Medford, N.J.’s tag line, “Historic in Nature,” is an apt description of the the town’s appeal as both a center of history and a place for those who appreciate natural beauty in their surroudings. The historic village of Medford, N.J., in Burlington County is nestled in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. In fact, it is included within the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve, a protected natural area covering 1,100,000 acres that has been classified as a United States Biosphere Reserve and established by Congress in 1978 as the nation’s first National Reserve. Having been established in the late 17th century with much growth from its glass-making industry and the construction of rail lines into the 19th century, Medford has many historical buildings in its core area. The population is now about 23,000 people, with most growth having taken place between 1970 and 1980 — as you might guess, there is a lot of housing stock dating to that era, along with quite a bit having been built between 1980 and 1990.
Medford’s Main Street is a beautifully preserved step back in time with brick sidewalks lined with old-fashioned gas lights and shade trees. It offers a range of unique shops, restaurants and small businesses. Just off Main Street are residential areas with many Victorian-era homes. Stop by the Kirby’s Mill Complex, now a museum and available for tours. Several events are held there annually to bring out new visitors, including the very popular Apple Festival, Country Day at the Mill, the Annual Quilt Show, and the annual Art Exhibition.
For those who enjoy outdoor activities, Medford and nearby Medford Lakes, a community originally built for resort living, have many recreation options, particularly water-related activities thanks to many natural bodies of water. Medford Lakes Borough alone has 22 lakes. The Medford Canoe Trail connects Medford Park to Kirby’s Mill. Or get creative and participate in the Medford Lakes Canoe Carnival, an annual event since 1931 held on Lower Aetna Lake during the first week of August. Elaborate floats, built with a maximum of two canoes, “parade” past spectators gathered along the lake. The many lakes in the greater Medford area create scenic vistas for residents and visitors alike.
Part of Medford’s appeal is its proximity to Philadelphia. The city is a 35-minute commute and New Jersey shore points are within a 45-minute drive. Mass transit does not serve the town of Medford. However, nearby Cherry Hill, N.J., has train service via Amtrak and New Jersey Transit commuter rail. The train ride to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station is about 32 minutes.
Information about Medford’s public schools is available here.