Do the Hike: Woodcock Trail

By Collin Hall

Woodcock Trail  

1.2 miles 

Trailhead at the end of Woodcock Road, 39°05’37.8″N 74°52’50.9″W 

Woodcock Trail is hidden behind development west of Cape May Court House just off Route 47 on a piece of land protected via the Cape May Wildlife Refuge. Unlike many trails in the county, there aren’t any water spots here. Despite that, Woodcock offers a great variety of plants and scenery. 

The trail begins with a sandy path enclosed by dark-green pines. It isn’t quite spooky, but the “tunnels” created by overhanging foliage make for a quiet walk that keeps hikers guessing what waits behind each bend.  

This is a great trail to tackle in the winter because it is notoriously tick-filled and overgrown as the weather begins to warm. Many of the trees in these woods are conifers, so a winter trek here will not be devoid of greenery. The trailhead’s location means that, even in peak season, it isn’t crowded.  

As a rule, trails that sit on Wildlife Refuge land in the county are worth a visit if for nothing other than their quiet “backwoods” atmosphere. I highly recommend this trail, even if on-paper, it isn’t spectacular.  

Woodcock trail in Court House is hidden behind development, but offers a great day walk through Cape May forests.  

Spiked fruit hang down like ornaments from a Sweet Gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) on Woodcock Trail in Cape May Court House.  
Woodcock Trail includes “tunnels” of dense evergreens that make for a shady walk.  
The end of Woodcock trail opens up into a small meadow.