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.
Standouts – Dunes, rail trail, birds, beautiful beach, sunsets, sunrises.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
From here, you can backtrack on the Red Trail, or you can what we did and loop back walking along the beach.
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.
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.
Overall recommendation: I do really like these trails, and it was extra great to be here at sunset.
Also, you know, the top ranked boardwalk in the universe. Make sure to play some 10 cent skeeball for us.