Trail Guides
Melvin and Miriam Wurst Preserve

Tansborough and Oak Ridge Roads, Medford, NJ
Phone: (609) 859-8860 ext. 17

OWNER:  Rancocas Conservancy

DIRECTIONS:  Exit Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, and turn Left on Sawmill Road. After 0.4 miles, continue straight onto the unpaved portion of what is now called Tansborough Road. After crossing under high-tension wires, proceed another 0.6 miles to the corner of Tansborough and Oak Ridge Road. Turn Right and park near the sign for the Melvin and Miriam Wurst Preserve.

DIRECTIONS FROM NEAREST HIGHWAY:  From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 70 in Marlton, continue South on Route 73. After 1.3 miles, proceed through the light at Evesham Road/Medford Parkway and keep Right to take the jughandle for Marlton Parkway, heading East (as if making a left onto Marlton Parkway from 73). After 1.5 miles, Marlton Parkway becomes Taunton Lake Road. After 2.2 miles the road curves Right and becomes Hopewell Road. After 1.9 miles turn Left on Borton Road. Proceed for 1.5 miles, and then turn Right on Sawmill Road, following signs toward Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. Follow Sawmill Road for 0.5 miles until the paved portion ends. Sawmill becomes Tansborough after passing Sawmill Court on the right. Tansborough Road continues as a sand road, navigable by 2wd, zigzagging another 0.9 miles through the pines until it meets Oak Ridge Road, where the parking area for Wurst Preserve can be found to the Right.   Map

ACCESS AND PARKING:  Open daily from dawn to dusk. This site is adjacent to Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. Print a trail map from www.rancocasconservancy.org/preserves before visiting.

Cranefly Orchid
Cranefly OrchidBob Cunningham
SITE DESCRIPTION:  Recently expanded, this 91 acre preserve boasts a 1-mile loop trail that is a wonderful microcosm of the Pine Barrens and a must-see in conjunction with Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. The preserve contains uplands, pitch pine lowlands, Pine Barrens savannah, Atlantic white cedar and red maple swamps, and a headwater stream. The representative and unique Pine Barrens wildlife can be found here, along with some rarities that will reward the persevering naturalist.

DON'T MISS:  Bring a camera between mid-April and mid-June and search diligently but respectfully (be careful where you step) for the wide variety of beautiful orchids and other rare plants that are blooming around the pond. This is also a great spot for the tiny and stunning Pine Barrens treefrog, which is heard more frequently than seen.

Winter:  The wet woodland is good habitat for Barred Owl. Listen around dawn and dusk for its unmistakable who-cooks-for-you call. Great Horned and Screech Owls are also present. Woodland birds include Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, Goldfinch, and some years Pine Siskin, among others. Mammals include raccoon, opossum, skunk, eastern chipmunk and red squirrel, and their night-time counterpart, Northern flying squirrel, which can sometimes be glimpsed by knocking on hollow trees.
Spring:  The spring wildflower display is excellent, and includes trailing arbutus, golden heather, heaths, white milkweed, birdsfoot violet and many other violet species. Cranefly orchid and southern twayblade are possible, as well as green woodland orchid, nodding ladies' tresses, and some other orchid species. Also look for Turk's-cap lily in the open wetlands if the deer don't get them. Prothonotary Warbler, Prairie and Yellow Warblers, Scarlet Tanager, orioles American Woodcock display in late March through April. Listen and look carefully for Fowler's toad, spring peeper, wood frog, Pine Barrens treefrog, green frog, bullfrog, pickerel frog, and gray treefrog.
Summer:  Whip-poor-will’s echo in the woods at dusk. Pine Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Catbird, and Song Sparrow nest here. Hognose Snake, Black Racer, Milk Snake, Pine Snake, Brown and Ring-necked Snakes, and even Timber Rattlesnakes may be encountered. Dragonflies hover over the pond and perch on reeds just long enough to be identified. Orchids and carnivorous plants continue to bloom.
Fall:  Fall colors are lovely as maples and oaks turn hues of red and grasses and understory turn yellow and gold. Lots of sparrows arrive in November: Juncos, White-throated, White-crowned, Fox, Chipping, Song, and Field Sparrow can be found. Red-shouldered Hawk may be found perched along the treelike. Check the power lines for Broad-winged Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, and Red-tailed Hawk, as well as Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, and the occasional Bald Eagle.

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