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The Jersey Cape peninsula is a premier location for nature based activities. Because it is positioned between the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay, it 's a natural habitat for many unique birds, fish and wildlife. The calm inland waters allow for many forms of recreation in an undisturbed natural setting.
Look for locations throughout the area to use as viewing spots, or take advantage of organized walking, paddle boarding and kayak tours from local outfitters at award winning nature facilities. There's truly something special about the feeling of being one with nature.
The Nature Center of Cape May was founded in 1992, with the twin goals of creating a responsible stewardship program for open space surrounding Cape May Harbor and providing environmental education for people of all ages. The Center's focus on "hands-on" activities reflects a philosophy of personal responsibility for education.
Adopted by the New Jersey Audubon Society in 1995, the Nature Center of Cape May is one of nine staffed nature centers throughout the state. The environmental education campus, located on the shores of beautiful Cape May Harbor in Cape May, includes the Trucksess Welcome Center, a three-story observation tower, indoor observation lounge, three classrooms, exhibit aquaria, a small gift shop, and multiple themed display gardens. The harbor and adjacent area provide natural classrooms that are used in the center's programs. In addition, the nature center is close to a diversity of habitats, which are easily incorporated into its programs.
The nature center offers a full schedule of natural history programs for the general public throughout the year. A wide variety of group educational programs are available as well, either at the Nature Center of Cape May or at alternate sites such as outdoor habitats, schools, or clubs. Click on the links below for more information.
The Cape May Bird Observatory specializes in field trips and weekly walks. Weekly Walks are regularly scheduled and led by stellar Associate Naturalists and professional staff, that take place at all the best birding and natural history locations around Cape May. These walks change throughout the year, focusing on the best of each season, whether that is breeding hotspots, winter visitors, or the spectacle of migration. Normally two or three hours in duration, these walks are sure to fit nature into your busy schedule. All experience levels are welcome, and those marked E-Z Birding and A Bird Walk for All People are especially geared for beginners or a relaxed pace.
Special Field Trips offer you a chance to experience the natural wonders of the Cape May area alongside our Associate Naturalists. These outings take our weekly walks a step further, with extended opportunities for viewing birds and other wildlife. They are single day events (two – six hours in length) that target famous local hotspots and are timed to capture diversity and abundance during the breeding, migratory, and winter seasons
Whale watching and dolphin watching aboard the 110 foot Cape May Whale Watcher. The largest and fastest marine mammal sightings boat in New Jersey and the only boat to guarantee sightings on all of their regular cruises.
"The Natural Place, Where Learning is Fun!" Promoting the conservation and preservation of coastal ecosystems by providing a fun and educational experience for families, school groups and vacationers of all ages. Be sure to visit in July for the annual Wings 'n Water Festival!
Fall is a Beautiful Time to Explore The Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary
As the air gets crisp, and the humidity falls, it’s a wonderful time to explore the Sanctuary. Fall is a time of great change, and change is everywhere in the Sanctuary. It’s also a time for the great migration through Cape May. Songbirds, warblers, raptors, and wading birds are all moving through the Sanctuary on their south bound migration. Our resident wildlife are busy preparing for winter and caching food. They can be seen in the maritime forest on 2nd Ave and in the successional meadow next to Egret Espy trail. Monarch butterflies have started their migration and can be seen in large numbers, along with migratory dragonflies especially in the gardens on 3rd Ave.