Belleplain State Forest Belleplain Circular Trail

Woodbine, New Jersey

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Chief Nummy and his band of Lenni-Lenape Indians hiked through this area of the southern Pine Barrens many times, and some of it has been protected as Belleplain State Forest and the Pinelands Preserve. Today it includes 2320 acres of upland and wetland forest, bogs, lakes, and meadows. What mattered to the Native Americans was the excellent hunting and fishing in this area, and you can still find white-tailed deer, red foxes, and ruffed grouse here as well as a variety of fish in the lake. Lake Nummy, named for the last Lenni-Lenape Indian chief in Cape May County, is the starting point for this hike. Hiking deep into the woods, you’ll find trees typical of the coastal plain, including pitch pine, black and white oak, and American holly. In the low swamp areas, magnificent stands of Atlantic white cedar stretch toward the sky, and red-bellied turtles and a variety of frogs can be seen stretched out on logs. Bring a magnifying glass for a closeup look at sphagnum moss and cinnamon fern, or bring binoculars for spotting birds such as the bald eagle and warblers as they dart in and out of the underbrush. A swim in Lake Nummy is just the ticket after hiking on a hot day, but it’s best to come during fall or winter to minimize exposure to mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks. Wear long sleeves and pants year-round to safeguard against overgrown shrubs and overeager insects. Although this hike is on fairly level trails, be prepared to exert a great deal of energy in places where the sandy trail is soft.
Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey

by Arline Zatz (The Mountaineers Books)

Chief Nummy and his band of Lenni-Lenape Indians hiked through this area of the southern Pine Barrens many times, and some of it has been protected as Belleplain State Forest and the Pinelands Preserve. Today it includes 2320 acres of upland and wetland forest, bogs, lakes, and meadows. What mattered to the Native Americans was the excellent hunting and fishing in this area, and you can still find white-tailed deer, red foxes, and ruffed grouse here as well as a variety of fish in the lake. Lake Nummy, named for the last Lenni-Lenape Indian chief in Cape May County, is the starting point for this hike. Hiking deep into the woods, you’ll find trees typical of the coastal plain, including pitch pine, black and white oak, and American holly. In the low swamp areas, magnificent stands of Atlantic white cedar stretch toward the sky, and red-bellied turtles and a variety of frogs can be seen stretched out on logs. Bring a magnifying glass for a closeup look at sphagnum moss and cinnamon fern, or bring binoculars for spotting birds such as the bald eagle and warblers as they dart in and out of the underbrush. A swim in Lake Nummy is just the ticket after hiking on a hot day, but it’s best to come during fall or winter to minimize exposure to mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks. Wear long sleeves and pants year-round to safeguard against overgrown shrubs and overeager insects. Although this hike is on fairly level trails, be prepared to exert a great deal of energy in places where the sandy trail is soft.

©  Arline Zatz/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Woodbine
Distance: 4.9
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day hike or overnight camping
Season: Dawn to dusk
Local Contacts: Belleplain State Forest
Topo Map: Belleplain State Forest: Belleplain Circular Trail Topographic Map
Guide Book: Best Hikes with Children in New Jersey Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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Recent Trail Reviews

10/4/2006

Best local hike in the area. Great for Kids. Wear good boots, because the trail gets boggy on the east side of the East Creek. Crowded in the summer with LOTS of traffic on Route 47, which you are on for more than a 1/4 mile completing the loop. Great walk with lots of foliage in the autumn.

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