Hop in the car and cruise the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail. The 300-mile auto trail, which stretches from Perth Amboy to Deepwater, focuses on five aspects of coastal life -- maritime history, coastal habitats, wildlife migration, historic settlements, and relaxing environments -- lets you get up close and personal with the region's rich eco-assets. To get the most of your drive, start at the Welcome Center at Fort Mott where you can pick up informational materials or get the scoop on Heritage Trail highlights from a ranger.
Fans of the Pine Barrens can learn more about its unique ecosystems at the education center at the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford. Located on 185 tranquil Pine Barrens acres, easy-walking trails wind through woodlands and wetlands, where deer, raccoon, fox, hawks, owls, bald eagle and other native species call home.
At the Rancocas Nature Center in Mount Holly, one of the New Jersey Audubon Society's network of nature centers, birding is just one of the many activities on the agenda. Programs for everyone from toddlers to seniors cover everything from butterflies and botany to composting and conservation.
When you arrive at Palmyra Cove Nature Park, you'd never know you are just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia. Hidden amid the woodlands, the 350-acre Park is an important stop-over for migratory birds. The environmental education center has hands-on activities for children and adults that explain what visitors will discover as they wind through the trails, wetlands and tidal marshes. Bring your camera; the vistas from the roof-top viewing area are spectacular!
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