Rancocas Creek Canoe Trail

  1. 1
  2. 2
Rancocas Creek Canoe Trail

Click on Trail Map for larger image

The Rancocas Creek is one of the most prominent and important waterways in Burlington County. It supported Native Americans and European settlers for centuries and, as witness to the evolution of its watershed, the Rancocas has in turn provided a means of transportation, commerce, industry and recreation for generations.

From its headwaters in the pitch pine lowlands of Ocean County, the North Branch of the Rancocas Creek meanders its way over about 30 miles through Mirror Lake in Browns Mills and on past forests of maple, hickory and oak, to the main stem in Hainesport Township. The North Branch transitions from a typical, quiet Pinelands stream with low banks and the distinctive 'cedar water' tint to a wider and steeper-banked waterway moving through closed canopy forests of tall hickory, oak, red maple and tulip poplar.


Along these banks you will see an enormous variety of wildlife. Painted and Box Turtles sun themselves on fallen logs while herons and kingfishers hunt in small coves. White-tailed deer come to drink while beavers glide silently by as they go about their chores. Wood ducks, mallards and Canada Geese forage along the banks and herd their broods of young in the spring.

Today, the Burlington County Parks System is eager to invite you to experience this beautiful waterway by paddling the 14-mile Rancocas Creek Canoe Trail. From Burlington County College's Pemberton Campus through Historic Smithville Park and on to Mill Dam Park in Mount Holly, this trail will give you the chance to get outdoors and see one of Burlington County's most serene and breathtaking resources.

Enjoy your time on the water and be careful!

Rules & Guidelines

  • Please stay in your canoe / kayak at all times. The distinctive "cedar" color of the creek obscures the streambed and any hazards.
  • If an obstacle is encountered, only portage if you can safely do so.
  • Public access points are clearly signed. Please stay on the trail and respect private property.
  • One life jacket per person must accompany each canoe.
  • Wear your life jacket.
  • Do not attempt a trip longer than you are capable of completing.
  • For the beauty and health of the creek, please pick up your own trash and a little extra, if you can!
  • Please do not pick the vegetation.
  • Do not feed or approach wildlife. Enjoy from a distance.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on Parks System property.

Tips & Suggestions

  • Check the weather forecast. Getting caught on the water in a thunderstorm can be dangerous!
  • Leave all valuables (cameras, jewelry, money, etc.) at home or locked in the trunk of your car.
  • Use a neck strap to prevent losing eyeglasses.
  • Use waterproof bags for car keys, cell phones, food or extra clothing, and secure it in canoe.
  • Wear old sneakers or river shoes.
  • If you tip, keep upstream of the canoe.

Things to Bring

  • Change of clothing
  • Insect repellant
  • Length of rope to secure supplies
  • Old sneakers / water shoes
  • Trash bags
  • Sunglasses with strap
  • Sunscreen
  • Water-tight bags for keys, cell phones, etc.

Canoe / Kayak Rentals

Find canoe / kayak rentals in the area (PDF).


  • Canoe and Boat Launches