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Cape May & Absecon Regions

Other Things to Do

Cape May Point State Park and the William D. & Jane c. Blair, Jr., Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge
Sunset Boulevard, Cape May
Sea Grove avenue, Cape May Point
This 180-acre State Park, owned and managed by the NJ Division Of Parks and Forestry, is known for its diversity of habitat: ocean and beach, large freshwater ponds and mash, and woodlands. since 1976, the Cape May Bird Observatory has conducted a full-time Autumn Hawkwatch (September 1 through November 30) at the State Park; raptor migrations is easily visible anywhere in the Park during this period. Three miles of board-walk nature trails with viewing platforms and a wildlife viewing blind lead park visitors through the different habitats and offer excellent opportunities to observe ducks in fall and winter and shorebirds, herons, egrets and Osprey spring through fall. Many songbirds, including ruby-throated hummingbirds, nest along the park trail. Nature museum; park office with information available.

Owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, the 200-acre Blair Migratory Bird refuge has extensive freshwater march and ponds (right next to the ocean) and is an excellent place to view water birds (gulls, terns, herons, egrets, shorebirds, bitterns, rails, ducks). Piping Plovers and Least Terns, both endangered, nest on this beach through the summer. A loop trail begins and ends at the parking lot on sunset Boulevard. Call for more information on TNC's nature programs.

Historic City of Cape May
Cape May Historic District
Known as the "Nation's Oldest Seaside Resort." Victorian Cape May hosts more than 600 restored structures. Victoriana lives on in Cape May, with gas-lit streets and gingerbread architecture. Graceful 19th century homes with palatial porches and lace curtains line the shady streets of the Victorian village. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts hosts tours of the historic district throughout the year, in addition to many special events such as the 10 d-day Victorian Week, held every October.

Historic Cold Spring Village and The Nature Trail at Bradner's Run
U. S. Route 9, 3 miles north of Victorian Cape May
Historic Cold Spring Village is a 19th century open-air living history museum composed of 25 restored antique buildings on a 20-acre wooded site. costumed interpreters are dedicated to preserving, demonstrating, and discussing the crafts, trades, lifestyles, issues and architecture of a small south Jersey rural community of the 1800's. Bradner's Run Nature Trail at Historic Cold Spring Village follows a freshwater stream that flows through the swamp forest a the Village boundary. Various specimens of plants, animals, insects and migratory birds may be seen along the trail. tours are conducted by The Nature Center of Cape May.

The Nature Center of Cape May
1600 Delaware Avenue, on the Cape May Harbor
A New Jersey Audubon Society facility, the Nature Center of Cape May specializes in programs for children and families. the Nature Center is an environmental education facility which highlights the southern New Jersey marine environment, yet also offers programs on other natural history topics. The center provides access to beach and salt marsh habitat and offers workshops, year-round children's classes, walking tours, demonstration gardens, aquaria, interactive exhibits and a gift shop.

Bennett Bogs
Route 639, North Cape May
This 27-acre botanical sanctuary is jointly owned by New Jersey Audubon Society and The Nature conservancy. the term "bog" is really a misnomer. The Bennett Bog wetlands are actually clay-based vernal ponds, holding one foot of water in winter and spring, and usually dry during the summer and fall. Over 250  species of plants have been found here, some quite rare. signage is provided to assist in identification of the various plants and wildlife.

Absecon Lighthouse
Rhode Island and Pacific Avenues, Atlantic City
Constructed under the engineering supervision of General George Mead, and first lit in 1857, this famous lighthouse has gone through an intensive renovation program. Informational signs are posted and public access to the top (228 steps) offers magnificent views of the surrounding area. The reconstructed Light Keeper's House at the base of the light will be open to the public in the near future.

Atlantic City Ocean Life Center at Gardner's Basin
New Hampshire Avenue, Atlantic City, in Gardner's Basin Park
The Ocean Life Center represents an important attraction in the ongoing renaissance of the Inlet Section of Atlantic City. The Center contains state-of-the-art interactive displays, touch tanks, and aquariums and offers periodic lectures on the local marine ecology. the Center also sponsors boat trips for children and adults that offer the opportunity to observe the local marine environment.

Atlantic County Park at Lake Lenape
Harding Highway at Route 559, in downtown Mays Landing
Have a picnic, launch your boat into the lake or take a hike along the "Teaberry Trail." a two-mile trail that winds past Pinelands vegetation and wildlife habitats areas, with lake observation points. No Fee
609-625-8219 or 609-625-1897

Estell Manor Park and Nature Center
Route 50, four mile south of Mays Landing
A genuinely unique part of the Atlantic county Park System, this 1820's National register site contains over 15 miles of hiking trails that wend past tidal wetlands and uplands through several generations of American history. the park has been the site of an Early American glassworks, a bomb factory and a pheasant farm, respectively, and contains remnants of each. the Warren e. Fox Nature Center, located inside the park, contains many environmental displays, area maps and informational brochures. Operated by the Atlantic County Division of Parks and recreation, guided hikes are available when arrangements are made in advance with the park at 609-645-4960. Program information and events calendars can be found at

J. Edward Klingener Fishing Pier
NJ route 152, between Longport Borough and the City of Somers Point
The remains of the old Broad Thoroughfare Bridge have been converted into a popular fishing pier and bird observation area. Handicapped accessible, with adequate parking and no fee.

Marine Mammal Stranding Center
3625 Brigantine Blvd., Brigantine
This private, non-profit marine mammal rehabilitation center has a small museum and display area that is open to the public. Run by volunteers, the Center is nationally known for rescuing and rehabilitating marine mammals along the coast from as far south as the Carolinas and north to New England. Visit the Marine Mammal Stranding Center online at

North Brigantine Beach
At the end of Brigantine Avenue in brigantine
This 2.5 mile stretch of the State Absecon Wildlife Management area is an exciting cross-section of the natural ecology of an Atlantic Coast Barrier Island, with undisturbed beach, dune and back bay slat marsh areas. An excellent area for surf fishing, especially for bluefish in summer and striped bass in fall, there are also piping plover nesting areas (so please observe the signs). Pedestrian access is along the beach, or a beach buggy permit can be purchased from City Hall. The city of Brigantine maintains a web site with more information about this area at

The Great Egg Harbor River
flowing from west to east across 52 miles of Atlantic county
Major segments of this beautiful river were designated by Congress in 1992 as part of the National Wild and Scenic river system. Large sections of river miles remaining a natural state and provide aquatic and wetland habitats for numerous wildlife species. The Atlantic County Park System maintains a number of public access points along the river, including Penny Pot Park in Folsom, Weymouth Furnace Park off Black Horse Pike in Hamilton and Steven's Creek in Estell Manor Park.

Weymouth Furnace Park
Route 559 and Black Horse Pike, Hamilton Township
Site of the Weymouth iron forge and paper mill ruins. this area was once an important center of early American commerce in Atlantic County. the Great Egg Harbor River runs swiftly through this park, which offers picnic tables and canoe access.


Copyright 2001- , Terry Muse 
Revised: October 6, 2001
Contact: Terry Muse
Coastal Heritage Trail | Cape May & Absecon Regions