Enjoy your visit!
Explore the special places associated with New Jersey’s maritime history, coastal habitats, and wildlife migration stories. Relive a time when life was tied to the sea and characterized by lighthouses, coastal defense systems, fishing ports, and marinas. Discover waving acres of salt marsh habitats, sandy beaches, coastal dunes, swamps, and bogs. Witness long and grueling migrations covering thousands of miles, and the return year after year to spawning and nursery grounds to continue the cycle of life.
Besides following commonsense safety rules, you should be sensitive to the resources at each of the Trail destinations that you discover in your travels. Historic buildings and artifacts are often sensitive to human interactions. Humidity, heat, cold, oils from our skin, and light are all detrimental to materials placed out for visitor appreciation and understanding. Make every effort to avoid skin contact with sensitive artifacts displayed that tell the interpretive stories and make your visit more meaningful.
Wild animals, including those friendly-looking deer and raccoons, can be dangerous if approached too closely. For your own safety and the well-being of the animals, do not attempt to touch or feed wild animals and birds, especially in protected reserves, refuges, and parks where they may lose some of their fear of humans. Most animals, reptiles, and birds react defensively and aggressively towards other life forms they may perceive as threatening. Watching with binoculars is the best way to enjoy and learn more about wild animals in our coastal habitats.
Consider too, your effects on the habitats. "Tread lightly on the land," and do not dump debris into the water or along the roadside and trail. Be careful not to create shortcut trails that trample and compact the soils, killing plants and soil organisms at these special places. Sustained, unusual impacts on natural resources may result in the site being removed from the Trail to protect it from this type of abuse.
“Leaves of three, Leave it be.” The moist, warm environments of coastal New Jersey provide a great habitat for poison ivy and stinging nettle. Learn to identify these plants and avoid contact with the skin. Your pets, if walking along a trail with you, can also pick up the resins of the poison ivy plant and transfer them to you when you pet them or they brush against you.
The New Jersey woodlands and open fields are prime habitats for ticks and other biting insects. Use insect repellent throughout the spring and summer. To reduce contact with ticks, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants that are tucked into your socks. Wearing light-colored clothing also makes crawling ticks easier to see and remove. Check yourself thoroughly for ticks, especially under your clothing where there may be tight restrictions.