Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse

cape may state park

Cape May Lighthouse (Cape May. NJ)

One of my goals for the Spring and Summer is to go on more walks and hikes through NJ.  Like going to different diners, it’s fun to see different parts of the state.  Recently, after running the Cape May 10k, I went to the Cape May State Park.  I wanted to spend the day outdoors, but I wasn’t in the mood to ‘just lay” on the beach.  Plus, it was slightly too windy and too cold to do so. The Cape May Lighthouse popped up so I decided that was a good idea. The Cape May Lighthouse is located in Cape May Point State Park.

The Cape May Lighthouse is a major attraction in the area.  Since it’s along the shore, the Cape May State Park has a constantly changing shoreline, several freshwater coastal marsh, and ponds.  The Cape May Lighthouse was built in 1859 and was used in World War II. Plus, the Cape May Lighthouse is still an aid to navigation, harbor defense and the coast guard. Visitors who climb the 199 steps to the top of the Lighthouse are rewarded with a beautiful view from the top of Cape May County, the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, and Jersey Cape.

What I didn’t know, was the Cape May Lighthouse is also a well-known location for viewing birds.  Many people travel to Cape May Lighthouse to view birds, which was neat and not something I’ve ever done.  For those who don’t know, I’m terrified of both turkeys and geese, but other birds interest me.  Of any animal, I find them to have the “most personality.”

cape may state park

At the Cape May Lighthouse, there are a few trails.  All are easy, along the coast, and we saw people of all ages walking.  We stopped a lot to look at birds but there is no elevation change and many are even on the boardwalk.  If you are looking for a rigorous hike, there isn’t for you but if you’re looking something relaxing and scenic, you’ll enjoy the Cape May Lighthouse.

cape may state park

Trails at the Cape May Lighthouse:

Red Trail at Cape May Lighthouse:

  • about half a mile long and wheelchair access accessible
  • offers hikers access to both the lighthouse ponds
  • Each of the two ponds has a platform to view the birds, swans, and even osprey

Yellow Trail at Cape May Lighthouse:

  • 1.5 miles long.
  • My favorite of three due to the different habitats including the shore, wetland marsh, and beach

cape may state park

Blue Trail at Cape May Lighthouse:

  • About 2 miles long
  • Most floral and fauna
  • Like the yellow trail offers there are many different habitats along the shore.

If you are looking to view birds and nature, both the yellow and blue trails are your best bet at the Cape May Lighthouse. The red trail gives a quick glimpse of the park and access to the Cape May Lighthouse.

cape may state park

cape may state park

cape may state park

I guess after all of that, I should tell you we did make it to the Cape May lighthouse.

cape may lighthouse

I’m glad we took some time to visit another of NJ’s parks.  As I mentioned, this Spring and Summer my goal is to visit more parks and the Cape May Lighthouse was a wonderful stop.

Other Spring hikes I’ve Done:
Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Hartshorne Park in the Highlands

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:
Have you ever been bird watching?
What are some of your plans this Spring and Summer? 

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