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Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Management Area
|Park Overview:|| |
See migrating hawks in the spring and fall as they ride the thermals along a ridge top; view the vastness of the Farny Highlands forest resource.
|Trail Miles:||1.6 miles|
|Park Acreage:||3745 acres|
|Buy Trail Map:||Jersey Highlands: Central North Region Trails Map|
|Park Description:|| |
Wildlife with wings is a characteristic feature of the 3,745-acre Wildcat Ridge WMA. At the southern end, the abandoned and barricaded Hibernia Mine is New Jersey's largest known bat hibernaculum, home to an estimated 26,000 little brown bats.
The area is also an official Hawk Migration Association of North America "hawkwatch" site. The Hawk Watch Overlook observation platform is at the end of the Flyway Spur Trail [orange; 0.9 mile]. This is a great place to see migrating hawks in the spring and fall as they ride the thermals along the ridge top. Volunteers have counted as many as 18,000 raptors during the fall, and 3,000 in the spring. As NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife writes about the area: "Even when the hawks are not soaring the view provides an otherwise hard to obtain understanding of the vastness of the Highlands forest resource and its value to hundreds of species, including humans, in northern New Jersey"
|Trails Overview:|| |
Three short trails traverse the area, and they can be combined with an 0.7 section of the Four Birds Trail [white] to form a 2.2 mile loop. The Flyway Spur Trail [orange; 0.9 mile] goes to Hawk Watch Overlook. Current topographical maps in PDF are available for download from the Table of Wildlife Management Areas
From I-80 take exit # 37 [Rockaway/Hibernia]. Turn left [north] at light. Proceed 6.3 miles to right turn onto Upper Hibernia Road [at Marcella Community Club]. Stay on Upper Hibernia Road for 2.7 miles [it becomes a dirt road] to the white gravel parking lot on right [identified with a sign].
Alternatively, from the I-287 interchange [north or south] take Route 23 north for 8.9 miles to La Rue & Green Pond Road exit. Cross over Route 23 and go south a very short distance and take immediate right onto Green Pond Road. Go 5.1 miles south to a left turn onto Upper Hibernia Road [opposite Marcella Community Club]. Stay on Upper Hibernia Road for 2.7 miles [it becomes a dirt road] to the white gravel parking lot on right [identified with a sign].
|Contact Information:||NJ DEP, Div of Fish & Wildlife |