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Cape May County is filled with wonderful walking trails. If you are looking to enjoy some natural beauty during your next visit, pack your walking (or running!) shoes and check out some of our favorite places to explore on two feet.

Cape May Promenade

Overview: The Cape May promenade (also known as the boardwalk) runs along the ocean and parallel to Beach Avenue.  No matter where you start, the promenade offers a scenic and safe 3 mile round-trip route for walkers or runners to stretch your legs and breath in some fresh ocean air. And if you need to take a break on your journey, there are more than 360 benches along the way – perfect for relaxing for a bit, or people watching all day long! Depending on the time of year you might also see a variety of birds along the beach, dolphins swimming just off the shore, or even surfers riding the waves.

Curious Cape May Tip: The southern most end of the promenade features a public pavilion and glorious sunsets. And if you time your walk just right you can catch the nightly sunset ceremony that takes place between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Distance:1. 3 miles each way
Surface:Asphalt
Cost:Free
Location:You can access the promenade at multiple locations along Beach Avenue but if you want to start at one end or the other you can pick it up between Philadelphia and Madison Avenues, or you can begin at the end called "The Cove" just past the intersection with Broadway.
Restrictions:From May 1 – October 31: bikes and skates only allowed from 4 am to 10 am
From April 1 - October 31: no dogs permitted
No alcoholic beverages permitted at any time

 

Cape May State Park Walking Trails

Overview: Cape May Point State Park features dunes, a freshwater coastal marsh and ponds, forested uplands and beaches making it the perfect location for hiking. The park is located on the southern tip of New Jersey where the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay meet. Three different trails weave through the park’s varied habitats and wildlife can be viewed from observation platforms.

Curious Cape May Tip: The Cape May State Park sits next to the lighthouse so leave time to explore the lighthouse grounds and museum that is open daily during the spring and summer seasons. If you are feeling ambitious, you can also climb the 199 steps to the top – the amazing 360 degree view from the top is worth every step!

More Info: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/maps/Cape_May_brochure_text.pdf

Trail Map: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/maps/CapeMayPointTrailMapFinalDraft_reduced.pdf

Distance:Duck Pond Trail (0.5 miles), Monarch Trail (1.2 miles), and Plover Trail (1.5 miles)
Surface:Mostly boardwalk, with some dirt, sand, and shells
Hours:Dawn to dusk
Cost:Free
Location:305 Lighthouse Ave. Cape May Point, NJ 08212
Restrictions:Foot traffic only. No bikes, skateboards or pets allowed on trails. Keep off the dunes and stay out of roped-off beach nesting areas. Swimming is not permitted.

 

South Cape May Meadows Walking Trails

Overview: South Cape May Meadows is part of the Nature Conservancy and includes more than 200+ protected acres of critical habitat and freshwater wetland. This coastal birdwatching sanctuary is part of the Cape May peninsula, which acts as a funnel for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway. And the wetlands in this area provide a foraging and resting habitat for these feathered friends before they migrate across the Delaware Bay.

Curious Cape May Tip: Bring your binoculars! There is so much to see along these trails that you will want a close-up view. And they will come in handy if you decide to climb one of the observation platforms along the way for a better vantage point of the diverse bird species in this area.

More Info: https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/places-we-protect/south-cape-may-meadows/

Trail Map: https://www.nature.org/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/south-cape-may-meadows-trail-map.pdf

Distance:2 miles of trails
Surface:Mostly dirt, sand, and shells
Hours:Dawn to dusk
Cost:Free
Location:692 Sunset Blvd, Cape May, NJ 08204
Restrictions:Foot traffic only. No bikes, pets, or motor vehicles allowed on trails. Stay on marked trails. Swimming is not permitted.

 

Garrett Family Preserve at Cape Island Creek 

Overview: Located just two miles from downtown Cape May, this 180 acres of upland forest, farm fields and tidal marsh is part of the watershed and the Nature Conservancy. With its expansive native wildflower meadows, fields and tree lines, the preserve is a haven for migrating songbirds, raptors, and pollinators like bumblebees and monarch butterflies.

Curious Cape May Tip: Do you love to draw or paint? Then bring your art supplies along to the Garrett Family preserve because the onsite amenities include artists’ easels along the trails for you to use!

More Info: https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/places-we-protect/garrett-family-preserve-at-cape-island-creek/

Trail Map: https://www.nature.org/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/garrett-family-preserve-trail-map-new.pdf

Distance:4 miles of trails
Surface:Mowed paths
Hours:Dawn to dusk
Cost:Free
Location:801 Wilson St, Cape May, NJ 08204
Restrictions:Foot and bike traffic only. No motor vehicles allowed on trails.

 

Cape May County Zoo 

Overview: Whether you choose to drive or bike to the zoo, once you arrive you have plenty of walking trails to choose from. You can enjoy wandering around the zoo itself – with a collection of more than 550 animals representing 250 species across 85 acres, you will certainly get you daily steps in! Or you can check out one of the nature or fitness trails in the Cape May County State Park located next door.

Curious Cape May Tip: Pack a cooler and make it a day trip! Located just 20 minutes north of Cape May, the zoo and county park have plenty of picnic tables and pavilions. So pick up lunch on the way and plan to spend the day enjoying the animals and the nature trails. You can even go behind-the-scenes with some of zoo’s most popular inhabitants – click here to check out their animal encounters!

More Info: https://capemaycountynj.gov/1026/Fitness-Trails

Zoo Map: https://capemaycountynj.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4832/Zoo-map-for-print-2018

Trail Map: https://capemaycountynj.gov/ImageRepository/Document?documentID=4368

Distance:Various trails around 85 acres
Surface:Mostly paved paths
Hours:Park is open dawn to dusk; zoo is open 10 am to 4 pm daily.
Cost:Free
Location:707 U.S. 9, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Restrictions:No pets allowed in the park or the zoo.