Bordentown Township

Abbott Marshlands: Northern Community Park
Bordentown Township, NJ 08620

Overview of Selected Trail

Northern Community Park Trail starts at the recreational fields of this Bordentown park and continues on to the adjacent D&R Canal State Park. It descends from the top of the bluff near the athletic fields, and follows the bluff to a trail to the top.

Trail Map
Full Desc
Flora & Fauna
  • Abbott Marshlands: Northern Community Park
  • Distance:

    1.1 miles round trip


    Approximately 30-60 minutes



    Trail Usage:

    Walking/Hiking, Dogs permitted on leash


    There is a change of elevation of sixty feet getting onto the trail and climbing up to the top of the bluff at the end.




    There is parking for over 50 cars in the parking lot.


    For more information about the Abbot Marshlands, as well as maps, scheduled field trips, guides, etc. visit the Abbot Marshlands website.


    There are toilets in the community building.  Beyond the pond are picnic tables.


    Take Interstate 95 to Interstate 295 to Exit 60A (Shore Points) Interstate 195. Exit off I 195 at Exit 1A onto 206S. Follow 206 south for 1.2 miles to a U-turn by turning right onto Maple Avenue. Stay left and turn onto 206 N. Stay on 206 N for 0.4 miles. Take a SHARP right onto Groveville Rd. Follow this road for 0.3 miles to Northern Community Park on the left.

  • Northern Community Park Trail: from the community building, go down the hill past the pine trees. Trail continues through woodlands on to adjacent D&R Canal State Park land. It loops along the base of the bluff to return along the athletic fields. A one-way spur trail goes from the end of the loop through woods and a wet area to Crosswicks Creek. (Alternatively go along the edge of the recreational fields to where the trail enters the woods, and then down the hill).

    (Please note that as of Jan. 2019, trail is awaiting clear markings. This will be addressed as soon as possible).

  • Look for magnificent Tulip trees along the bluff.  In the swamp, there are numerous Red Maples with an understory largely of Sweet Pepper Bush. In non wet uplands, the understory consists of wild Blueberry, Spice Bush, Pinkster Azalea , and some Mountain Laurel. Be on the lookout for ferns and large patches of Lycopodium. The Black Gum trees, found at the edge of the swamp, turn a phosphorescent orange in autumn.

    Along the trails of Northern Community Park and adjacent D&R Canal State Park you can find a diverse display of spring flowers, some not found elsewhere in the Abbott Marshlands. Novelties include Virginia Bluebells, Primrose-leaved Violet, and the tiny – inconspicuous False Mermaidweed.  There are also yellow and blue violets, Spring Cress, Dutchman’s Breeches, Wood Anemones, and Canada Mayflowers.  Some, like Trout Lily and Spring Beauty, are true ephemerals that die back within a few weeks after flowering.  By the end of May, these exist only as below ground stems no longer visible at the ground surface. Leaves of others species, such as violets, can be found throughout the growing season.

    Along the trail, you will find a wet seep.  Stay on the boardwalk as the ground can be very muddy.  This is habitat for skunk cabbage that flourishes in wet soil.  In late winter or early spring, you might smell something a little putrid.  The odor, produced by the ‘flower’ attracts pollinators like flies, bees, and beetles that can be active even when there is snow.  If you’re walking in late winter, you might notice that snow around the flowers has melted.  This is caused by heat emitted by the flowers; the temperature inside the flower can be 15 degrees above the surrounding air temperature. The high temperature allows the smelly chemicals to become airborne to attract pollinators.

    In addition to many species of pollinators, numerous species of birds are possible and include wood thrushes, blue jays, chickadees and woodpeckers. Watch for butterflies and bees foraging for nectar or pollen.

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  • The Township Bordentown, incorporated in 1852, was originally part of the Township of Chesterfield, one of New Jersey’s 104 original townships that were designated in 1688.  The area was first settled in 1677 by Quaker immigrants who were fleeing persecution by the British Crown. Agriculture predominated into the 1960s. By 1980 Bordentown Twp sought to improve the quality of life by expanding recreation facilities and dedicated Northern Community Park. In addition to the trail, Northern Community Park now has tennis courts, play equipment for children, athletic fields, and a dog park.

    Northern Community Park property, purchased in 1967/68, was funded by money from the first green acres bond approved by the citizens of New Jersey in 1961. Adjacent land, now part of D&R Canal State Park, was purchased in 1968.

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  • Photos


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