Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey - Places to Go and Things to Do

A discussion of things to do and paces to go, with the purpose of sharing, and encouraging exploration of South Jersey.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Found At Last!!

Have you ever been somewhere and then tried to find that place again only to search in vain?

Some years back, I was a passenger in an acquaintance's car and we hiked in a very interesting and unusual place.  It was a golf course, allowed to go back to nature (as much as such an engineered environment can).  At the time, the new growth made it like a savannah with paved golf cart paths to walk on.  It was a hot summer day and I felt as though it wouldn't be too much of a stretch of the imagination to see velociraptors swinging their long necks up out of the undergrowth.  It was definitely a Jurassic Park looking place.

For all the intervening years, I have tried to find this place, but, I had remembered the location all wrong.  Since I was a passenger (and also do not have a very precise or clear memory to begin with) I thought it was near Forsythe.  Also, I wasn't in communication with that long ago acquaintance anymore, so I couldn't simply ask where we had been.

Yesterday in the outer ruffle of Tropical Storm Andrea, a friend and I made our way to the Villas to visit my cousin Patty, who lives there.  As I bring my dog whenever I can, Trixie Belden, a Lab mix and a better hiker or companion you couldn't find, was snoozing in the back seat.  My cousin suggested we take a look at Cox Hall Wildlife Management Area which would be a good place to walk the dog.  She said it had been closed for a time for some demolition and renewal but was open again.

To my surprise, Cox Hall Wildlife Management Area was the lost savannah.  I had searched all those years in the wrong seashore area.  How strange  memory can be.

We couldn't hike long enough to find the lake because we had been granted only a short break in the downpour.  However now that I know where it is, I will go back and find the lake, and maybe when I do, I'll run into YOU there, now that you know where it is!

The history of the place is that it is a part of the 87 acre Cox Hall Creek drainage system.  It was Pnderlodge Golf Course until purchased by the Green Acres Program (for which I am proud to say, I was a voter).  The property had been slated for numerous building projects including a hosuing developmebnt and a college campus until Green Acres bought it and planned for it to return to its natural state, which might help the Cox Hall Creek, which I understand was in poor shape due to development.

Planning for the use of the new environment included the idea that interesting outdoor spaces appropriate for backyard gardeners may be created to inspire them to create wildlife friendly environments in their own yards.
The best site I found to learn more about this interesting site and it's history is at:    http://www.conservewildlifenj.org/blog/tag/cox-hall-creek-wma/
The link to the Atlantic City Press site never loaded properly.  It appeared to be about the closing of the area for the demolition of  buildings on the former  course, the PonderLodge, and so on.  The are is located in Lower Township, but I think it was off Shore Road. I couldn't find a better address this morning and didn't have time to search, but you can, I'm sure, given some time, find an address on the 'net.

I'm in a hurry this morning because today is the Burlington County Historians' Roundtable at Bordentown Library 18 E. Union Street in Bordentown.  I've missed many of the prvious ones due to overlapping engagements, however I'll be at this one.  Hope to see you there.  It is at 10:00 a.m.

Have you found and lost or lost and found a favorite spot you'd like to share?

Happy Trails!  Gosh it is nice to see the sun again!  Jo Ann

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