Cedar Swamp Trail - Great Cedar Swamp Unit - Cape May NWR

MikeBickerson

Explorer
Feb 8, 2004
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Hiked this over Thanksgiving weekend, it's just a few minutes from Belleplain State Park in Cape May County (it's officially in Ocean View in Dennis Township).

Short trail, only 1.2 miles, but a good mix of meadow, forest, and swampland (including, of course, cedars).








The best part of the hike though is a small family graveyard by a gnarled, old tree (or at least it looks pretty gnarled without its leaves).





Nice little hike if you're in the area, or if you need to tack on another mile after Belleplain.

http://southjerseytrails.org/2015/12/12/cedarswamptrailcapemaynwr/
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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I bushwacked across that swamp once looking for the cedar in the core shown on the vegetation maps from the 50's.There is no cedar.It's a maple gum swamp through and through with the biggest piles of briars I ever had the pleasure of crossing.We actually ran across fell over trees like squirrels to get through the worst of it. I"ve also canoed as far as I could into both ends of it along Dennis and cedar creeks. had otter investigating me from three feet away on Dennis creek.
Was it this cemetery here? http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.22027885945331&lng=-74.7787095944214&z=15&type=topo&gpx=
 

amf

Explorer
May 20, 2006
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Swedesboro
... I"ve also canoed as far as I could into both ends of it along Dennis and cedar creeks. had otter investigating me from three feet away on Dennis creek.
I didn't know the swamp was now part of the refuge. I've often thought it wouldn't take much to dig a canal from Dennis Creek to Cedar Creek and make the whole of the Cape May peninsula an island. Probably could be done with hand shovels!
 
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manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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I didn't know the swamp was now part of the refuge. I've often thought it wouldn't take much to dig a canal from Dennis Creek to Cedar Creek and make the whole of the Cape May peninsula an island. Probably could be done with hand shovels!
Don't give em any ideas.If they do that Cape May will break off and flow out into the ocean.
 
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c1nj

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Nov 19, 2008
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That was proposed as one of the possible Cape May Canal routes.
 

MikeBickerson

Explorer
Feb 8, 2004
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Barringtonl, NJ
www.southjerseytrails.org
I bushwacked across that swamp once looking for the cedar in the core shown on the vegetation maps from the 50's.There is no cedar.It's a maple gum swamp through and through with the biggest piles of briars I ever had the pleasure of crossing.
I was actually wondering that, my tree identification was never very good, but none of the trees looked straight enough to be cedars. I thought the whole point of a cedar was that they grew ramrod straight. No truth in advertising I guess!

It's Northeast of there, directly East of Petersburg on Tyler Road. I need to figure out how to drop a pin on the map, but the cemetary isn't listed on the topo map.
 
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manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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Your right.I can't find it on any historical topo either.Never been to it or seen it.Is it visible from the road?
Yes cedar grows ramrod straight though when they get old especially in open sunlight they can have very cool twisted lower limbs.These limbs shed in deep shade and tight growing conditions will force a tall slender tree,in open sunlight they get buff,kinda like their on steroids.Also a living cedar is evergreen and if you crush the foliage or cut into the wood they smell like a clean hamster cage:)
 
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