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Barnegat Bay Region

Other Things to Do

Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve
At Mullica River - Great Bay
Rutgers University Marine Field Station
800 Great Bay Blvd., c/o 132 Great Bay Blvd.
Tuckerton, NJ 08087
732-932-6555 ext 521 or 609-294-3746

The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine research Reserve (J.C. NERR) encompasses more than 115,000 acres of aquatic and forested habitat in the Mullica River-Great Bay watershed. The J.C. NERR includes public lands extending from the headwaters of the Mullica river to the coastal ocean including the Long-term Ecosystem Observatory at 15 meters (LEO-15), operated by  Rutgers University. LEO is 3.5 miles off the coast of New Jersey and in 15 meters (49 feet) of water. Information about the ocean is collected using remotely controlled instruments and is relayed to a web site ( The Reserve has a Coastal Learning Center where interactive educational programs are offered . Visit the website to learn more about LEO and public and K-12 education programs.

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge - Holgate Wilderness Area
At the southern tip of Long Beach Island.
This pristine barrier beach, part of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge's designated Wilderness Area, offers visitors Seasonal opportunities to observe its remarkable living plant and animal communities. a brochure describing Holgate's seasonal regulations is available. During Non-nesting season (approximately September 1 through March 31), visitors are welcome to walk Holgate's beach front, to take advantage of its plentiful wildlife viewing opportunities. (Sorry, pets are prohibited. Pets can be harmful to both wildlife and this fragile habitat.) During the Nesting Season (approximately April 1 through August 31), Holgate is Closed to all public access, to ensure undisturbed nesting conditions for the threatened piping plovers and other beach nesters. Holgate is one of the last nesting sites along the Jersey shore still available for these birds.
609-652-1655 or 609-698-1387

Tuckerton Seaport
West mail Street
Tuckerton, NJ 08087
Tuckerton seaport is located on the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail on Rt. 9  along scenic Tuckerton Creek in the historic village of Tuckerton. At this Maritime Cultural Center, the Baymen's Museum commemorates the rich history of the Jersey Coast with exhibits, workshops and hands-on programs for visitors and school groups.

Tuckerton was designated as America's third port of entry in 1791 and at the Tuckerton seaport a working maritime village has been recreated with lighthouse, clam and oyster houses, a sawmill, yacht club, decoy carving shops, gunning shanties and a boat works. the traditions of the baymen and the natural resources of the coastal environment come alive through the interpretive displays, antique photos, artifacts and live demonstrations at the Seaport. Barrier-free access is provided along the waterfront by pathways, nature trails and nearly 1/2 mile boardwalk.

At the Tuckerton Seaport Coastal Environmental Center, exhibits, displays and interactive programs are provided through a unique partnership between Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Richard Stockton Collage and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The trailhead for the new 7-mile Great Bay Boulevard Ecotour, and auto, bike and kayak trail system, is located at the Coastal Environmental Center.

Parkertown Park
Dock Street, Parkertown 08087
The park is located on Little Egg Harbor, adjacent to Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife refuge. An excellent spot for birding, the park also has access for kayaking and fishing.

"Tip" Seaman County Park
Lakeside Drive and Rte. 9, Tuckerton 08087
Located on Lake Pohatcong in historic Tuckerton, the park offers easy viewing of many species of waterfowl from fall through spring. "Tip" Seaman County Park is home to the annual Ocean County Decoy and Gunning Show.

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge - Barnegat Impoundment Wildlife Observation Platform
Bay Shore Drive between Ridgeway and Edison Avenues, east of Rte. 9, Barnegat 08005
This observation platform overlooks a 300-acre freshwater marsh, contained and separated from the tidal salt marsh by a dike. In spring and fall, visitors may see migratory water birds stopping to rest and feed in this precious wetland habitat that is managed just for them. Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
609-852-1665 or 609-698-1387

Barnegat Light Museum
5th Street and Central Avenue, Barnegat Light, 08006
The museum, housed in the ole Barnegat City one-room schoolhouse, displays many maritime artifacts including the Fresnel lens from Barnegat Lighthouse. The museum is surrounded by accessible seashore garden with many plantings native to the Jersey shore. The Barnegat Light Historical society runs the museum, which is staffed by volunteers. The museum is open daily 2:00pm to 5:00 pm July and August, weekends in June and September. There is no entry fee, but donations are appreciated.

Coast Guard Stations at Barnegat Light
"Old Station" 7th Street, Barnegat light 08006
"New " Station 6th Street and Bayview Avenue, Barnegat Light 08006
The old station, built in 1938, was the second station in Barnegat Light. The original Life Saving Station #113 was built in the 1800's and is believed to have been located a few streets from this station. The current station was abandoned in 1973 when the new Coast Guard Station was built on the bayside. The building is now licensed to the Borough of Barnegat Light who hopes to adaptively reuse the building in the future.

Completed in 1873, the new station is the functioning station in Barnegat Light. Station personal provide assistance to boaters who have trouble navigating the strong waves and shifting sands of Barnegat Inlet. An interpretive wayside exhibit explains the role of the U. S. Coast Guard in the history of our nation's maritime developments. The station is open year-round and tours of the station are available.

Long Beach Island Historical Museum, Beach haven
Engleside and Beach Avenue, Beach Haven, 08008
Established in 1875, the LBI Museum is located on the edge of Bicentennial Park in Beach Haven. Housed in the former Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, built in 1882, the museum serves as an auditorium for summer lectures and programs. An adjoining winter chapel, built in 1938, serves as a well-stocked museum of artifacts and photographs of Long Beach Island's colorful Past, with changing exhibits. Call for hours.

Historic Viking Village
19th Street and Bayview Avenue, Barnegat Light 08006
A visit to Viking Village will take you back in time to the early days of a quaint fishing village. the site, on Barnegat Bay, includes a cluster of renovated fishing shacks and the Independence Dock. Dock tours are available July, August and September. The site, also home to several shops, host special events throughout the year. Viking Village is one of the largest suppliers of fish and seafood on the eastern seaboard. Visitors watching scallop boats and longliners sail in the harbor can see that the fishing industry endures.
609-361-7008, Tour Registration 609-494-7211

Barnegat Heritage Center
East Bay Avenue, Barnegat 08005
The Barnegat heritage Village is an enclave of seven historic buildings. The Edwards house dates to Washington's time; the Lippincott-Faulkinberg homestead is mid-nineteenth century. Both are furnished in period style. there is also a butcher shop, barber shop, corncrib, necessary and roadside cabin. The village is open every Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day 1:00 pm to 4:00pm and for large groups by special request.

Manahawkin Wildlife Management Area
NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife
P.O. Box 400
Trenton, NJ 08625
The Barnegat Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge surround this thousand-acre WMA on three sides. Ample opportunities exist for mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, crabbing, fishing for both warm and saltwater species, and hunting for deer, small game and waterfowl.

Manahawkin Cultural Center/ Shipwreck Cemetery
Rte 9, Manahawkin 08050
Home of the Stafford Township Historical Society, the cultural center is located in the oldest Baptist Church in Ocean County. the church, constructed in 1758, was the scene of skirmishes during the Revolutionary War and blood stains are still visible on the church floorboards. Some Revolutionary War soldiers are buried in the adjoining cemetery, along with numerous shipwreck and drowning victims.

Berkeley Island Count Park
Brennan Concourse, Bayville 08721
Berkeley Island County Park is located at the mouth of Cedar Creek on Barnegat Bay. Crabbing and fishing are among the park's most popular activities. Access for sea kayaks and small boats is available in the park.

Oyster Creek Energy Education Center
Rte 9, 4.5 Miles south of Lacy Road. Forked River, 08731
What does the inside of a nuclear power plant look like? How does boiling water make electricity? The answer to these and many other questions can be found at the GPU Nuclear Education Center. The 6,000-square foot facility features a variety of models and interactive displays that explain various aspects of nuclear power and electricity. The center also houses an 80-seat auditorium for presentations and other events. The center is open by appointment only. For information

Stafford Forge Wildlife Management Area/ Pygmy Pine Forest
NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife
P.O. Box 400
Trenton, NJ 08625
Four ponds, a small freshwater marsh and hundreds of acres of pine-oak forest provide a haven for nesting, migrating and wintering wildlife. Wildlife-watching, hiking and mountain biking are possible. There is good fishing for pickerel and catfish and hunting for deer, turkey, small game and waterfowl. The area boasts a dog training area and shotgun, rifle and archery ranges. a unique pygmy pine forest covers the northern end of the Wildlife Management Area.

The Pygmy Pine forest is a dense stand of dwarf, but mature, pitch pine, blackjack oak and scrub oak trees only four to six feet in height. the plants found here have special adaptations that allow them to survive the frequent fires of the area. This unique forest can be viewed from a platform of CR 539.

Wells Mills County Park
Wells Mill Road, Route 532
Waretown 08758
This Pinelands gem is home to beautiful Wells Mill Lake and the Wells Mills Nature Center. the park's surprisingly hilly terrain has over 16 miles of hiking and nature trail and offers canoeing and mountain biking. the park is known for its beautiful stand of Atlantic white cedar.

Forked River Mountain Wildlife Management Area
NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife
P.O. Box 400
Trenton, NJ 08625
One of the highest elevations in the Pine Barrens, the Forked river Mountains ate typical of the mixed pint-oak habitats prevalent in southern New Jersey. Visitors can hike to the top of the mountain, only 182 feet in elevation. Hiking and wildlife-watching can also be done along the old sand roads and unmarked trails which wind through the area. Hunting opportunities exist for deer, small game and turkey.

Bass River State Forest
762 stage road, PO Box 118, New Gretna 08224
This large forest of over 25,600 acres was acquired for public recreation, water conservation and wildlife and timber management. Lake Absegami provides swimming, canoeing and boating opportunities. A portion of the 50-mile Batona Trail runs through the forest and another walking trail provides access through the Absegami Natural Area. The park also offers camping, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, picnic areas, a playground and horseback riding trails.

Mill Creek County Park
Mill Creek Road, Bayville 08721
The park borders Mill Creek and the Toms river. It features a nature trail on Mill Creek. the Allen County Conservation area is adjacent to the park.

Riverwood Park
West end of Riverwood Drive (Pleasant Plains Section), Toms River 08755
This 147-acre park is located along the upper reaches of the main branch of Toms River. There are four miles of hiking trails with camping areas. The active recreation are has 24 soccer fields, tot lot, two basketball courts, picnic grove and recreation building. restrooms are handicap accessible. the dirt trail along the river, which is traditionally trout stocked, is excellent for birding
732-341-100 ext. 8415

Huddy Park/Mathis Park
State Route 166
Huddy Park: 732-341-1000 ext. 8415
Mathis Park: 732-349-0403
Nestles into the Toms River Seaport Area, both pocket parks are approximately three to four acres, have scenic waterfronts, with paved parking, picnic benches, gazebos and many community affairs. Huddy Park features a pedestrian bridge over the river and Mathis Plaza houses a World War II torpedo dedicated to submariners. restrooms are available in nearby public buildings.

Winding River Park
State route 37 West opposite the hospital
Whitesville Road off Oak Ridge Parkway (County Route 527)
the main branch of Toms river meanders through this 375-acre linear park which has 12 miles of hiking trails. A scenic paved five-mile hiking and biking trail runs around the park. there are provisions for canoe launching at both upstream and down stream locations. the park has five softball fields, group picnic areas and restrooms (handicapped accessible) at both ends. Off Whitesville road, the Winding river Skating Rink provides seasonal ice skating for the general public. There are equestrian trails off Oak Ridge Parkway.

Ocean County Historical Society
25 Hadley Avenue, Toms River08753
The Ocean County Historical Society, founded in 1950, maintains a museum in the 15-room Victorian Pierson/Sculthorpe house. In 1990, an addition was built that houses the Stickler Library and research Center and the Myrtle Moore room, which displays early industries of Ocean county. Call for museum hours.
732-341-1880; Fax 732-341-4372

Town of Island Heights
Municipal Building; Van Sant Avenue and East End Avenue, Island Heights 08732
Island Heights, located on the northern bank of Toms River, is one of Ocean County's most picturesque towns. Reverend John Simpson started Methodist camp-meetings here in 1878. beautifully restored Victorian homes grace the high bluffs along the river. The town has a 0.3 mile boardwalk bordering the river.
732-270-6415; Fax 732-270-8586

Sedge Island Wildlife Management Area
NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife
P.O. Box 400
Trenton, NJ 08625
Accessible only by boat, the Sedge Islands are an excellent place for birding. A peregrine town on one of the islands provides nesting habitat for the endangered peregrine falcon. Crabbing, clamming and fishing abound in the waters surrounding the islands. Waterfowl hunting is also good. the Division of Fish and Wildlife uses an historic duck-hunting lodge as a marine education education center.

Bayside Municipal Park in Brick
Route 35 South in Brick 08723
One of the area's newest municipal parks, this nearly two-acre tract is nestled at the edge of Barnegat Bay. A favorite spot for fishing and crabbing, the park has already become a popular place for locals and seasonal visitors alike for viewing sunsets and enjoying the scenery. Amenities include picnic benches, a playground area, gazebo and a waterfront boardwalk.

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge/Reedy Creek Unit/deCamp Wildlife Trail
Mantoloking and Adamston Roads, Brick 08723
This one-mile foot trail offers visitors year-round opportunities to experience the tranquil beauty of refuge woodlands and wildlife. The first 1300 feet are wide and flat, which benches and interpretive wayside signs. The remaining path becomes moderately more difficult and rustic. Open to foot travelers daily, from sunrise to sunset.
609-652-1665 or 609-698-1387

Metedecock River County Conservation Area
This greenway was acquired to protect wetlands along the north and south  branches of the Metedecock River. This includes the Forge Pond Conservation Area located within the adjacent Forge Pond County Golf Course. Canoeing, fishing and birding are the favored activities within this special area.

Ocean County Park/Lake Shenandoah County Park
Route 88, Lakewood 08701
Ocean County Park was originally part of the John D. Rockefeller's vacation estate. Many specimen trees imported by Rockefeller still stand. Biking, walking and cross-country skiing are popular activities within the park. this magnificent facility has a rich and fascinating history.

One hundred-acre Lake Shenandoah boast one of the most productive fishing spots in Ocean County. The lake is trout-stocked and the park has a bait and tackle shop that offers boat rentals. There is a boat ramp for small boat access.

Point Pleasant Canal
Municipal Boat Ramp and Angling Piers, south end of Bay Avenue, Point Pleasant 08742
Two mile long, the Point Pleasant canal offers scenery, shoreline access and most importantly, a portal for watercraft between the Manasquan River and Barnegat Bay. Anglers catch all seasonal ocean fishes from this body of water. Envisioned as part of the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway, the canal became a reality in the mid-1920's. the early canal had no bulk heading, so locals enjoyed swimming and cavorting along its rapidly eroding banks. After the installation of bulk heading, the canal became dangerously swift; swimming and canoeing were banned. Principal access is from the municipal boat ramp and angling piers located at the southern end of Bay Avenue.

Point Pleasant Beach Fishing Fleet
Channel Drive, Point Pleasant 08742
Located around Wills Hole Thoroughfare and the Lake Louise Channel, the commercial and party boat fishing fleet of Point Pleasant Beach offers visitors tasty treats, hours of fun and an ever-changing maritime spectacle. Fishing for half a day or a full day is a matter of driving up and taking one of the numerous party boats. tackle is provided as needed. Seafood restaurants line the areas between Broadway, Channel Drive and the inlet.

Point Pleasant Beach Coast Guard Station
61 Inlet Drive, Point Pleasant Beach 08742
Built is 1936, located on the south side of Manasquan Inlet, this station replaces the Manasquan, Bay Head, Mantaloking, Chadwick Beach and Toms River stations because of its ocean access and mooring facilities. The boathouse was added in 1939, followed by the bachelor enlisted quarters in 1978. tours of the station can be arranged in advance by phone.

Gull Island County Conservation Area
Broadway, Point Pleasant Beach 08742
The park is a perfect spot for birding or a relaxing day of fishing. The park is accessible only by boat. The island located in the middle of the Manasquan River offers excellent sea kayaking. A parking area on Broadway offers access to the island and the river.

Manasquan Reservoir
Windeler Road, Howell Township
The Manasquan Reservoir is a source of water for the municipalities and utilities and a natural setting for recreational activities and outdoor pursuits. fishing, kayaking, a visitor center, plus a five-mile trail makes this a popular spot is southern Monmouth County.

Manasquan River Wildlife Management Area
NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife
P.O. Box 400
Trenton, NJ 08625
Located along the Manasquan river, this area ia a haven for wildlife from heavily developed surrounding area. A car-top launch is available for boating on the river. the river itself is stocked with brook, brown, and rainbow trout and is the focus of the Division's sea run trout program. fishing is also good for eels, catfish and white perch. Hunting opportunities exist for small game and waterfowl.

Fisherman's Cove Conservation Area
3rd Avenue, Manasquan
North shore Coastal Ponds, Lakes, Inlets and Oceanfront Manasquan to Long Branch
The 52-acre Fisherman's Cove Conservation Area is the last undeveloped mixed upland/shore on the Manasquan Inlet. Several ponds, inlets and oceanfront areas from Manasquan to Long Branch afford great bird watching from late summer to March. Ducks, geese, gulls and sea birds are common. Check out Stockton Lake, Wreck Pond, Lake Como, Silver Lake and Lake Takanassee, one or two blocks inland of the first road paralleling the ocean. Large numbers of mute swans are often on Wreck Pond. spring Lake is trout stocked. Shark River and Inlet are good for fishing and birding. The Belmar Marina houses the largest recreational fishing fleet in NJ and a ramp for small boat launchings. Oceanfront access for fishing and kayaking is available at designated sites.

Beaver Dam County Park
Bridge Avenue, Point Pleasant/Brick 08742
The park offers a self-guided nature trail along Beaver Dam Creek.

Copyright 2001- , Terry Muse 
Revised: October 20 2001
Contact: Terry Muse
Coastal Heritage Trail