Sunday, February 2, 2020

Island Beach State Park

Barnegat Peninsula
Ocean Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Spizzle Creek Trail

Total Time: 1:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.1 Miles

Pros: Quiet stretch of ocean beach and undisturbed area
Cons: Expensive parking fee, even in winter

Island Beach State Park protects the longest stretch of natural, undisturbed Atlantic beach in the state of New Jersey. I was spending the weekend in Central Jersey for the weekend, and found out there are some nice nature trails in the area at Island Beach. Being winter, the area was very empty, and seeing the ocean and beach entirely empty and in their natural state was an amazing experience.

I parked at the last parking lot at Island Beach State Park, and took the path over the sand dune to the beach. I walked north along the side of the beach, being the only one there except for a single person at the beginning. I walked close to the ocean and waves, which were quite large, and then took the path over the dune back near the Spizzle Creek Trail. This trail goes along to the western side of the island towards the bay, where there is a marsh for bird watching. There is a little bird watching hut called the Spizzle Creek Blind where you can go inside to watch the birds outside so they don't notice you. Right outside in the marsh was a large Osprey nest, although I didn't see any osprey present. I then took the Spizzle Creek Trail back to the road, which I walked down until cutting in over the dunes again back along the beach, which i took back to my car.

Map of the Route

Crossing the Dunes at the Beginning of the Hike

Along the Dunes

Heading Towards the Beach

Sign at the Beach

Large Sand Dunes

High Waves Along the Beach

Waves Rolling In

Another View of the Ocean

More Large Waves Coming In

Bright Sun Along the Beach

Looking South from The Beach

Me on the Beach

Sign to Keep off the Dunes as I Leave the Beach Area

Crossing the Dune to the Other Side of the Island

Sign by the Spizzle Creek Area

Hike on the Spizzle Creek Trail

Holly Tree on the Spizzle Creek Trail

Spizzle Creek Blind, the Small Hut to Watch Birds Without Distrurbing Them

Marsh Along the Bay, with an Osprey Nest on the Left

Marsh and Bay

Small Boardwalk along the Spizzle Creek Trail

Sign Explaining about the Terrapin Turtles in the Area

More Marsh Views

View of Barnegat Bay 
Marsh and Barnegat Bay

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