Trail Guides
Marilyn Beard Trailhead Park

Burnt Mill Road, Atco, NJ
Phone: (856) 768-2300

OWNER:  Waterford Township

DIRECTIONS:  Exit Penny Pot Preserve and turn Right onto Albertson Road. After 0.7 miles, bear Right onto Hall Street, then make the first Left onto Hay Street. After 0.6 miles Hay Street Becomes Spring Garden Street/Route 143. After 2.4 miles, Spring Garden Street crosses Route 30 and becomes Old White Horse Pike. After 4.7 miles, look for trailhead sign and turn sharp Right onto Burnt Mill Road. After 0.9 miles, turn Left between the soccer fields and public works buildings into the parking area for Marilyn Beard Trailhead Park.

DIRECTIONS FROM NEAREST HIGHWAY:  From the intersection of Route 30 and Route 73 in Berlin, proceed East on Route 30. After the 3rd light, continue straight for 0.4 miles. When Route 30 bears Right before Atco Lake, continue straight to exit onto Old White Horse Pike. After crossing the train bridge, turn Right, and then make the first Left onto Burnt Mill Road. After 0.9 miles, turn Left between the soccer fields and public works buildings into the parking area for Marilyn Beard Trailhead Park.   Map

ACCESS AND PARKING:  Open daily from dawn to dusk. Horse Trailer accessible. Hunting in season. Wear blaze orange or other bright colors for safety

SPECIAL FEATURES:  The Goshen Pond Extension Trail makes for an excellent day hike or bicycle ride in the spring or fall, traveling for 15 miles to Goshen Pond Camping Area and Atsion Lake.

A CLOSER LOOK:  The Atco Ghost - A local Pine Barrens legend tells the story of a ghost that appears on Burnt Mill Road in the form of a small boy chasing his ball across the street. Supposedly, the child was killed by a motorist some years ago on this road near where the paved portion ends, although there is no documentation. A sightings blog and more information can be found at www.theatcoghost.com.

SITE DESCRIPTION:  Just over 20 miles from Philadelphia, Marilyn Beard Trailhead Park provides a convenient portal to the Pine Barrens and access to the remote and fascinating landscapes of Wharton State Forest, where one can hike, bike or ride horseback for hours. Seemingly endless trails stemming from The Marilyn Beard Trailhead explore a section of Wharton known as "Maple Island," threaded by tributaries of the Mechescatauxin (a.k.a. Sleeper) Branch and the Mullica River. From Maple Island, one can follow these river greenways through pristine, undisturbed Pine Barrens habitat for over 30 miles to the Atlantic Ocean.

DON'T MISS:  From the trailhead, hike for one mile until the sand road forks underneath high tension wires. Follow the trail to the Right and look on your right for beaver ponds, 0.3 miles and 0.8 miles further down. In warm months, these are good places to search for rare plants, reptiles, amphibians, dragonflies and damselflies.

Winter:  Wintering birds include Cedar Waxwing, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Robin, Hermit Thrush, Red-Bellied Woodpecker and White-breasted Nuthatch. Listen for the who-cooks-for-you call of Barred Owls and the whinny of Screech Owls at dusk.
Spring:  On mornings in late April and early May, the woods are alive with migrant songbirds such as Northern Parula and Prothonotary Warbler. Listen on rainy evenings for Pine Barrens and gray treefrogs. Look closely in wet areas for carnivorous plants, blooming orchids and rare ferns.
Summer:  Insect repellant recommended. Watch for snakes such as black rat snake and pine snake along the sand roads. Listen at dusk for the repetitive calling of Whip-poor-will and Chuck-will’s Widow.
Fall:  Wild Turkeys scratch in the leaf litter. White-tailed deer and smaller mammals are active gathering fruit and seeds in the understory. Red maples turn beautiful colors in the swamplands.

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