14
The Good

Great views of the beach, views of Barnegat Lighthouse, old anchor point for a radio tower, and more trees than you could imagine.

The Could Be Better

Sadly, far too short.

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8.0
Bottom Line

One of my favorite trails in all of South Jersey. With the lighthouse and the jetti walk there, how can you NOT go?

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Maritime Trail – Barnegat Lighthouse State Park – Barnegat Light, NJ (Ocean County)
Type: Loop trail
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset (Parking lot closes early and they will lock your car in. You can park just outside the entrance).
Distance: 0.2 miles. Not a typo, 0.2 miles.
But lots more to do in the park, like a mile out and back walk on the jetti (just under two miles total) and climbing the lighthouse
Difficulty: 1 of 10.
Total score: 8 of 10.
Updated: January 16, 2017




Terrain – Dunes and history.
Trailhead – Across from information center – 39°45’49.37″N, 74° 6’21.92″W

Start and end of trail.

Start and end of trail.

Dog friendly? No pets allowed
Stroller friendly? No – stairs and sand would make it really hard for any stroller
Benches? Not along trail, but are several at the trailhead.
Facilities?: Yes, full bathrooms at the Visitors Center.

Markings – None, but fenced in, so you can’t get off the trail without really trying hard.

Description: This is probably the shortest trail I’ll ever post (2017 update – I’ve done one shorter in all this time since), liberally marked as 0.2 miles (it’s actually even shorter than that). Nevertheless, this trail is awesome. Being from New Jersey, I’ve seen and enjoyed pretty much every beach from Cape May to Sandy Hook. What makes this tiny area of state park different is that it’s the dunes preserved as they would have looked hundreds of years ago before the building boom. Scraggly trees create a dark, cool forest canopy on even the hottest summer days. You almost forget that you are in the dunes!

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Wait? This is the beach?

You also get views of the beach and Barnegat Inslet, glimpses of Barnegat Lighthouse towering over the trees and plants, and an anchor of a no-longer-exhistant radio tower. The hike takes fifteen minutes if you are really, really slow.

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Part of the anchor system for an old ship-to-shore radio tower.

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2017 – the Pres has grown!

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The Pres was so little!


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From our comments section –
As the person who initiated and designed the trail (over lots of objections) It is nice to know that you enjoyed your walk and let other visitors know about it. It was a fun project to do. Amazing warblers in May and October. By the way, the foundation was the anchor for one of the cables that supported the towers for the cable tram system used to carry jetty stones across the inlet during the jetty construction, The was a wayside exhibit with an old photo.” ~ Bill Vibbert.

Thank you for making one of our favorite trails happen Bill!




Nearby – Don’t leave yet though! $3 will let you climb Barnegat Lighthouse, one of the tallest on the east coast. Take a walk down the concrete walkway and, if you are the adventurous sort, climb through the rails and walk/hop the jetti all the way out to the very end where the foghorn is. It’s a good mile walk/hop from the tower to the end of the jetti, leave plenty of time for hopping, admiring seagulls, looking for shells, admire the lighthouse, etc.

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14 Comments
  • William Vibbert
    September 16, 2013 at 10:56 am

    As the person who initiated and designed the trail (over lots of objections) It is nice to know that you enjoyed your walk and let other visitors know about it. It was a fun project to do. Amazing warblers in May and October. By the way, the foundation was the anchor for one of the cables that supported the towers for the cable tram system used to carry jetty stones across the inlet during the jetty construction, The was a wayside exhibit with an old photo.
    Bill Vibbert

  • July 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    cool to know what those foundations were for now. The mast in the sand is right down the road. has a plaque now and everything

  • Bob Ojamaa
    August 21, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    I read a few of your trail reviews and found your pictures and comments helpful and interesting. I live in Toms River which is in Ocean County and am always looking for new trails to explore. I am wondering if you are keeping this Blog active or not? I only saw the one trail reviewed for Ocean County and I am wondering if you know about a few more that I enjoy Jake’s Branch in Bayville NJ has a nice long trail (about 4 miles) and a few shorter ones. Cattus Island in Toms River has a few nice walking trails. Winding River Park in Toms River has a main trail that is paved with some dirt and sand trails as well. Ocean County Park in Lakewood has a nice perimeter trail. Wells Mills Park which I believe is in Waretown has a lot of trails. The Barnegat Rail Trail which currently is broken up into a few segments is a nice walk (Especially if you start in Barnegat and walk North. There are many more that I found nice to hike and most are listed on this web page: http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/OCParks/ParkList.aspx . Not every park listed has hiking trails but a lot do. Thanks again for your reviews and I hope this was helpful

    • August 22, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for the trail suggestions! I’ve heard really good things about Wells Mills and Cattus Island from multiple people, I really need to get out there and hike them!

      My blog is heavily biased towards Camden and Burlington Counties, because those hikes I can get to after work or in a spare hour or two (especially helpful with my two little ones). I got a lot of hiking in Gloucester County done this summer, and I’m hoping to get a good crack at Ocean and Cape May Counties this winter, as I now have a free place to stay down there in the off-season. Cattus and Wells Mills (and Forsythe NWR) are definitely at the top of my list…

    • deb
      September 3, 2015 at 12:45 am

      Jakes branch in Bayville? I live in Beachwood. i think it is in Beachwood? Its actually close to my house and gets little use ..well the area i am talking about is in between Beachwood and South Toms River.There used to be a bridge and the sides are still there. i was trying to get some history on it because it was no skimpy bridge and I wondered who or why it had been built? I ended up here but no answers to my quiry.

      • September 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

        Hi Deb. I haven’t made it out there yet and don’t know any of the history, sorry I don’t have answers for you! Have you tried calling the local historical society?

      • Bob Ojamaa
        September 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm

        You are correct the park is in Beachwood. and not Bayville. I forgot where the border was and I knew that Double Trouble State park which is not far up the road is in Bayville as was the old junk yard on Double Trouble road.
        I am not sure where the bridge is you are talking about. The park itself is a County Park which was originally intended to be another golf course but instead has a variety of sports fields, hiking trails and a pretty awesome observation tower that you can everything for miles in all directions. Here is a link to the park site but I am pretty sure it wont give you any answers about a bridge or what the area was before

        http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/OCParks/ContentPage.aspx?ID=0694b294-986f-46e6-a679-d03ac775c176

      • Bob Ojamaa
        September 4, 2015 at 9:01 pm

        I found a site that gives historical photos from the air dating back to I think 1931 which is before the Parkway was built. There seems to be a few houses and roads where the park now sits. Maybe you can locate the bridge you are talking about? http://www.historicaerials.com/

  • Bob Ojamaa
    September 8, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Not a problem. I am glad to help out if I can. If sites like yours were not online there would be nowhere that people like us could let each other know about some great hiking locations and maybe some not so great places. There is supposedly a 5 mile trail around the Manasquan reservoir in Monmouth County that I want to possibly check out this week if time permits. Here is a link: http://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/Page.aspx?ID=2531

  • January 16, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Reblogged this on South Jersey Trails and commented:

    Updated the Maritime Trail with a few new pictures from our visit this weekend and a few more trail details. For those who have never been, this trail is really short (less than 1/4 mile), but offers a glimpse back into a time when the barrier islands of the Jersey shore were wood covered dunes, as well as great views of Barnegat Lighthouse. Don’t let the short length turn you off, this is one of our absolute favorite trails in South Jersey.

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