Get outdoors at the best parks in South Jersey

The warmer weather always invites people to enjoy the outdoors. Thanks to New Jersey’s abundance of parks and nature refuges, the nickname The Garden State is a true description.

Despite how many years people have lived in South Jersey, not everyone knows about the many great outdoor activities to enjoy. We’ve decided to put together a list of parks and nature reserves that you should consider the next time you want to spend an afternoon outdoors.

Here are 11 options for outdoor activities in South Jersey

Belleplain State Park in southern New Jersey

Photo from Google Maps

*Belleplain State Park
Located along Route 550 in western Cape May County, Belleplain State Park offers many outdoor activities that people of all ages can enjoy. You can experience a weekend of camping and hiking, along with canoeing or kayaking and swimming at Lake Nummy.

Birch Grove Park in Atlantic County

Photo from Google Maps

*Birch Grove Park
Behind the youth sports fields on Burton Avenue lies a hidden gem in Atlantic County. Birch Grove Park features playgrounds and picnic areas, as well as extensive nature walks and trails. Here you can enjoy a wonderful day outdoors.

Cape May County Park and Zoo in New Jersey

Photo from Google Mays

*Cape May County Park and Zoo
While many people are familiar with the Cape May County Zoo, the park has the amenities to make it a day out for the whole family. There are nature trails and picnic areas, plus a playground for the kids, the kind of activities that will complement your next visit to the zoo.

Cape May Point State Park is the southernmost point in New Jersey

Photo from Google Maps

*Cape May Point State Park
Built around the famous Cape May Point Lighthouse, this state park is a great option for a day trip. With three nature trails, a World War II gun battery, picnic areas and of course lighthouse tours, you can spend a full day at Point Stare Park.

Cape May County Park North is located in Upper Township

Photo from Google Maps

*Cape May County Park North Cameron Wildlife Sanctuary
Located off Route 9 in Upper Township, this nature preserve is a unique opportunity to appreciate nature and its natural habitat. The walking trails take visitors through the Wildlife Sanctuary with several benches so you can enjoy nature.

Corson’s Inlet State Park in Ocean City, New Jersey

Photo from Google Maps

*Corson’s Inlet State Park
This area includes the south end of Ocean City and the north end of Strathmere in Upper Township and is one of the few undeveloped oceanfront areas in New Jersey. Two different State Park access points allow visitors to walk along Ocean City Beach, parallel to the Atlantic Ocean, or along the nature trail near the Inlet Boat Ramp.

Forthyse Wildlife Refuge in Galloway, New Jersey

Photo from Google Maps

*Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
This Wildlife Refuge protects more than 48,000 acres of coastal habitat and is one of the most unique on the East Coast of the United States. Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is located just east of Route 9 in Galloway and offers visitors two options: an eight-mile Wildlife Drive for motorists and hiking trails totaling eight miles.

Estell Manor Park in Atlantic County

Photo from Google Maps

* Estell Manor Park
Estell Manor’s Atlantic County Park is located off Route 50 and offers miles of hiking trails and a unique Swamp Trail Boardwalk. Estell Manor Park also features picnic areas, cycle paths, camping areas and sports fields. A great option for a day outdoors with plenty of activities to choose from.

Hammonton Lake Park in Atlantic County

Photo from Google Maps

*Hammonton Lake Park
Hammonton Lake Park is located behind the municipal sports fields and features hiking trails that connect to the Smith Conservation Area. With picnic areas plus canoeing opportunities and scenic views, you can spend a day enjoying this Atlantic County park.

Lake Lenape Parks in Atlantic County

Photos from Google Maps

*Lake Lenape Park East and Lake Lenape Park East
On each side of Lake Lenape in Atlantic County are two separate parks that offer visitors a variety of outdoor activities. At Lenape Park East off Youngs Way, visitors can enjoy the Fishing Pier, Pickle Ball Courts and relax in the Pavillions. On the other side of the lake, Lenape Park West offers hiking and mountain biking trails, camping sites and picnic tables.

When you’re done with your day outdoors, you might be craving something to eat. Here are some popular dining options that visitors to South Jersey enjoy:

15 Go-to Restaurants in South Jersey that Shoobies Love Most

Let’s take a quick look at a handful of restaurants along the coast that almost always have a car with Pennsylvania license plates in front of them during the summer.