Photos by Collin Hall
Cape May Point Trail
Trailhead: Parking lot across from Lighthouse on Light House Ave, Cape May Point
This trail easily has the most “views per mile” of any trail on this list and is incredibly accessible to boot. The trail is relatively short at only 1.7 miles and sits on an elevated walkway for much of the beginning portion. The walk begins with a platformed walk in a quiet wooded area before giving way to swamp views and local water fauna. The trail is never highly trafficked, which means that local birds and wildlife are easy to spot. Hikers will be able to spot a plethora of birds and small creatures along the path even in the middle of the summer. Several spots along the path provide views of the wetlands with short docks, and the whole thing ends with a brief beach walk near a small pond, where swans swim abundantly in the summertime. The highlight of the trail is a narrow sandy section clamped by water on both sides. Cape May Lighthouse is visible at the end of the trail; this is one of the most scenic walks in the county.
Cameron Wildlife Sanctuary
Trailhead: 1107 Rt. 9 N, Marmora
On the other side of the county all the way in Marmora hides another short, but dense with views, trail through swampy land. This trail is as easy as it gets, but can be very buggy in the summertime. That’s a trend with many of these trails given their proximity to water. There are many small ponds on this trail, and the main path has many benches. Some of them even swing! Perhaps because of its short length, the whole trail is very well-maintained. It’s worth a visit for anyone in the Ocean City area.
Cape May Loop
Trailhead: On park side of the Cape May County Park and Zoo near Gazebo, 707 U.S. 9, Cape May Court House
Cape May County’s Park and Zoo is an incredible slice of property; many know it for its accredited zoo, but the “park” part is just as nice. This 2.6-mile loop has a relatively large lake near the halfway point, and the beginning (and end, technically) of the loop features beautiful water spots, a gazebo, and benches. As with all the trails in the county, there is little elevation to speak of, and the trail is easy, if a bit poorly marked at times.
Cedar Swamp Trail
Trailhead: Off of Tyler Road, north of Route 50 and south of Route 631, 74°42’11.74”W 39°15’7.23”N
Cape May County was once a primary exporter of White Cedar, a once-vital tree that was used to make shingles and other building materials across much of the Northeast. The Cedar Swamp population has been decimated because of encroaching salt water and over farming, but this trail provides a great window into the past. This 1.2-mile trail is home to white cedar, a gorgeous meadow, and a small graveyard that belong to the “Young Family.” Like many of our county’s trails, there is a lot to see here in a short amount of time. The trail is deep in the rural northern portion of the county and is incredibly mosquito-ridden in the summer. Regardless, it is worth a trip no matter the time of year.