The New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route is a "park in the making"—an idea becoming a reality. Many of its sites are available for you to visit. When complete, the Trail will link numerous natural and cultural landmarks into a story of coastal life and peoples, from the ancient past to the present. Let your interests guide you as you browse among different kinds of destinations that interpret these five themes of the coastal heritage story.
Explore historic coastal fishing villages, lighthouses, life-saving stations, forts, and harbor installations as you follow a story of people and the sea.
View and study barrier islands, coastal wetlands, estuaries, bays, and rivers that provide essential habitat and refuge for a rich diversity of plant and animal life, from tidal areas to pine barrens.
Take advantage of seasonal opportunities to see migrating wildlife. New Jersey's coastal habitats are vital to migrating birds following the Atlantic Flyway and to sea mammals traveling offshore.
Relaxation and Inspiration
Be inspired by historic hotels, boardwalks, and amusement parks, as well as religious retreats. The New Jersey shore enjoys a long tradition as a destination for those seeking recreation, leisure, and spiritual or artistic inspiration.
Discover how abundant natural resources strongly influenced New Jersey coastal economies. Responding to these riches and the constant presence of the sea, residents here have laid a distinctive heritage upon this region, a reflection of their adaptations to coastal living from prehistoric times to the present.
The New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route is still under development, but many destinations are open to visitors. The following information will help you plan your visit.
*The Trail is being created to preserve and interpret New Jersey's natural and historic coastal heritage.
*Trail information and maps can be obtained at welcome centers, designated sites in the coastal region, and on the Internet.
*The Trail is planned for vehicular touring—personal autos, tour buses, and bicycles.
*The Garden State Parkway and New Jersey State Route 49 are the major highways to the Trail area. State and country roads provide access to Trail sites.
*Look for the Coastal Heritage Trail trailblazer that identifies Trail destinations.
In the Future-Five regional welcome centers are planned to serve Trail visitors. When completed, they will all provide information, exhibits an interpretation about the Trail and its many cultural and natural heritage sites.
Creating the Heritage Trail
The New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route is a joint partnership project of the National Park Service, the State of New Jersey, and individual sites. Its goals are to enhance and support a growing public interest in protecting and interpreting the significant cultural, natural, and scenic resources of this coastal region and to provide for their enjoyment by all visitors.Visiting Heritage Trail Sites-You will find information, folders, and maps at numerous Trail destinations, local tourist information centers, and at the Trail's regional welcome centers. Information is available on the Internet at www.nps.gov/neje.