The 300-mile New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail hugs the coastline of New Jersey and includes many New Jersey state parks, facilities and beaches. For more information on New Jersey beaches, visit the state’s tourism website at www.visitnj.org/nj/beaches. You can also check your community’s parks and recreation listings to see more of what your local area has to offer.
Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
800 Great Creek Road
Oceanville, NJ 08205 609-652-1665
The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge protects more than 47,000 acres of southern New Jersey coastal habitats that are actively managed for migratory birds. The value of protecting water birds and their habitat continues to increase as people develop the New Jersey shore. Wildlife can be viewed year-round on the refuge. The refuge also provides hunting and fishing opportunities.
Forest Resource Education Center
495 Don Conner Blvd.
Jackson, NJ 08527 732-928-2360
The Forest Resource Education Center pinelands forest is ideal for hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, hunting and nature photography. The center maintains 8 miles of trails with learning stations and information kiosks on environmental subjects.
Historic Smithville Park
803 Smithville Road
Eastampton, NJ 08060 609-265-5858
Historic Smithville Park is the centerpiece of the Burlington County parks system. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing and picnicking in the park’s 312 acres, which feature upland forests, meadows, freshwater streams, wetlands, creek shoreline and a 22-acre lake. The park has a butterfly garden, the historic Smithville mansion and museum, trails, a playground, picnic amenities and more.
Island Beach State Park
Route 35 South
Seaside Park, NJ 08752 732-793-0506
Shaped by storm and tides, Island Beach State Park is a narrow barrier island stretching for 10 miles between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay. Island Beach is one of New Jersey’s last significant remnants of a barrier island ecosystem that once existed along much of the coast. It is also one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches on the north Atlantic coast. The park is home to a variety of maritime plants and wildlife, including the state’s largest osprey colony and peregrine falcons, wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl and migrating songbirds. The park offers a variety of recreational activities, including fishing, hunting, biking, canoeing, horseback riding, surfing, scuba diving and more.
Popcorn Park Refuge and Zoo
1 Humane Way
Forked River, NJ 08731 609-693-1900
Popcorn Park provides a refuge for wildlife and domestic and exotic animals that are sick, elderly, abandoned, abused or injured and can no longer survive in its natural habitat. More than 200 of these animals and birds now live in the heart of the scenic Pine Barrens on the 7-acre refuge. Animals at the refuge include monkeys, bobcats, bears, llamas, reptiles, tigers and more.