Kid-friendly Nature Spots in South Jersey
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve
Rivers and Ponds
What animals do you think come here to drink?
What creatures do you see living in the water?
What about at the edge of the water?
What is different about the plants by the water?
How do you think plants grow in the water?
Rancocas Nature Center , Westampton
A network of trails meanders along the north branch of the Rancocas Creek. Explore the banks while hiking or rent a canoe or kayak for an up-close look at the water and the species that dwell there.
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve, Pennington
From wetlands to streams to the 4-acre Wargo Pond, the reserve boasts a vibrant community of plants and critters. Don your boots and trek along the perimeter during family hikes and kid-specific programming
Brendan T. Byrne Forest
What signs of the season can you see?
Can you see any treasures that have fallen from the tree?
How old do you think the trees are?
How many different types of trees can you find?
What is similar and different about the trees you see?
What animals do you think live in the trees?
Brendan T. Byrne Forest, Woodland Twp.
The trails here snake through the Pine Barrens, so there are plenty of tree-identification opportunities while you wander through an upland pin-oak forest, a pitch-pine lowland forest and the Atlantic cedar swamp.
South Cape May Meadows
What signs of wildlife do you see here?
Find 10 critters or signs of critters.
Where do you think birds live?
How do you think they built their nests? What materials do you think they used?
Why do birds sing?
What animal do you think left that track?
Palmyra Cove Nature Park, Palmyra
The state-endangered peregrine falcon may be the fastest animal in the world, but you can catch them residing in the park. Head to the Tacony Palmyra Bridge to spot their nesting box, or use the Falcon Cam on the park’s website.
South Cape May Meadows, Cape May
This preserve is a hotspot for birders and wildlife watchers. In addition to a host of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors, the habitats here also support mammals, reptiles and insects. You might catch a glimpse of river otters, muskrats, an Eastern box turtle or butterflies.
Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, Medford
Meet rehabilitated animals at the wildlife compound, many of which are elusive in their natural habitat. Inside the center, see critters such as turtles and snakes, or hit the trails to encounter pine warblers, gray catbirds, tree frogs, barred owls and butterflies.
Prompts compiled by Dorothy Sasso, a Montgomery County, PA-based teacher with Tinkergarten, an outdoor early education program.
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