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Cape May County Park Central & Zoo – Cape May Courthouse, Cape May County, NJ
Distance – No distances on maps.  We did 2 miles in the zoo and another mile outside (while missing most of the trail system)
Type – Loops
Difficulty:  1 of 10
Cost – Fee for the zoo is a donation, help them out!

Website – Cape May County Park Central and Cape May County Zoo
Open – 7 AM to Sunset.

Terrain – Woods, fields, swamps
Surface – Paved and boardwalks

Trailheads – 39° 6’9.80″N, 74°48’46.59″W

Directions –707 Route 9 North, Cape May Court HouseNJ 08210

Parking – lots of parking lots all over the place, the zoo is very popular

Dog friendly? No dogs allowed.
Stroller friendly? Very stroller friendly
Benches? Benches through the zoo and park
Facilities?: Bathrooms available.  Also, a gift shop.  Food available in the zoo in season.

Markings – None that I saw on the part of the trail system we were on.
Map(s) – Make sure to the most updated ones for the Zoo when you go in the entrance.

Park map (posted outside)

Also park map, but different (also posted outside, but in a different spot)

Zoo map as of February 2019.

Description –

Another day of Winter Beach Weekend, another hike (our previous one being South Cape May Meadows Preserve the previous day)!

This time we decided to check out Cape May County Park Central, most of which (but not all of which) is made up the Cape May County Park Zoo.  We spent most our time in the zoo (2 miles worth), but also did a mile on the trails outside to get a feel for them.

We parked, fought a bear (you NEED to take bear safety serious folks), and went in the front entrance of the Zoo area.

On our way in.

 

Only a zoo could make my kids pass up on a playground.

 

Two on one isn’t a fair fight. On the other hand, bear on human isn’t a fair fight.

 

We’ve never been here, but when you can stick your head through a board and get a picture, you do it.

 

Some former residents.

Once in, we walked past some birds on the loose and made right for the most amazing animal in creation…

OUT OF THE WAY BIRDS!

A COW!

I GOT TO FEED A COW AND IT WAS AMAZING!!!

Having checked “feed a cow” off of my life list, we walked around and saw lots of things that weren’t cows.  End of post.

Oh alright, alright.  We saw a goat, then headed into the bird exhibit.

A goat.

 

The G.O.A.T (left side of picture).

 

Birds.

Like bird exhibits everywhere, it was uncomfortably warm and humid and you spent the whole time dreading that a bird would drop an unwanted present on your head.  But still, some pretty awesome birds.

This classy gal would NEVER drop a surprise on your head.

Having excited, we passed the peacock, took a chance to stick our heads through a board, and began to climb the boardwalk toward the camels.

Definitely my kids.

Skunk was VERY upset that he couldn’t smoke while looking at Camels, because what says smoking more than a camel? Also, where do they put their sunglasses? Also, this reference officially makes me old.

It was up past the alpacas and llamas, the white tailed deer, and onto the bison.

After passing the lion and the cheetah, we took a right turn and headed for the Pathway to Diversity.


Now I’m not the biggest fan of zoos to begin with, but this stretch between sections through a swampy section was really pretty nice, and I would have gone to the zoo just to walk this boardwalk where there weren’t actually any exhibits.

Okay, I’d also come to the zoo just to feed this cow. Because I did feed this cow.

The back end of the zoo is more wide open, and features animals like leopards, zebras, and giraffes.

And also cows.

 

They also have some owls and a new bald eagle named, appropriately enough, COW!  No, that’s not it.  The eagle is named FOLES.

Fun fact – the bald eagle’s head doesn’t take on that famous white color until a few years into its life.

Having spotted a bald eagle for the day, it was time to focus on what happens whenever you are at the farthest corner of a large place with a contingent of small children…

No, not revisiting the cow.

Anyway, after hustling all the way to the other side of the zoo to take care of things, we wandered back to take in the ducks and geese.

At this point, the kids ended up a little ahead, while Skunk, Abby, and I were treated to the spectacle of a dead bird in the water.  At first, we thought it was some kids that had been messing around and hurt a bird.  Then someone pointed out something a little more dangerous that some kids…

Definitely not.

 

That’s it.

This was definitely NOT part of the zoo exhibit.

Food to go.

After catching up to the group, we went in to check out our cold blooded friends.


That was it for the zoo.  Kite Flyer hung out with the ladies, while Skunk and I took The Pres and Tree Rider to look for a pair of geocaches in the park (our newfound hobby of nearly 24 hours at this point).  We found one, but we also managed to walk the part of the trail system that can be described as “next to the road”.  So I’m not posting pictures, because there look to be some nice trails here and not the park through parking lots that we chose.

Anyway, we’ll be back to try out the rest of these trails.  Also, to feed the cow again.

Nearby: Lizard Tail Swamp Preserve is nearby, as is the Songbird Trail.

The Good

Lots of animals, hours of entertainment. Also, a cow.

The Could Be Better

My kids now want to see a camel and a bison on every one of our hikes.

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Bottom Line

Cheap family fun, plus you can sneak some hiking in too. What's not to love?

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