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Cape May Point State Park

photo of: cape may point state park
Photo by Sister Miriam R. Allorto

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Cape May Point
State Park

Location:
Cape May County

Mailing Address:

P O Box 107
Cape May Point, NJ 08212
(609) 884-2159

GPS Coordinates
DMS 38° 55’ 59.35” N 74° 57' 39.33" W

Size: 244 acres

Fees: No entrance fee.
Link to the Related Fees page

Directions:
The park is located off the southern end of the Garden State Parkway. Cross over Cape May Bridge onto Lafayette Street, Cape May. At the intersection, bear right onto County Route 606, then left onto Lighthouse Avenue. From Route 9, take County Route 626, Seashore Road and cross the bridge. Follow directions as above.

Facilities & Activities:

Trails:

 

 

Although Cape May Lighthouse is a major attraction for many visitors to the area, the park’s constantly changing shoreline, dunes, freshwater coastal marsh and ponds, forested islands and varied uplands make it a well-known location for viewing the fall bird migration. Located on the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May Point State Park is a key site on the NJ Coastal Heritage Trail, with an environmental center that houses a classroom for interpretive programs and a museum on the area's natural and historic features.

Keep Your Park Clean

Through the Carry-In/Carry-Out Program you can help us keep your parks clean and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Bags are provided throughout the site. Thank you for your cooperation and remember to recycle.

Park Hours

Open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Office Hours: Sun-Sat 8AM-4PM
Museum Hours:
Open Wednesday through Monday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cape May Point State Park is a day-use park, open from dawn to dusk. The park has a beach wheel chair available to the public.

Cape May Point Natural Area (153 acres)

Several blazed trails lead visitors to various pond, coastal dune, marsh and forest habitats of the park where wildlife can be viewed from observation platforms. This natural area is significant along the East Coast for its resident and migratory birds and includes habitat suitable for northern and southern species of fauna and flora.


Cape May Lighthouse

The 157-foot-high lighthouse is still an aid to navigation. Visitors who climb the 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse are rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view of the scenic Cape May peninsula. The first known lighthouse at Cape May was built in 1823. By 1847 a new lighthouse was erected on a high bluff, however, due to the encroaching sea and poor building design it was eventually dismantled. Built in 1859, the current lighthouse used the original bricks of the 1847 lighthouse. For information on tours and hours of operation call: The Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities at (609) 884-5404. Admission to the lighthouse is $7 for adults, $3 for children ages 3 to 12 and children under 3 free.


Trails


The Red Trail is .5 miles, and is wheel chair accessible. This trail offers hikers access to both the lighthouse pond west and east. Each pond has a blind or platform at the water's edge to view wading birds, ducks, swans, as well as the occasional osprey, which come to rely on these freshwater ponds for food and habitat for breeding.

The Yellow Trail is 1.5 miles long. This trail offers hikers the opportunity to see different habitats, including wetland marsh, coastal dune and the beach.

The Blue Trail is 2.0 miles long. Just as the yellow trail, this trail offers hikers a myriad of habitats in which to view flora and fauna found here at the park. The blue trail offers a longer hike along the beach and coastal dune. Both the yellow and blue trails allow hikers the opportunity to view shore birds, as well as view other wildlife along the shore.

Pets

Pets are not permitted on the beach from April 15th through September 15th to help protect endangered bird species during nesting season. Pets are also not permitted on the trails year-round. During the summer months, pets are only permitted in the grassy areas located in front of the lighthouse and in front of the museum and office. They must be on a leash (maximum length - 6 feet) and you must clean up after your pet.

Fishing

Weakfish, bluefish, flounder, tautog, and striped bass reward surf fishing enthusiasts.

Interpretive Programs

The Park staff offer a variety of historical and natural interpretive programs throughout the year. Contact the park office for a schedule of programs and to register. Program fees may apply.

Picnicking

Cape May offers picnic areas, picnic tables and shelters. For larger groups, we also offer the Group Picnic Area. It holds a capacity of 60 people, provides shelter and playfields. It may be reserved for a fee:

New Jersey Resident $80 per day

Non-Resident $90 per day

All year round
50 percent of Fee
Group Picnic Cancellation Fee

• Groups of 20 or more people shall reserve picnic facilities at least five days in advance. Such group use is not permitted on Holidays except as authorized by the Superintendent. Reservations for picnic areas are handled by the individual park area offices.

Reservations can be made over the telephone using a credit card, or by mail using the Group Picnic Reservation form* downloadable here. Payment in full of the appropriate group picnicking fee must accompany this application.

*To view this form, please download the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat

Birding

The tip of Cape May is one of the most popular sites in North America for viewing the fall bird migration. Many species of birds can be seen in the natural areas throughout the year.

Migrations

Cape May Point is known as a major migratory route. Many sea/shore birds and songbirds migrate through this area in the spring. At the end of the summer, Dragonflies and Monarch Butterflies migrate through the area stopping briefly to gain their strength before continuing their journey across the Delaware Bay. Cape May also hosts the annual migration of the Horseshoe Crab along the Delaware Bay, where they come ashore to lay their eggs. These protein rich eggs are an important food source for Ruddy Turnstones, and Red Knots. Cape May is viewed by many as the premier Hawk migration route of North America. In the fall hundreds of hawks are counted as they pass the narrow corridor of land along the Cape May peninsula heading south. This offers birdwatchers of all ages the opportunity to see these beautiful birds in flight as they soar across the fields and meadows, on their southward trek across the Delaware Bay.

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World War II Bunker

Built as part of the Harbor Defense Project of 1942. The park was once a Military base, of which the Bunker was a part. At low tide you can still see the gun turrets at the front of the bunker. The Bunker was once 900 feet inland, surrounded by earth and covered by sod, it once looked as if it were a hill from the sea or air. The bunker historically represents a moment in history, and stands as a monument to all those, who in times of war, have come to find ways to protect this country from enemy attack.

Hawk Banding Demonstrations

The Raptor Banding Project conducts Hawk-banding demonstrations at the park on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 am from mid-September through October. Various species of hawks can be viewed at close range before they are released to continue their annual southward migration.

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Related Links

Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC)
Cape May Bird Observatory
Cape May County Zoo
Cape May - Lewesferry

 

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Questions regarding our parks and forests can be directed to
Michele Buckley of the State Park Service.

 

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: May 28, 2014

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