The Wildlife Drive Auto-Tour at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, as seen above from satellite imagery.
Visitor Information

Trails and the Wildlife Drive are open daily, sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Information Center is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10AM to 2PM. The Friends of Forsythe Gift Shop and pass sales are offered there. Entrance to Wildlife Drive is $4/car. Our Galloway location is located here: Forsythe HQ and Visitor Area in Galloway.

Visit Us

National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings.

The Refuge encompasses over 48,000 acres of New Jersey coastal habitat, and spans about 50 miles from north to south. At our headquarters, located in Oceanville, New Jersey, you can visit our Visitor Information Center (VIC) to explore our displays, have your questions answered, and purchase America the Beautiful Interagency access passes. The Friends of Forsythe have a great Gift Shop as well.  After visiting the VIC, you can drive the our 8-mile-long Wildlife Drive, which is actively managed for migratory birds. Located on one of the Atlantic Flyway's most active flight paths, the area is critical link during bird migration, and offers world class birding and wildlife photography opportunities. You can also walk our hiking trails, which collectively span about 8 miles.

Fees

Your fee dollars help us provide a memorable visitor experience. They fund safety services, trail maintenance, interpretative programs, and facility improvements for visitor enhancement. At least 80% of the recreation fees collected at national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries stay at the location they were collected. We greatly appreciate your support.

Entrance passes may be purchased in the Visitor Information Center open Wednesday - Sunday 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, closed on holidays.  Cash or check required. Credit card sales are not available.  Most passes may also be purchased online. See notes on individual passes below.

Refuge Entrance Pass Options

Daily Pedestrians and Bicyclists*

$2.00

Daily Car or Motorcycle*

$4.00

E.B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Annual Pass*
Valid for one year

$12.00

Federal Duck Stamp**
Valid for one year, July 1 to June 30, at all National Wildlife Refuges

$25.00

Commercial Van or Bus
Valid for one day

20 passengers or less

21 passengers or more

$20.00

$30.00

*Passes with an asterisk* can be purchased online at https://forsythe.recaccess.com

**Federal Duck Stamps can be purchased online at: https://www.fws.gov/service/buy-duck-stamp-or-e-stamp

Interagency Pass Options

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge honors, sells, and issues passes for the America the Beautiful Federal Recreation Lands Pass Program.  Interagency passes can be purchased in the Visitor Information Center, cash or check only. You can also order them online from the USGS Store and a physical pass will be mailed to you. Click on the link for each pass for more information on qualifications, identification requirements, and how to use the pass.

Interagency Annual Pass$80.00
Annual Senior Pass
U.S. citizens or residents 62 yrs. or older
$20.00
Lifetime Senior Pass 
U.S. citizens or residents 62 yrs. or older
$80.00
Annual Military Pass
Active Duty U.S. Military and dependents
Free
Lifetime Military Pass
Veteran and Gold Star Family Member Access     
Free
Lifetime Access Pass
Permanently disabled U.S. citizens or residents
Free
Every Kid Outdoors Pass
U.S. 4th graders or 10-year-old homeschool students, valid at all federal recreation fee areas for one year: September 1 to August 31
Free - Voucher required 
Volunteer Pass
Volunteers that have completed 250 hours of service
Free - with verified hours

Cash or check required for pass purchases. Credit card sales are not currently available in the Visitor Information Center.

Notes about passes

  • Passes allow entry of pass holder and three adult passengers in a non-commercial vehicle (passenger car, pick-up truck, recreational vehicle). Children under 16 are admitted free.
  • Motorcycles are individual vehicles; however, if two individuals have signed an annual pass and are traveling on separate motorcycles, then both can be admitted on one pass.
  • Passes are non-refundable and non-transferable. This means that the person who signed the pass must be in the vehicle.

2024 Fee-Free Days

All national wildlife refuges and other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands that normally charge an entrance fee offer free admission* on these days in 2023:

  • January 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
  • June 19 (Juneteenth)
  • September 28 (National Public Lands Day)
  • October 13 (first Sunday of National Wildlife Refuge Week)
  • November 11 (Veterans Day)

* The entrance fee waiver does not cover concessionaire or permit fees for some activities such as hunting, fishing or special tours.

Know Before You Go

The refuge is subject to seasonal variations in weather, temperature, and insects. The following suggestions are intended to help make your visit pleasant and enjoyable. In each season, there are temperature variations. It is highly recommended that you check the local weather forecastfor the day of your visit. Additionally, information on daily tides around Wildlife Drive can be found here.

Items to consider are:

  • Appropriate, comfortable clothing
  • Comfortable walking or hiking footwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • Insect repellent in late spring, summer, and early fall

It is also suggested that visitors stop at the Visitor Information Center. Updated information on trails, boardwalk, and the wildlife drive are available. Emergency announcements of closures or other safety conditions will be posted on the refuge’s home page.

Interactive Refuge Map

Click here to view the interactive map below to help find trails, kayak & boat launches, boundaries, and hunting access sites and areas. You’ll be able to view different map layers to get the information you need to plan your next visit.  

In An Emergency – Dial 911!

Dial 911 in an emergency while at the refuge. This will connect you with the local police department. In the case of the Wildlife Drive, trails, and boardwalk, you will reach the Galloway Township Police Department. Be prepared to provide dispatch with the following information:

  • My emergency is: state the emergency
  • I am at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
  • I am located on the “. . . Trail, Wildlife Drive, Boardwalk, etc.

If you make an emergency call, please stay on the phone until dispatch says you can hang up! The refuge is large and dispatch may need to track you by using your phone signal or verbal assistance from you.

Activities

We offer a variety of activities to visitors and have something for everyone!  There are year-round wildlife viewing opportunities on the Wildlife Drive self-guided auto tour, along with over 8 miles of hiking trails that span from the most northerly, deCamp Wildlife trail in Brick Township, south to the Leeds Eco-Trail at refuge headquarters in Galloway Township .  We also provide fishing, hunting, and kayaking opportunities at designated locations across the refuge.  Click on an activity below for more details!

If you are unsure as to whether an activity is available for public use on the refuge, please give us a call at 609-652-1665.

Trails

Visitor Information

Trails and the Wildlife Drive are open daily, sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Information Center is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10AM to 2PM. The Friends of Forsythe Gift Shop and pass sales are offered there. Entrance to Wildlife Drive is $4/car. Our Galloway location is located here: Forsythe HQ and Visitor Area in Galloway.

Most of the refuge’s public use facilities are located at the headquarters area in Oceanville, open daily sunrise to sunset. This site provides exceptional wildlife viewing, photography, and environmental education opportunities. Accessible rest rooms are available. Pets are permitted on some trails. 
Refuge Headquarters, Wildlife Drive, & Surrounding Trails

For a brochure of trails located at refuge headquarters in Oceanville, click here.  

For a map of refuge headquarters, facilities, the Wildlife Drive Auto Tour, and nearby trails, click here.

For information on individual trails, including accessibility, length, trail type, and trailhead coordinates, see below:
  • Wildlife Drive: Open year-round. An 8-mile self-guided tour of saltwater marsh, freshwater habitat, and upland forest. This area is known internationally as a birding “hotspot”. Observation towers are located at Gull Pond and Turtle Cove.  An interactive StoryMap adapted from the "Wildlife Drive Self-guided Tour" pamphlet can be found here.
  • Cedar Bonnet Island Trail: Open year-round.  This 1.5-mile loop trail located in Manahawkin, New Jersey features beautiful wildflowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, bird watching, fishing, and road biking and is best used from March until October.  (39.657435, -74.194229). A virtual tour of the native plants that make up the restored Cedar Bonnet Island salt marsh salt marsh
    Salt marshes are found in tidal areas near the coast, where freshwater mixes with saltwater.

    Learn more about salt marsh
    can be found
    here.
  • Graveling Point Trail: Open year-round. This 0.85-mile out-and-back trail located in Little Egg Harbor Township traverses beach and salt marsh, offering stunning views of Great Bay.  This trail is also a popular fishing spot, and you will see many visitors flock here during the summers to fish. (39.539391, -74.390494) 
  • Holgate Wilderness Area UPDATE: Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge has announced the partial re-opening of the Holgate Wilderness Area beginning September 1, 2023. The southern tip of the Holgate peninsula will remain closed until further notice and nesting shorebirds have completely fledged. Signage and markers will be placed to identify the closure. The refuge Clamming Trail will also open September 1 which allows foot access to bayside shellfishing grounds in State-owned waters along the western edge of the Holgate peninsula. One of the last stretches of undeveloped barrier island in the state, Holgate Wilderness Area is closed from April 1 - August 31, during the bird nesting season. From September 1- March 31, the beach is open to walking and driving below the berm crest. Area closures may be extended to allow for nesting birds to complete fledging. The area above the berm crest is closed year round in order to protect dune habitat. Please note that beach driving access requires purchase of a beach buggy permit from Long Beach Township. No pets or fires are permitted at Holgate. (39.53100, -74.26500)
  • Holgate Clamming Trail: Open Sept 1 – March 31.Access to shellfishing grounds in State-owned waters along the western edge of the Holgate peninsula is provided to the public via the 0.4-mile-long Clamming Trail. Landing boats is also permitted to access those sites at those times. (39.51400, -74.28500)

Please stay on the trails. Closed areas provide space for wildlife to rest and eat.

Ticks occur all year, and are most active during the warmer months. Some ticks may carry Lyme disease, known to be harmful to humans. Insect repellent and other safety precautions are recommended.

Related Documents

Below are maps and resources to guide you during your visit.  Included are a refuge brochure, birding pamphlet, and maps of hiking trails near refuge headquarters.  There is also a pamphlet and associated map for the Wildlife Drive Self-Guided Tour.
Visiting our Cedar Bonnet Island Unit? Check out the CBI Native Garden Brochure below OR click this link for an interactive Storymap! https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/b8f54d91880f4436ad9b4c04c8e03b40
Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Brochure

The official brochure for Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. Some information is dated.

Edwin B. Forsythe Bird Brochure

This brochure lists 359 species that have been observed on the refuge. Names and order of the listing are in accordance with the Seventh American Ornithologists’ Union Checklist, through the 53rd supplement.

Edwin B. Forsythe NWR: Refuge-wide Public Uses & Amenities

A refuge-wide map with public uses and amenities available to visitors.

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge: Galloway Hiking Trail Map

A map of hiking trails open to the public at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR Headquarters located in Galloway Township, NJ.

Edwin B. Forsythe NWR Headquarters Map

A map of Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, Facilities, the Wildlife Drive Auto Tour, and Trails.

Edwin B. Forsythe NWR: Wildlife Drive Self-Guided Tour

We hope you enjoy this self-guided tour of our Wildlife Drive - Refer to the numbered Blue Goose marker signs as you drive. Every day is different on the Refuge, and as the seasons change, new opportunities to observe different species occur. Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is a place...

Cedar Bonnet Island (CBI) Trail Map

A map of the Cedar Bonnet Island (CBI) Trail located on Cedar Bonnet Island, Stafford TWP, New Jersey.

Holgate Brochure

The Holgate Unit is located at the southern tip of Long Beach Island, New Jersey and has been a part of Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge since 1960. It is about three miles long, and contains more than 400 acres of pristine barrier beach, dunes, and tidal salt marsh. In 1975, Congress...

The detailed brochure of the Cedar Bonnet Island Plant Identification Guide

Information on the various plants on the trails of our Cedar Bonnet Island Unit.

 

Rules and Policies

In order to protect the integrity of the Refuge, there are certain rules and regulations that must be adhered to when visiting. There are multiple uses of the Refuge. They include, but not limited to, activities such as hiking, bird watching, hunting, fishing and photography. Some activities may require permits.  

If you are unsure as to whether an activity is available for public use on the refuge, please refer to the activities page or give us a call at 609-652-1665.

Access

The refuge is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. All open areas are accessible to the general public approximately dawn until dusk, unless specified otherwise. 

There are many closed areas on the refuge. Please be aware of your location and obey all posted signs. As some areas are not posted, it is the visitor's responsibility to know where they can and cannot go.

General Rules and Policies
  • Comply with all signs posted at public use areas.
  • Stay on designated trails.
  • Do not feed wildlife.
  • Camping and fires are not allowed on refuge property.
  • Horseback riding is not permitted. 
  • No off-road vehicles (ATV’s, dirt bikes, etc.) are allowed on refuge property.
  • Bicycles are not permitted on hiking trails. Bicycles are permitted on the Wildlife Drive and on the Cedar Bonnet Island (CBI) Trail.

Locations

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
800 Great Creek RoadOceanville,NJ08231-0072
Driving Directions

Garden State Parkway Southbound 

The refuge is easily accessed using Parkway Exit 48. You will exit onto US Route 9 South. The refuge entrance is at the 3rd traffic light (Great Creek Road). Turn left on Great Creek Road, which ends at the Refuge.  

Garden State Parkway Northbound 

Use Parkway Exit 41. This exit is for Pomona, Galloway, and Stockton University. At the bottom of the exit ramp, you will come to a traffic light. This is County Route 561 (Jimmie Leeds Road). Turn right onto Jimmie Leeds Road (Route 561 North). Follow Jimmie Leeds Road to the traffic light at US Route 9. (Jimmie Leeds Road ends at this intersection.) Turn left onto US Route 9 North. The next traffic light is at intersection of US Route 9 and Great Creek Road. Turn right onto Great Creek Road and follow it to the refuge entrance. 

Atlantic City Expressway 

The refuge is easily accessed using Atlantic City Expressway Exit 7N to the Garden State Parkway northbound. Follow the directions listed above for Garden State Parkway Northbound.  

US Route 9 

The refuge entrance is at the intersection of Great Creek Road and US Route 9. If you are traveling on US Route 30 (White Horse Pike) or US Route 40 (Black Horse Pike), turn left onto US Route 9 northbound. Follow US Route 9 to the traffic light at Great Creek Road. Turn right onto Great Creek Road and follow it to the refuge entrance. 

Directions to Points of Interest North of the Visitor Information Center (listed from north to south): 

The deCamp Wildlife Trail 

From the Garden State Parkway, take Exit 90 for County Road 549. Merge onto Chambers Bridges Road, which will become Hooper Avenue for a total of two miles. Take the left fork onto Mantoloking Road and continue for 2.5 miles. The small parking lot is located at the intersection of Adamston and Mantoloking Roads in Brick Township.  

Eno's Pond (joint trail with Ocean County Parks) 

From the Garden State Parkway north or southbound, take Exit 74 toward Forked River. Take Lacey Road east for about four miles, crossing Route 9. The entrance will be almost at the end of the road, and on your left.  

Barnegat Observation Platform 

From the Garden State Parkway, take Exit 67 and go east on Bay Avenue. Follow Bay Avenue as it turns into Plank Road and then Bay Shore Drive. Follow Bay Shore Drive around until you see a small parking lot on your right.  

Cedar Bonnet Island Trail

From the Garden State Parkway (north or south), take Exit 63 (Highway 72) east toward Long Beach Island.  The entrance lot is approximately 3/4 of a mile before reaching Long Beach Island.  The Cedar Bonnet Island trail can also be reached heading west on Highway 72, off Long Beach Island by turning left at the U-turn between the West Thorofare Bridges and main Causeway Bridge.

Holgate Wilderness Area (open Sept 1 - March 31) 

From the Garden State Parkway (north or south): Take Exit 63 (Highway 72) east toward Long Beach Island. Once on the Island, take a right on Long Beach Boulevard. Follow all the way to the end where you will see a parking lot. During the off season, all 3.5 miles is open to walking and surf fishing vehicles with a permit (contact Long Beach Township at 609-361-1200 to obtain a beach buggy permit).  

Graveling Point 

From the Garden State Parkway north or southbound, take Exit 58 for Tuckerton. Take 539 south until it ends at Route 9. Turn right on Route 9 (south) for about a mile and then take a left on Radio Road. Follow Radio Road all the way to the end.  

Scott's Landing 

From the Garden State Parkway: Southbound, take Parkway Exit 48. You will exit onto US Route 9. Follow Route 9 several miles. Turn left on Moss Mill Road and follow it until it curves sharply to the left. Take the next right immediately after the curve and follow the road to the end. Northbound, use the Atlantic City Service Center's access ramp to Jimmie Leeds Road. Turn right on Jimmy Leeds Road. Go to the traffic light at US Route 9 and turn left (north). Drive past the first set of lights. Shortly, you will come upon a V in the road. Take the right fork which is Leed's Point Road. Take it to the T intersection, then turn right. Follow the sharp curve to the left, and take the next right immediately after the curve.  

Hours
Refuge Hours
Year-round
Sunrise - Sunset
Visitor Information Center
Wednesday - Sunday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM