Although Cape May
Lighthouse is a major attraction for many visitors to the
area, the park’s constantly changing shoreline, dunes,
freshwater coastal marsh and ponds, forested islands and varied
uplands make it a well-known location for viewing the fall
bird migration. Located on the southern tip of New Jersey,
Cape May Point State Park is a key site on the NJ Coastal
Heritage Trail, with an environmental center that houses a
classroom for interpretive programs and a museum on the area's
natural and historic features.
Through the Carry-In/Carry-Out Program you can help us keep your parks clean
and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Bags are provided
throughout the site. Thank you for your cooperation and remember to recycle.
Open daily dawn to dusk
Office Hours: Daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Museum Hours: Daily 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
|Cape May Point Natural
Area (153 acres)
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. This
natural area is significant along the East Coast for its resident
and migratory birds and includes habitat suitable for northern
and southern species of fauna and flora.
The 157-foot-high lighthouse is still an
aid to navigation. Visitors who climb the 199 steps to the
top of the lighthouse are rewarded with a spectacular panoramic
view of the scenic Cape May peninsula. The first known lighthouse
at Cape May was built in 1823. By 1847 a new lighthouse was
erected on a high bluff, however, due to the encroaching sea
and poor building design it was eventually dismantled. Built
in 1859, the current lighthouse used the original bricks of
the 1847 lighthouse. For information on tours and hours of
operation call: The Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities
at (609) 884-5404. Admission to the lighthouse is $8
for adults, $5 for children ages 3 to 12 and children under 3 free.
Trail is .5 miles, and is wheel chair accessible. This
trail offers hikers access to both the lighthouse pond west
and east. Each pond has a blind or platform at the water's edge
to view wading birds, ducks, swans, as well as the occasional
osprey, which come to rely on these freshwater ponds for food
and habitat for breeding.
The Yellow Trail is 1.5 miles long. This trail
offers hikers the opportunity to see different habitats, including
wetland marsh, coastal dune and the beach.
The Blue Trail is 2.0 miles long. Just as the
yellow trail, this trail offers hikers a myriad of habitats
in which to view flora and fauna found here at the park. The
blue trail offers a longer hike along the beach and coastal
dune. Both the yellow and blue trails allow hikers the opportunity
to view shore birds, as well as view other wildlife along the
Pets are not permitted on the beach from April 15th through September 15th to help protect endangered bird species during nesting season. Pets are also not permitted on the trails year-round. During the summer months, pets are only permitted in the grassy areas located in front of the lighthouse and in front of the museum and office. They must be on a leash (maximum length - 6 feet) and you must clean up after your pet.
Weakfish, bluefish, flounder, tautog, and
striped bass reward surf fishing enthusiasts.
The Park staff offer a variety of historical and natural interpretive programs throughout the year. Contact the park office for a schedule of programs and to register. Program fees may apply.
Cape May offers picnic areas, picnic tables
and shelters. For larger groups, we also offer the Group Picnic
Area. It holds a capacity of 60 people, provides shelter and
playfields. It may be reserved for
New Jersey Resident $80 per day
Non-Resident $90 per day
|All year round
percent of Fee
Picnic Cancellation Fee
• Groups of 20 or more people shall
reserve picnic facilities at least five days in advance.
Such group use is not permitted on Holidays except as authorized
by the Superintendent. Reservations for picnic areas are
handled by the individual park area offices.
Reservations can be made over the telephone using a credit card, or by mail using the Group Picnic Reservation form* downloadable here. Payment in full of the appropriate group picnicking fee must accompany this application.
*To view this form, please download the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat
The tip of Cape May is one of the most popular
sites in North America for viewing the fall bird migration.
Many species of birds can be seen in the natural areas throughout
Cape May Point is known as a
major migratory route. Many sea/shore birds and songbirds
migrate through this area in the spring. At the end of the
summer, Dragonflies and Monarch Butterflies migrate through
the area stopping briefly to gain their strength before continuing
their journey across the Delaware Bay. Cape May also hosts
the annual migration of the Horseshoe Crab along the Delaware
Bay, where they come ashore to lay their eggs. These protein
rich eggs are an important food source for Ruddy Turnstones,
and Red Knots.
Cape May is viewed by many as the premier Hawk migration route
of North America. In the fall hundreds of hawks are counted
as they pass the narrow corridor of land along the Cape May
peninsula heading south. This offers birdwatchers of all ages
the opportunity to see these beautiful birds in flight as
they soar across the fields and meadows, on their southward
trek across the Delaware Bay.
Built as part of the Harbor Defense Project
of 1942. The park was once a Military base, of which the Bunker
was a part. At low tide you can still see the gun turrets
at the front of the bunker. The Bunker was once 900 feet inland,
surrounded by earth and covered by sod, it once looked as
if it were a hill from the sea or air. The bunker historically
represents a moment in history, and stands as a monument to
all those, who in times of war, have come to find ways to
protect this country from enemy attack.
The Raptor Banding Project conducts Hawk-banding
demonstrations at the park on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00
am from mid-September through October. Various species of
hawks can be viewed at close range before they are released
to continue their annual southward migration.
Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC)
• Cape May Bird Observatory
May County Zoo
• Cape May
back to top