Trail Guides
Absecon Wildlife Management Area

East Faunce Road, Absecon, NJ
Phone: (856) 629-0090

OWNER:  NJ Department of Environmental Protection

DIRECTIONS:  Exit Forsythe NWR and turn Right onto Great Creek Road. Turn Left at the traffic light onto Route 9. After 2.7 miles, turn Left onto East Lisbon Avenue. At the “T” intersection, turn Left onto Faunce Landing Road, then Right into the parking area at the boat launch.

DIRECTIONS FROM NEAREST HIGHWAY:  From the intersection of Route 9 and Route 30 in Absecon, continue North on Route 9, New Road. After 1 mile, turn soft Right onto East Lisbon Avenue. At the ?T? intersection, turn Left onto Faunce Landing Road. Turn Right into the parking area at the boat launch.   Map

ACCESS AND PARKING:  It is a WMA, so it’s WILD. See information elsewhere in this brochure. Open daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Parking lot is adjacent to boat launch and bulkhead. High traffic volume in the summer.

A CLOSER LOOK:  Notice the difference in habitat along Absecon Creek between the previous overlook at Leeds Avenue and this one at Faunce Landing. Vegetation and animal species are quite different here at the salty mouth of the creek than from the freshwater hardwood swamp only 2 miles upstream. Cattails, reeds and wild herbs give way to Spartina grass and a few hearty bayberry bushes. Frogs and snakes are absent from this ecosystem, as well as snapping, painted, and mud turtles - the only reptile is the diamondback terrapin. Marine and tidal organisms such as fish, mollusks and invertebrates are abundant, and a variety of specialized bird species and game fish make a living off of them.

OspreyMatt Webster
Stop and ScanSITE DESCRIPTION:  Absecon WMA encompasses over 3,700 acres of open salt marsh habitat between Absecon and Brigantine Island. The boat launch area is sheltered by a lowland forest and residential area to the North and West, and offers great views of Absecon Bay and the Atlantic County Utilities Authority wind farm to the South and East. From this vantage point, waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, raptors and other migratory species are easily detected over the marsh. This is also an excellent area for fishing and paddling in the warmer months.

DON'T MISS:  The best time to visit is in late September when crowds have cleared, and the marsh is still active with avian life and fishing is good.

Winter:  Wintering species of waterfowl such as Bufflehead, Red-breasted and Hooded Merganser and Scaup weave through the labyrinth of creeks and form rafts on the bay. Bald Eagles can sometimes be spotted overhead. Gulls include great Black-backed, Herring and Ring-billed. Northern Harriers hunt the marsh by day and Short-eared Owls take their place at dusk.
Spring:  Salt Marsh Sparrow, Marsh Wren, Clapper Rail and Black Duck, Red-winged Blackbird and Willet are among the springtime arrivals. Minnows begin to school in the shallows and weakfish, striped bass and perch are running in the creek. Insect repellant recommended April and beyond. Watch for muskrats crossing the creek.
Summer:  Drive with caution - diamondback terrapins often choose roadside habitat for nesting as it is above the high-tide line. Common Yellowthroat and Yellow Warbler poke through the shrubs for insects and Gray Catbirds chatter noisily. Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Purple Martin, and Chimney Swift are abundant. Eight species of heron are possible here with multiple visits– Great Blue, Little Blue, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Tricolored, Green and Black and Yellow-crowned Night Heron all nest in the region. Other summer birds include Osprey, Glossy Ibis, Black Skimmer, Forster’s Tern and American Oystercatcher. Summer flounder, American eel and blue crab are prizes sought by anglers. Insect repellant recommended, especially on still days.
Fall:  Shorebirds such as Short-billed Dowitcher, Semipalmated Sandpipers and Plovers, Black-bellied Plover, Whimbrel and both Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs stop on their way South. Watch for Peregrine Falcon and Merlin hunting among the shorebird flocks. Striped bass and bluefish feed eagerly on the abundant baitfish.

Boat LaunchFishingParking