Visitor Activities

  • Hunting

    Deer - USFWS.

    Cape May National Wildlife Refuge is open for deer, migratory game bird, turkey, rabbit and squirrel hunting only. Trapping is NOT permitted. Hunting is prohibited on the Two Mile Beach Unit. In addition to State laws and regulations (found in the annual NJ Hunting and Trapping Digest), specific federal regulations apply. See refuge regulations/map for additional information and/or call the refuge headquarters.

    Cape May hunting regulations (pdf)
    Delaware Bay Division hunting map (pdf)
    Great Cedar Swamp Division hunting map (pdf)

  • Fishing

    Surf fishing - Heidi Hanlon/USFWS.

    Between October 1 and March 31 surf fishing is permitted on the beach portion of Two Mile Beach Unit. The beach portion of the Unit is closed April 1 to September 30 each year to provide an undisturbed area for birds that require beach habitat to survive. This includes birds that nest, feed, roost or migrate through the area, such as the Federally-threatened piping plover, the state-listed American oystercatcher, black skimmer, red knot, dunlin, and many other shorebird species.

    Fishing is available year-round at the refuge beachfront along the Cold Spring Inlet.

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Box turtle - USFWS.

    Four foot trails through the refuge's varied habitats provide excellent opportunities for wildlife observation. These include the Songbird and Woodcock Trails (Delaware Bay Division), Cedar Swamp Trail (Great Cedar Swamp Division), and Marsh and Dune Trails (Two Mile Beach Unit) which include observation platforms and blind. Between October 1 and March 31 the beachfront of the Two Mile Beach Unit is also open for wildlife observation. The Cape May Peninsula has been described as one of the ten top birding spots in North America!

    Learn more about trails on the refuge.

  • Interpretation

    Ranger leading a nature walk - Ester James.

    The Friends of Cape May NWR sponsor free, family-friendly nature walks on Saturdays at the Two Mile Beach Unit, May-October and a variety of other programs throughout the year. A list of these programs can be found at: Self-guided interpretation is also available at refuge trailheads and along trails using wayside exhibits. Brochures are available at the Visitor Contact Stations.

  • Environmental Education

    Student looking at a dragonfly - USFWS.

    The refuge has a variety of trails, bayshore and (seasonal) beach habitats in which students and teachers can learn about the environment. Please contact the refuge or Friends of Cape May NWR for more information.

  • Photography

    Photographer at sunset - USFWS.

    Within the Great Cedar Swamp Division, visitors can photograph blue-winged warblers, ovenbirds, and short-eared owls throughout the year.

    Within the Delaware Bay Division, visitors can photograph thousands of shorebirds including red knots, ruddy turnstones, and sanderlings during spring migration (end of May/beginning of June).

    Within the Two Mile Beach Unit visitors can photograph shorebirds such as semipalmated plovers and American oystercatchers (spring/fall) and waterfowl such as American black ducks and northern pintails (winter). A semi-enclosed photo blind is located on the Marsh Trail as well as open air observation platforms along the Dune Trail. Seasonal beach closure is in effect April 1 to September 30.