Explore Salem County, NJ
There are lots of fun and interesting things to do near Jellystone Park in Elmer, New Jersey. Known to locals as "South Jersey," rural Salem County is rich in ecological treasures. Numerous parks and trails, canoeing and kayaking launch sites along the Delaware River make it a hot spot for birders and other outdoor enthusiasts. South Jersey's family-run farms, many of which have been handed down for generations, give the state its nickname "The Garden State."
When the crops come in, it is almost a celebration of abundance with roadside farm stands and markets dotting the countryside.
Area highlights include: The Madhorse Creek Wildlife Management Area, a 5,826-acre area of tidal marsh and upland habitat in Lower Alloways Creek Township that is rich in saltwater fish, waterfowl, pheasant and rabbit. Mannington Meadows, an area along Route 45 between Salem and Woodstown, that is prime viewing area for local and migratory birds and wildlife. Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, a 2,000-plus-acre area of protected meadowland in Pennsville. During the month of May when more than 400 varieties of azaleas are bursting with color, the privately developed Jay Pratt Azalea Gardens welcomes the public to enjoy the blooms.
During crop season, some farmers invite you to get in on the act with pick-it-yourself orchards and fields. And come autumn, many turn their farms into agricultural playgrounds with hayrides, corn mazes and other activities. In the heart of South Jersey, Springdale Farms in Cherry Hill sells u-pick strawberries, pumpkins and other vegetables, along with New Jersey's own signature wines produced from three Garden State vintners. If blueberries are your favorite fruit, you've come to the right place. First cultivated in New Jersey, the blueberry is the official state fruit and they are plentiful. In fact, there are more than a dozen farms where blueberries not only abound, but where you can pick your own. One of the most rural areas of South Jersey, J & F Battiato Farms in Salem, features u-pick strawberries ripe with flavor.
A great way to explore the area is to hop in the car and check out the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route, established in 1988 'to provide for public appreciation, education, understanding and enjoyment of significant natural and cultural sites associated with the coastal area of the State of New Jersey. The 300 mile Coastal Heritage Trail is divided into five regions linked by the common heritage of life on the Jersey Shore and Raritan and Delaware bays. Five themes define different aspects of coastal life: Maritime History, Coastal Habitats, Wildlife Migration, Historic Settlements and Relaxation & Inspiration. The Maritime History, Coastal Habitats and Wildlife Migration theme Trails are open to the public. The Historic Settlements and Relaxation & Inspiration themes are still under development. To get the most of your drive, start at the Welcome Center at Fort Mott where you can pick up informational materials or get the scoop on Heritage Trail highlights from a ranger.
Whether you are an avid angler, a passionate paddler or a merry motor boater, you can do it at one of South Jersey's numerous streams and waterways that offer everything from mirror-like calm to wild and wooly white water.
The rivers and streams running through the Pine Barrens are favorites of canoeists and kayakers. With the scent of pine and cedar wafting through the air, the waters of the Mullica, Batsto and Oswego vary from calm to lively giving paddlers the right challenge for various skill levels.
Don't have your own canoe? There are several outfitters throughout the Pine Barrens that can set you up with the right equipment.
The gentle waters of Parvin State Park in Pittsgrove are another favorite destination for canoeing where you can paddle along Muddy Run through a number of natural areas. Launch your own canoe from the public launching ramp or rent one at the Park's outfitters.
You can even try to catch your own dinner. Bass, yellow perch and pickerel are plentiful at Parvin. If you know your way around a reel and a creel, the Glassboro and Winslow Fish and Wildlife Management Areas are popular destinations for a quiet day of fishing. Children ages 15 and under never need a fishing license in South Jersey, but for two days each June, even parents can get in on the fun without the usual fees and licenses.
Motor boaters have discovered they can have fun on the land and the water at Wiggins Park Marina, at the Camden Waterfront. You can spend a day boating along the Delaware River, enjoying the Philadelphia and Camden skylines or come dockside and check out the new Adventure Aquarium, the Battleship New Jersey and other popular family attractions along the Camden Waterfront.
When you arrive at Palmyra Cove Nature Park, you'd never know you are just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia. Hidden amid the woodlands, the 350-acre Park is an important stop-over for migratory birds. The environmental education center has hands-on activities for children and adults that explain what visitors will discover as they wind through the trails, wetlands and tidal marshes. Bring your camera; the vistas from the roof-top viewing area are spectacular!