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Recreation

There is something for everyone to enjoy in Burlington County’s award-winning parks system, with more than 3,500 acres of open space and eight parks in development for a large variety of recreational opportunities. Preserving our County’s heritage and natural resources is a key goal of the Freeholders and is evidenced by having the state’s first County Agricultural Center, with a weekly farmers market, educational workshops and community gardens.

Restoration work at Historic Smithville Park, with its Victorian-era mansion and village, provides visitors with a window into the founder’s visionary advancements during the Industrial Revolution. Smithville Park encompasses more than 300 acres of diverse terrain with wooded trails, creek access for canoeing or kayaking, picnic facilities and a large lake with a floating walkway for fishing and hiking.

The Historic Prison Museum, a National Historic Landmark in Mount Holly, tells the story of an innovative penal reform design in 1811 by famous American architect Robert Mills. The concrete structure with courtyard was the oldest continuously used prison in the country at the time of its closing in 1965.

The County’s parks system creates a greenway along the Rancocas Creek, which traverses the county from the Delaware River eastward. In addition to Smithville, parks along the creek include rustic Amico Island, with a spectacular view of the Philadelphia skyline, Pennington Park, with open meadows, Boundary Creek, with an overlook for bird watching, Long Bridge Park, with woods and playground and a future park on the site of a former peach orchard.

Palmyra Cove Nature Park is 250 acres, with trails and an education center on the Delaware River, near the Tacony Palmyra Bridge. With its woodlands, wetlands and tidal cove, the park serves as a wildlife habitat and feeding site for migratory birds.

The County’s open space master plan also includes parks and trails in the scenic farm belt, such as the large former Sod Farm site that will encompass a year-round fairgrounds and Crystal Lake Park with a 10-acre lake.

Burlington County also has an abundance of opportunities to enjoy nature at many municipal and state parks, the federally protected Pinelands National Reserve, as well as privately owned marinas, golf courses and recreational facilities.

For more information on all of the County parks, including maps and directions, go to www.co.burlington.nj.us/parks or call (609) 265-5858.

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