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Archive for new jersey

The Dismal Swamp

By Linda Tancs

Legend has it that New Jersey’s Dismal Swamp got its name from nearby Dismal Brook. That may be true, but don’t let the dreary name deceive you. It’s actually a wildlife preserve spanning parts of suburban Edison, Metuchen and South Plainfield, one of the last remaining wetlands in a highly urbanized environment. Designated a “priority wetland” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it also features upland deciduous forests with mature trees and more than 165 bird species like green herons, yellow-billed cuckoos, eastern phoebes and songbirds. That’s far from dismal, which is why the name of the preserve was recently changed to the Peter J. Barnes III Wildlife Preserve. It’s been renamed to honor an elected official who helped form the Dismal Swamp Preservation Commission to save the wetlands.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Zoo Down the Jersey Shore

By Linda Tancs

Visitors to Cape May County, New Jersey, flock to its famous shores. But there’s a different sort of flock worth seeing, like bison and bongo, oryx and ibis. These are just a few of the animals at Cape May County Park & Zoo at Cape May Court House, New Jersey. The grounds boast 85 acres hosting about 550 animals representing more than 250 species. Open year round except Christmas Day, entry is free. For some special, behind-the-scenes access, you can opt to pay for a camel, giraffe or reptile encounter or a private, guided tour of the facility.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

New Jersey’s Tallest Waterfall

By Linda Tancs

It might not be the best known, but New Jersey’s Buttermilk Falls is the tallest waterfall in the state at around 90 feet. Located in Walpack Township, it benefits from being close to a viewpoint parking lot, so you needn’t even leave your car to get a good view. Part of the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area, it includes the the Buttermilk Falls Trail, which begins with a climb to the top of the falls and an eventual connection to the Appalachian Trail.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

New Jersey’s Coastal Heritage

By Linda Tancs

A key attraction along New Jersey’s Coastal Heritage Trail, Cape May Point State Park is a respite from the bustling beach scene in Cape May. Home to Cape May Lighthouse, it’s also a well-known birding destination, especially in the fall during the premier hawk migration season.  Several blazed trails lead visitors to various pond, coastal dune, marsh and forest habitats of the park where wildlife can be viewed from observation platforms. If you’re able, climb the 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of the scenic Cape May peninsula. The park staff offer a variety of historical and natural interpretive programs throughout the year.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Church of the Presidents

By Linda Tancs

Once a summer retreat for the nation’s elite, Long Branch, New Jersey, also boasts a chapel visited by no less than seven U.S. presidents. Known as the Church of the Presidents, the 1879 structure marries Greek revival and Gothic architecture. Now a deconsecrated house of worship, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places and located a block from the beach.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

New Jersey’s High Point

By Linda Tancs

New Jersey’s highest point is 1,803 feet above sea level. You can capture the panoramic view from that vantage point at High Point Monument in High Point State Park. What awaits you at the tower are farmland and forest, soft hills and lush valleys in three states, punctuated by the Delaware River. The park is no less spectacular. After all, the landscaping was conceived by the sons of Frederick Olmsted, who designed New York City’s Central Park. The park is located 7 miles north of the town of Sussex.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Sunrise Mountain

By Linda Tancs

The crest of Sunrise Mountain lies along the Appalachian Trail in New Jersey’s Stokes State Forest. It’s a popular destination for panoramic views of the state’s pastoral farmland as well as mountain ridges and undeveloped forests. At 1,650 feet, it’s one of the highest points in the state. If you’re not up for a hike, you can drive up to the pavilion at the top of the mountain. Entrance fees are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

3D Art in New Jersey

By Linda Tancs

New Jersey’s American Dream entertainment complex in East Rutherford has a flagship art museum thanks to renowned urban artist Tracy Stum. The facility is named TiLT, an apt moniker for the illusionist exhibits created by Stacy and her 3D team. Best of all, it’s immersive, so you can participate in the mind-bending works of art. Imagine climbing a rope at the top of the Statue of Liberty, experiencing zero gravity in a space station, sitting in the mouth of a dog or soaring through the air on a flying hot dog. Don’t forget your camera.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

New Jersey’s Stairway to Heaven

By Linda Tancs

New Jersey’s Wawayanda State Park has 60 miles of hiking trails, including a 20-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail. One of its most popular features is the Stairway to Heaven Trail. A moderately difficult hike, the route includes a boardwalk, cow pasture, suspension bridge, railroad tracks and woods. Then come the boulders, the so-called stairway to heaven, a steep ascent. Follow the blue spur trail to Pinwheel Vista where the view, as they say, is heavenly.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Battleship New Jersey

By Linda Tancs

Battleship New Jersey is an 887-foot-long, 45,000-ton ship that navigated the waters during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War prior to dropping its anchor in Camden in 2001. Now part of Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial, it offers tours of many areas, including the bridge, the crew’s mess, the communications room and a climb inside the massive 16-inch gun turret. Self-guided tours as well as guided tours of some areas are available. The venue is located on the Camden waterfront directly across the Delaware River from Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

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