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The Top Jersey Shore Hiking Spots This Summer

Ready to get moving this summer? These hiking trails around the Jersey Shore offer magnificent vistas and peaceful settings.

Cape May Lighthouse shore hikes
The iconic Cape May Lighthouse. Ryan Schroeder from Williamstwon, NJ, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Shore isn’t only for beachgoers looking to hit the sea and surf. For families and friend groups looking to get exercise during summer stays, there’s no better place to hit the trails and witness glorious flora and fauna within the confines of the dunes than the Jersey Shore.

Here are some top-rated trails and our favorite hikes in the region.

Cape May Point Trail

Cape May

This short 1.8-mile loop through Cape May Point State Park gives hikers serene views of the Jersey Shore’s most iconic lighthouse standing tall above the marsh below. Here, migratory birds make their nests among the cattails and reeds as crabs and small mammals scuttle beneath your feet.

Woodcock Trail

Cape May

Further up the coast on the Delaware Bay is Cape May’s National Wildlife Refuge, home to the nesting grounds for hundreds of birds. Due to Cape May’s unique peninsular position above the Bay, it has become a funnel for migratory wildlife, especially in the spring and fall. The arrival of red knots, ruddy turnstones, sanderlings and semipalmated sandpipers coincides with egg-laying season for horseshoe crabs, a feast for these long-distance flyers. On this Jersey Shore hiking trail that’s just over a mile long, you’re likely to see a handful of species you’ve never seen around the Main Line region before.

Stone Harbor Point

Stone Harbor

Wake up as the sun rises this summer for your morning run down to Stone Harbor Point, where birds and marine life greet you after your a.m. coffee. At a length of 3.4 miles out and back, this trail through the dunes will lead you to peaceful solitude before the rest of the family wakes up.

Corson Inlet Yellow and Orange Trail

Ocean City

Not even a mile long, this hiking trail through Corson’s Inlet State Park is great for introducing the little ones to the nature of the Jersey Shore, and you can even bring your pup along in the fall and winter. Open year-round, this spot is a good one for potential sightings of cranes, pelicans and hermit crabs as you take your stroll.

Birch Grove Park Loop Trail


Located just west of Atlantic City and Margate, this 1.5-mile loop takes casual hikers through beautiful Birch Grove Park. The freshwater ponds and streams are home to plenty of wildlife like turtles and frogs. This would be a great place for an afternoon outing and picnic for families with young children.

Brigantine Inlet Lookout


This 5.8-mile out-and-back loop takes hikers through the serenity of the North Brigantine Nature Area, where the waves of the Atlantic lap upon the shore. Though it is a long Shore hike, there are no elevation changes, and the walk remains easy the whole way through. Be sure to bring Fido, too, as this is a great path for leashed pets. The number one recommendation from former trail-goers: bring bug spray. If you’re not careful, you’ll be feasted on by the insects that call this part of the beach home during the summer months.

Songbird Trail Loop


West of Brigantine, the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge opens its arms to visitors and fauna alike. A moderately challenging 4.7-mile trek, this trail is a romp through the wetlands of New Jersey and a brilliant place to catch some of the state’s finest views. A $2 fee will allow you entrance to the trail, so be sure to have cash on hand.

Related: Where to Play Mini Golf Along the Jersey Shore

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