Thomas F. Hampton Trail (Crossley Preserve Trail)

New Jersey

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Thomas F. Hampton Trail (Crossley Preserve Trail) Facts

States: New Jersey
Counties: Ocean
Length: 1.5 miles
Trail end points: Crossley Preserve (Berkeley Township) and Crossley Preserve (Manchester Township)
Trail surfaces: Sand
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017704
Trail activities: Walking

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Thomas F. Hampton Trail (Crossley Preserve Trail) Description

The 1.5-mile Thomas F. Hampton Trail was named for a past executive director of the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust. Now an interpretive nature hike, the trail occupies the former rail bed of part of the Pennsylvania Railroad. In the 1800s, Crossley was once a town where clay was mined for pottery and bricks. The "donkey" railroad hauled the clay from the mining pits to points beyond.

Today Crossley is an important nature preserve with cultural significance. Tree frogs of the Jersey Pine Barrens breed in the old mining pits, now ponds, and habitats of upland and lowland pine, shrub oak, Atlantic white cedar and laurel thrive among the clay works' ruins. A few important species of flora and fauna also live here: corn snakes, pine snakes, Pickering's morning glory and Knieskern's beaked rush.

Parking and Trail Access

Access the Thomas F. Hampton Trail at Crossley Preserve from Crossley Road, a dirt road that intersects Pinewald-Keswick Road (Route 530) about 1.5 miles east of Robert J. Miller AirPark. Crossley fronts Route 530 but there is limited roadside parking.

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