Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area (Tuckahoe side)– Tuckahoe, Cape May County, NJ
Distance – a zillion miles total on dirt roads. We did a little more than 1 1/2 miles
Type – Out-and-back
Difficulty: 1 of 10
Website – Division of Fish and Wildlife
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – Forest and marsh
Surface – packed dirt
Trailheads – Parking areas throughout the preserve. For this hike, I parked at N 39° 16.430 W 074° 43.365
Directions – 2201 Rt. 631 (aka, Tuckahoe Road) Tuckahoe, NJ 08250
Parking – Located throughout the preserve
Dog friendly? No
Stroller friendly? No
Markings – None
Map – None
HUNTING WARNING – This is a Wildlife Management Area! Before you go, please make sure to check current hunting seasons. The area of this hike is used for waterfowl hunting and has specific days when it’s closed to hunting (I went on one of these days). Other areas of the WMA are heavily used by deer and other hunters, especially from October through December, but may be used at other times as well. I strongly encourage folks to find other areas to explore during hunting season, and don’t come to this particular spot on duck hunting days. If you do hike in hunting areas during hunting season, make sure to wear plenty of blaze orange.
Second warning – There is a boat ramp in the WMA, but you must have a current hunting or fishing permit to use it.
So as a Catholic teacher for eight years, I was always very jealous on Teacher Convention week. While I was at school, a mysterious mass gathering of teachers took place in Atlantic City that seemed to involve, from what I could gather, a lot of lunches and free pencils. So when I landed one of those public school jobs, I was pretty excited to go to Teachers Convention. It didn’t turn out quite how I wanted my first year, as I had a very unexpected and sad funeral come up on what was Day 1.
And then the second year, it was all online (ugh, COVID *shakes fist*).
But this year! This year… it was not attended that well and I had to wear a mask for 103 straight hours (at least I had some good classes – who knew there is a display at the Yogi Berra Museum on the Negro Leagues?). So after the first day, I needed a break. I headed back to where I was staying in Ocean City, but decided that it was such a nice day that my car hung a right at Mamora and went into the pine barrens. I drove past a sign for Tuckahoe Wildlife Management, thought “Hey, I’ve never been there”, figured hunting would be pretty light on a Thursday afternoon, and decided I’d at least drive around a little and see what there was to see. Well, I ended up at a blocked off area with a small parking lot. I got out to read the warning sign which said…. no hunting on Thursdays in the duck hunting area! Hooray!
So it was out of the car, into my orange, and down the road on foot to explore the marshes near the Tuckahoe River.
For the hike, I walked down the road through the marsh. When it curved, I followed it around the bend. When it crossed a small dam, I walked a little further, then retraced my steps. This was a little more than a mile and a half of walking.
While the description isn’t much, I really enjoyed the marshes and the birds.
Pictures don’t show it, but the Fall colors were pretty great too.
Overall, I stumbled into a drive that stumbled into a hike. I then ended up driving around in Belleplain with a few short walks until it started to get dark. Then a beautiful sunset as I came back into Ocean City and some pizza before day 2 of Teacher Convention.
Belleplain State Forest with its zillion miles of trails.
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When I first got my license, I used to drive aimlessly around the pine barrens getting lost and finding my way home again. Coming here felt like those days again, which is probably massively going to skew these scores.
Still, it was very pretty in the marsh and very quiet.
The minefield that is hunting season schedules. Summer, the bugs might carry you away into the salt marshes.
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