The Atlantic City area in New Jersey offers a variety of natural parks and outdoor recreational opportunities for both residents and visitors. Here are some of the notable nature parks in and around the region:
- Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge: Located just north of Atlantic City, this expansive wildlife refuge encompasses over 47,000 acres of tidal salt marsh and coastal habitats. It provides excellent opportunities for bird watching, hiking, and wildlife observation. Many species of birds, including egrets, herons, and migratory waterfowl, can be spotted here.
- Wharton State Forest: A bit farther from Atlantic City, Wharton State Forest is New Jersey’s largest state forest and part of the Pine Barrens region. It offers a serene natural escape with numerous trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The Batona Trail is a popular long-distance hiking trail that winds through the forest.
- Bass River State Forest: Located in Tuckerton, just north of Atlantic City, this state forest is known for its beautiful forested landscapes, extensive trail system, and Bass River State Forest Lake, which is great for fishing, boating, and swimming during the summer months.
- Birch Grove Park: Situated in Northfield, not far from Atlantic City, Birch Grove Park is a community park with a lake, playgrounds, walking paths, and picnic areas. It’s a great place for a family outing and offers a more urban, but still nature-focused, experience.
- Great Egg Harbor River and River Barge Park: The Great Egg Harbor River flows through the Atlantic City area, providing opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. River Barge Park, located in Egg Harbor Township, offers a launching point for these activities and has picnic areas and nature trails.
- John F. Kennedy Park: Located in Somers Point, this park features a fishing pier, playgrounds, and picnic areas. It offers scenic views of the Great Egg Harbor Bay and is a pleasant spot for a leisurely afternoon.
- Absecon Lighthouse and Garden: While not a traditional nature park, Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City includes a lovely garden area. You can explore the historic lighthouse and then take a stroll through the gardens, enjoying the views of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Ocean City, New Jersey Beaches: Just south of Atlantic City, you’ll find beautiful beaches in Ocean City. While not a park in the traditional sense, these beaches offer natural beauty and outdoor relaxation. You can swim, sunbathe, or take a long walk along the shoreline.
These nature parks and outdoor spaces in the Atlantic City area offer a range of experiences, from birdwatching and hiking to fishing and family outings. They provide an opportunity to escape the bustling city and connect with the natural beauty of the New Jersey shore.