Trails

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 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: Open Sept 1 – March 31.  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. 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 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.

 

Jen's Trail

Open year-round. A 0.75-mile loop with a 35-foot elevation gain provides great views of the refuge and is a good place to see forest birds. (39.478911, -74.434987) 
Trail Length (mi)
0.52
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Route Type
Loop
Trail Activities
Birding
Dog walking
Earthcaching
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Bristow Trail

Bristow Trail: Open year-round.  This 2.7-mile trail through a variety of upland habitats is an outstanding hike to view migratory songbirds. By returning along the Wildlife Drive, you can choose different loop options such as a 3-mile loop from Jen’s Trail or a 5-mile loop from the Visitor Information Center.  (39.465029, -74.450468) 
Trail Length (mi)
2.92
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / intermediate
Moderate
Route Type
System
Trail Activities
Birding
Dog walking
Earthcaching
Photography
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
View Trail

Good Luck Point Trail

Akers Woodland Trail: Open year-round. A 0.4-mile trail through woodlands provides many opportunities to see migrating warblers and nesting birds. It is handicap accessible.  (39.465029, -74.450468)
Trail Length (mi)
0.27
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Route Type
Lollipop
Trail Activities
Birding
Earthcaching
Painting and drawing
Photography
Picnicking
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Kid friendly
Wheelchair friendly
View Trail

Cedar Bonnet Island Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.88
View Trail

Grassland Trail

Grassland Trail: Open year-round.  This 0.2-mile trail is located adjacent to our Visitor Information Center, and offers views of native seasonal grasses, a purple martin colony, and great looks at a variety of pollinators. This trail also offers views from atop a hill overlooking the salt marsh and connects to the Leeds Eco-Trail.  It is partially handicap accessible. (39.464567, -74.44984)
Trail Length (mi)
0.19
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Route Type
Point to point
Trail Activities
Birding
Dog walking
Earthcaching
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Akers Woodland Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.22
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Route Type
Out & back
Trail Activities
Birding
Earthcaching
Painting and drawing
Photography
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Kid friendly
Wheelchair friendly
View Trail

Leeds Eco-Trail

Leeds Eco-Trail & Boardwalk: Open year-round. A scenic two-pronged trail over tidal salt marsh and through maritime forest offers you a chance to view “life on the edge” of these two interesting and diverse habitats. The upland portion is about a 0.25-mile (one way) walk. There is also a 400-foot-long boardwalk over the marsh area. (39.463706, -74.448788) 
Trail Length (mi)
0.33
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Route Type
Point to point
Trail Activities
Birding
Painting and drawing
Photography
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Kid friendly
Wheelchair friendly
View Trail

Graveling Point Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.26
View Trail

deCamp Wildlife Trail

The deCamp Wildlife Trail: Open year-round. This 3.4-mile out-and-back trail located in Brick Township, New Jersey that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. Forest, freshwater wetland swamp, and coastal salt marsh occur here.  The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and bird watching. Fishing opportunities are also available at the trail's end. (40.04476, -74.08694) 
Trail Length (mi)
1.72
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Route Type
Out & back
Trail Activities
Birding
Dog walking
Earthcaching
Fishing
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Eno's Pond Trail

Eno’s Pond (managed with Ocean County Parks): Open year-round. This 1.5-mile loop trail located in Lacey Township takes you through an easy-to-hike forest, and features a small pond located between Atlantic white cedar swamp and salt marsh.  The trail also features an observation deck on the pond, so you can take in the water and wildlife. (39.83119, -74.18215)
Trail Length (mi)
0.61
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Route Type
Loop
Trail Activities
Birding
Dog walking
Earthcaching
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail