Corson’s Inlet State Park – Ocean City, NJ


Corson’s Inlet State Park – Ocean City, Cape May County, NJ
Distance –  Rail trail – 0.75 total out-and-back.  Yellow Trail – 0.25 miles one way.  Red Trail – 0.4 miles one way.  We did 2.4 miles total covering all three of these and a beach walk back from the Red to Yellow Trail.  Can also extend this beach walk around the tip of the island.
Type – Series of out-and-back trails that can be looped off with beach walks if you choose.
Difficulty:  2 of 10
Total score: 7 of 10

Website – Corsons Inlet State Park
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.

Terrain – beach and dunes
Surface – gravel (rail trail) or sand (Yellow or Red Trails)


Trailheads –39°13’1.92″ N,  74°38’45.74″ W (Rail trail from parking lot)
39°12’59.56″N,  74°38’46.87″W (Yellow Trail from parking lot)
39°13’7.57″N,  74°38’20.26″W (Red Trail from end of Central Ave just past intersection with 59th Street)

Directions – County Highway 619 (aka, Bay Ave), Ocean City, NJ 08214.  Trail leaves from parking lot paralleling the road, parking lot is at the base of the bridge on County Highway 619..

Can also be accessed from Central Ave past intersection with 59th Street.

Parking – Decent size lot, can fill in summer, but this is a really nice place to ride a bike to, which we’ve done a few times.

Dog friendly? Couldn’t find a definitive answer on this.  I would think not because of nesting birds.
Stroller friendly? Rail trail – yes.  Dune trails – no.
Benches? None
Facilities?: None

Markings – None on rail trail (but you’re on an elevated bed, you can’t get lost).  Posts on Yellow and Red Trails with colored blazes.
Map – The map can be found here.


Warnings – poison ivy can be a problem in the summer on the Yellow or Red Trails, as can biting flies and/or mosquitoes (it is the shore).

Description –

This is one of the parks I’ve visited quite a few times, but when I headed back to officially document it (document it meaning take terrible pictures and start thinking up puns to use to describe it) a few years ago, two of the trails were closed down.

But then Presidents Day Weekend, my buddy Pat and I wanted a little more hiking after our big group hike down at Cape May Point State Park, so we headed down to the end of the island to walk the rail trail here again.  But since the Yellow Trail was open, we figured, why not?

Anyway, the rail trail first.

Rail Trail

Nothing is official until it has a heading.  Anyway, this trail is worth separating from the other two, because its an isolated out-and-back of 3/4 of a mile total.  Because its an old railroad right-of-way, its elevated and partially graveled, and if you try to find a different way off of it you’ll be swimming or buried in mud.



Versus July.
You’ll have water on either side, which makes this a nice spot to keep an eye out for birds.


Marshes toward the road.


Make new friends.
Any idea what type of bird this is?  Seriously, I will get better with birds.  I even downloaded an app for it.
The end of the line.  It won’t be hard to tell when this trail comes to an end.  Time to turn around.


I’m switching between two different years for the rail trail pictures, but THE PRES WAS SO LITTLE!  Sorry, he turns 5 this week, it’s hard!

Yellow and Red Trails

The Yellow Trail starts in the same parking lot as the Rail Trail, but this time heads through  the dunes.  It’s not long, only 1/4 mile one way, but has some interesting views.  As you near the end, you’ll have a choice to head straight onto the beach, or to turn left onto the Red Trail.

Trailhead.  We missed taking a picture of a pair of horses heading down this one.
View of the bridge to Strathmere.
As you can see, the state did a nice job with the trail markers making it very clear where you should head.  Well done New Jersey.


Good posing Pat.
Its a good thing this trail wasn’t longer, or I’d have taken an absurd number of pictures.


Intersection with the Red Trail.  We’ll be back here in a minute, but first… to the beach!


So yes, Yellow Trail was nice.  But we weren’t dune yet!  (haha, dune yet).  Back to the Red Trail.

The Red Trail runs for 0.4 of a mile, paralleling the ocean, but through the dunes.  I loved the little glimpses of sky and ocean that we got throughout the trail, which were really nice with the sun nearly down.

Hey, this looks familiar.
This trail was obviously less used than the Yellow Trail, but was still very nice.
Although I have been warned that poison ivy is bad in the summer.


Lovely February sky.


End of the trail at Central Ave.

From here, you can backtrack on the Red Trail, or you can what we did and loop back walking along the beach.


Last bit of sun glinting off one of the Casinos in Atlantic City.
Perfect time of day to be out.

Then its back down the Yellow Trail to the parking lot. It its low tide, you can also opt to walk around the point on the beach.  I’ve never done it, but I’m sure its lovely.

Finally, you can walk under the bridge to take a look at the bay on the other side.  There are no trails over there, but its a nice view.

Under the bridge.
Along the inlet.


Dusk panorama.

Future plans – There has been talk forever of building a loop with the yellow trail/59th Street/a beach walk with a short connector boardwalk, but we’ll see if the projects ever happens.  If it does, it would be really nice.

Nearby: Crooked Horn Creek Nature Trail is also in Ocean City.  Cameron Wildlife Sanctuary (aka, Cape May County Park North) is about a 20 minute ride away on the mainland.

Also, you know, the top ranked boardwalk in the universe.  Make sure to play some 10 cent skeeball for us.

4 thoughts on “Corson’s Inlet State Park – Ocean City, NJ

    1. Thanks! I’m actually a little terrified at how many people read the reviews. I figured about three friends would ever read this thing, and its definitely more like eight people.

  1. I’ve been coming to Corson’s inlet for about 15 years, and have had some truly memorable childhood / adolescent experiences here. I don’t know if it’s still the case, but it can be easy to go off of the official path. (I think there was damage to the fence, at the time). The park itself is much bigger than the trail makes it seem, although I don’t think it’s allowed to go off of the trails (and it’s disrespectful in some parts, lots of fragile nature).

    By the way, if you want to increase your viewship I came from Reddit. I was linked (I think by you) on the njhiking subreddit, which was linked from the newjersey subreddit. There are plenty of people on the newjersey subreddit that want information about hiking but don’t know about njhiking, and it’d benefit everyone to make more people aware that there’s a subreddit for that.

    Keep up the good articles man. I love going through and reading your thoughts on the different places you’ve hiked. I’m especially happy you liked the Bluffs in Millville. Next time you stop by Millville, Menantico Ponds is a wonderful hiking spot (my personal favorite in South Jersey). There’s only a little bit in the way of actual trails, but it’s a giant sandy forest with plenty to explore.

    1. Awesome, thanks you! Menantico Ponds has been on the list a while, I need to make it happen this summer. 🙂

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