Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area is nearly 1,100 acres of state-managed land featuring dunes, forest, scrub-shrub, and fields to help preserve and protect endangered, threatened, and non-game wildlife. Cape May is known world-wide for its spectacular fall migrations that results in millions of birds stopping on the peninsula during their journey south along the Atlantic Flyway, and Higbee Beach happens to be one of those rest stops.
Explore its nearly two miles of nature trails (experienced hikers on Alltrails.com call them easy and scenic, and be ware of overgrowth), featuring two viewing platforms with views of the fields and forest, or explore the beach along the Delaware Bay. In the warmer months, you’ll want insect repellent when hitting the trails.
Here are a few things you should know:
This information is adapted from the NJDEP site:
- All state WMAs are carry-in, carry out and do not provide trash cans or recycling bins. Make sure to take anything you bring with you.
- You may not camp, swim, picnic, dump, cut or damage vegetation, have or consume alcohol, metal detect, geocache, paddleboard, paintball, or light a fire.
- Drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are prohibited
- Dogs are permitted on Higbee Beach between September 1st and April 30th (the off season)
- Higbee is closed to hunting from September 1st until the Monday after the Six-day Firearm Deer Season each year
- Non-motorized mountain bikes are allowed on existing WMA trails and secondary (woods) roads from March 1 to April 15, and from June 1 to September 15, as well as on Sundays. Mountain bikes are permitted year-round if engaged in legal hunting and fishing activities.
- Certain events and activities may require a permit
Learn more about Wildlife Management Area Regulations
Directions to Higbee Beach, provided by the NJDEP:
Follow the Garden State Parkway south to mile 0 and exit to the right for Route 109 North. Take Route 109 North to Route 9 south. Turn left onto Route 626. Cross the bridge and turn right onto New England Road. The road dead ends at Higbee Beach.
Higbee has a small gravel parking lot.
One more note: Due to its remote location and historic lack of local jurisdiction, being state owned, Higbee Beach long had the reputation of being a nude beach. The state ruled on this in 1996 and conferred power to municipalities to make and enforce rules and regulations in order to police state land, which means Lower Township’s ordinance 230-6 banning indecent or nude exposure is in effect at Higbee Beach. They fine violators.