was relaxing and enjoyable ! Now we're hooked can't wait to explore as many rails to trails as we can.
I use this trail on an almost daily basis.My only complaints are occasional glass and debris (I have seen a clean up truck on the trail but there are some people who just get a kick out of ruining it for the rest of us and the clean up crew can't always keep up)also I wish people would realize they aren't the only ones out there and maybe leave a little room so I don't have to constantly slow down when I'm trying to work out.Beyond that it really is a pretty decent ride just watch for the busier cross streets(almonesson rd,church st and lakeland rd.
The pavement is in good shape for cycling, but there is a lot of trash and broken glass.
I read the most recent review before I ventured out to ride the trail and had set my expectations lower than usual based on that write up. What I found however was nothing like the previous writer mentioned. The township may have had people out there to do Spring cleaning of sorts, clearing debris and cutting back shrubs. I don't know for sure, but I do know that it was a very enjoyable little ride and passed many others enjoying it as well.
I have a little review and short clip about here:
Nice local trail, but the trash and lack of maintenance on the whole trial is unbelievable! You have to avoid the tree branches that are broken on the ground and the ones hanging from the trees! The whole trail is littered with trash, bottles, cans and tires. The path itself is bouncy from tree roots that are pooping through the trail and in some places you can lose control if you are going to fast! Not bad for a local ride but I wouldn't go out of the way to come to it!
Nice trail. Started near Main Street in Blackwood. Well maintained. One bad blind spot by curve before you enter the underpass of RT 42 N/S Freeway. Hopefully this can connect to the trail west that is in Runnemede?
A nice trail if you don't mind tarmac along entire length - very clean. We walked it to connect up with John N. Balis Bikeway which is straight and boring by comparison to the Blackwood trails nice curves and runs through more diverse scenery. You can follow the line of the rail between the two if you don't mind fighting a few brambles and general overgrowth - there's a very nice embankment "viaduct" just after St.Joseph's Cemetary - kind of unusual to be suddenly up above the river and lakes after be ensconced in shrubbery for most of the walk till then. We walked beyond the Balis until we reached the second length of actual track - it was a very hot day and the rail track had no shade shelter - oh and the no trespass signs were more threatening! Saw deer within the first five minutes of starting the Blackwood trail, encountered two sets of dog walkers with unruly dogs and a only couple of cyclists the whole time. The Blackwood and Balis are great for novice walkers as you can pull off to the east, walk a few blocks and be amongst the thick of 168 and all its resources within a few minutes.
Me and my familt use te trail several days a week. It is clean,safe and well maintained. Occassional the ignorant dog walker will let their dogs go on the trail and not clean up after them. But that is rare.
Me and my family use the trail several times aweek. We love it. It's clean, it's safe, and it is well maintained.
This is a nice short ride and I didn't experience much of the debris that others mention above during my ride this morning.
It is mostly flat with a few rolling areas that are easily navigable by even the novice riders. Mostly quiet with a nice bridge along the way and nice scenery for most of the ride.
There are a couple of major roads that must be crossed during the ride but the rider is given ample notice when approaching them.
I gave this 5 stars because I thoroughly enjoyed riding it on my Hybrid bike. Those with inline skates might find it a bit rough in spots but I'd think they would enjoy the trail as well.
There does seem to be lots of broken glass on parts of the trail especially where under the underpass where the glass is ubiquitous. We had to dismount and walk through that particular section. The further away from there that you get, it does clean up, especially as you are going through some of the neighborhoods and passing a school The trail is a nice short ride, but could use some clean-up. I have been known to clean parks as I walk through them, a little more challenging while riding a bike.
While this is a nice short bike path that helps keep me off of highways, maintenance by the Gloucester Township has lead me to stop riding this path. Thus my request. I have written to the Mayor's office several times and they insist that the path is cleaned. I could use more pressure to see if we get better results. The real issue are kids that break bottles. Unfortunately the glass remains and it is almost impossible to miss and flats result. Again please write the Mayors office if you have the same concerns.
It starts at the intersection of Brown Avenue and East Atlantic Avenue in Blackwood. To find it heading north on 168 from Almonesson Road, take a Right on Brown Avenue which is just north of the 42 underpass and by the Wawa. Travel back about 3 or 4 blocks to the high electrical wires. There is plenty of parking. It ends at Elaine Avenue just off 168 which is further south just past the Catholic Church and The Produce Shack. Coming south on 168 from the Almonesson Road intersection, Elaine Ave comes up on the right. Travel back about 4 blocks east off 168 and you will see it marked. This side has less parking and is slightly more congested.
It was well kept but I would not consider riding after dark because it is kind of lonely. I went with a friend on Labor Day Monday 2008, and we were the only people on the 2 mile trail. The trail had some good hills and some great coasting opportunity to recover. There was only one 15 foot section near the end that was a little bumpy due to tree roots but otherwise it was very relaxing, and more than 50% of it is pleasently shaded. Also, along the way there are quite a few benches to sit if it is too much for you. Just be careful at the Intersection of Almonesson Rd. because the traffic is swift and abondent. The other intersections as I recall were calm. In all--I plan to do it again.
"The rail-trail that was completed in Blackwood, New Jersey, several years ago has been expanded another mile or so north to Blenheim, ending at Almondeson Road. There is another completed section in Runnemede. They are working on plans to connect the two segments and eventually going to Bellmawr where the Grenloch Branch becomes active."
"I was absolutely thrilled to find this little jewel of a trail in place of where we used to ride our bikes along this dirt path! I ran across it (no pun intended) while I was home visiting family in August; I found it to be beautifully-shaded and cool to run and rollerblade on during most parts of the day, even in the middle of summer. I have been spoiled by the Silver Comet Trail in Atlanta, GA, and was more than pleasantly surprised to find Gloucester Township upgrading their area in the same way. I am anxiously hoping to find it extended when I get back home again to visit. Superb job!"
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