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 wild flowers 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 here. can be found
- 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.