Short, easy hike on a chilly February day with a little lingering snow.
2.6 Miles. We pieced together the longest route we could without taking the spur trails and having to walk back along the park road.
Route: RED to almost to its end, where its meets BLUE for a 2nd time. BLUE to a right onto YELLOW.
Detailed hike description on our main Thompson Park – Middlesex page.
This is part of Thompson Park, which we’d checked out probably some ten years ago and determined there weren’t any trails there, just the usual park stuff, dirt park trails around playgrounds, a zoo… nice, but not what we were looking for.
[Note: There is another Thompson Park in Monmouth County]
It’s possible we missed the trails because they are south of the main park, or that trail info online was so much harder to find in the olden days… or maybe they are just newer.
At any rate, this another addition to our list of somewhat close-by parks for a quick hike.
At even less mileage than a park we did last week (John A. Phillips Park) this is not a park to check out if you have to drive far to it.
Like any park with a tight inter-looping network of trails, pay attention to the blazes and the map to keep track of where you are.
Ignore any round paint color blotches on trees as they don’t correspond to the map and can throw you off. Basically, only follow the rectangle blazes which are the actual trails.
It becomes a bit unclear as YELLOW curves around. Pass an unmarked trail on the left, then a trail on your right which is actually GREEN but we didn’t see blazes for.
Then after that, turn right onto GREEN (marked, and YELLOW heads left). GREEN goes over a stream on a small boardwalk, and immediately bears left. A trail also goes straight, to a clearing.
Take GREEN back to RED, at which point the parking lot is right there.
Other: We were amazed to find snow on the trail in sections, after all the rain we just had.
In areas with a lot of foot traffic, it was hard-packed ice and in one section it was pretty dicey going downhill.