This winter has been a tough one for South Jersey. We are not accustom to having 17 winter storms in one season and I was going stir crazy from having been cooped up most of the winter. I wanted to explore a place that I had not been to before. I was short on time so I chose someplace close to home – Estell Manor Park.
I had no idea that the park was so large. They have about 20 miles of hiking trails which are perfect for birding as the trails encompass many types of habitat from upland forest to cedar swamps to marshes. The skies were gray and cloudy which didn’t make for perfect photo-taking opportunities but I made the best of it. I knew that Estell Manor was home to a glassworks during the 1800’s but I had know idea that it also was home to a munitions plant during World War I. Bethlehem Loading Co. operated the plant from 1918 – 1919. I happened upon one of the towers during my hike. The foundations of the old buildings are found throughout the park.
As I was making my way home, I came across this cool old church, the Estellville Methodist Church built in 1834.
If you are ever in the vicinity, this park is a must visit. Aside from the hiking trails and historic sites, the park boasts ballfields, free bikes to borrow, a nature center, veteran’s cemetery, picnic facilities, a playground and much more.