The Small and the Big: Exploring Kresson Trail

The Small and the Big: Exploring Kresson Trail

Just behind one of the busiest intersections in Cherry Hill lies a secluded area of woods and trails. A little ways in, the noise of roaring cars fades, and you would truly never know that you are still right in the middle of suburban Cherry Hill.

During Memorial Day Weekend, a friend and I explored this Kresson Trail network, located just a few steps from East, near the intersection of Kresson and Springdale Roads. Armed with the map I printed from online, I was ready to ride along short, flat, loop. But shortly into the ride we came upon a junction with trails marked in colors that were not on the ‘handy’ map I had. Contrary to the few feet of easy trails described this map (which I found on the township website), there are a few miles total of trails, ranging from easy to advanced. (This map gives a more accurate picture, and I would recommend taking it along if you embark on your own Kresson Trail adventure.)

Our bike ride soon became more of a hike, as neither of us had any trail-biking experience to speak of, and several sections were bumpy and steep. For much of our adventure, we took a trail that followed alongside a stream. Although strikingly (and maybe unnaturally) orange in color, the stream, which is a branch of the Cooper River, nonetheless proved a picturesque addition to the you’re-not-in-Cherry-Hill feeling that the Kresson trails evoked.

Hiking, biking, camping—just being out in nature and experiencing the serenity and silence of the woods—are perhaps my most favorite things in the world. I sometimes mourn that every last semblance of soil in Cherry Hill has been paved over, that the woods and the wilderness have been smothered. I yearn to travel to distant lands of babbling brooks and blooming trees and chirping birds, with spongy soil underfoot and a bright blue sky overhead.

Well, it seems that some of my mourning and yearning has been amiss. Because right here, no more than a mile from my house, I can experience at least a smidgeon of this imagined scene. On sunny days, the sky above Cherry Hill is indeed bright blue. In the springtime, the trees surrounding the Kresson Trails do bloom, and the birds do chirp. Unless there’s a drought, the soil in the stream-bank is spongy. And after a storm, I’m sure the branch of the Cooper River, polluted and orange though it may be, could make a fine babbling brook.

In our eagerness to see new places, it seems that we sometimes forget to explore what is right under our noses. We assume that since we’ve been living somewhere for a while, we know everything there is to know about that place, and we become bored with our mundane habitat. But chances are, there’s something nearby that you haven’t yet explored—be it a trail, a store, a restaurant, a museum, or something else—which could be just what you’ve been looking for. If you look around more closely, and approach things with curiosity, adventure really could start in your own backyard, or even closer.

All photos by Shelby Goodwin(’14)