Among the farming landscape of Elk Township, in Gloucester County, is the serene Elephant Swamp bike trail. Over a year ago, (yup, I’m that far behind) my son and I headed out for a beautiful spring day to see what all the fuss is about. We weren’t disappointed!
The Elephant Swamp bicycle trail is a great place to enjoy a beautiful spring day with family or friends who enjoy South Jersey’s robust wildlife. Mystery and the tale of urban legends surround this lush green abode. The path is recycled from the days of the Pennsylvania-Reading Railroad. It was built in 1878 and traveled throughout South Jersey (from Glassboro to Bridgeton). The “Elephant Swamp” name stems from a tale of a missing circus elephant. A circus was traveling via the railroad in the late 1800s (as was the mode of circus transportation in those days) from nearby Monroeville. The elephant somehow managed to get loose and ran off into the vast swamp. Hence the name… Elephant Swamp. The elephant was never located. Perhaps if you listen closely… You may hear it rustling among the forest.
In the 1980s the rail-bed was removed and now it is an enjoyable flat 6 mile biking/walking trail. Nature is all around you and it’s absolutely stunning! The trail wanders past South Jersey’s best farm fields, has mountain laurels, frogs, migratory birds and best of all a red maple swamp where it crosses the Reed Branch (which eventually leads into the Maurice River.)
The water is clear with many river stones lining the bottom and lush foliage all around. It’s worth the hike to see. This time of year the “spring green” foliage comes to life and is mesmerizing.
Go and check it out! You won’t be disappointed. You’ll be enchanted.. Trust me!! Btw, it’s on Elk Rd. Just google for directions. Until our next adventure, my friends! -The Yummygal