Trail Guides
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse and Gardens

111 North Central Avenue, North Wildwood, NJ 08260
Phone: (609) 522-4520

OWNER:  NJ Department of Environmental Protection

DIRECTIONS:  Turn Right out of the Refuge entrance onto CR 621/Ocean Dr. Continue straight through the Wildwoods 4 miles as the road name changes to Pacific Ave. and then New Jersey Ave. Turn Right onto 26th Ave., then turn Left onto Central Ave. Travel 1.4 miles and The Hereford Inlet Lighthouse will be on your Right.   Map
ACCESS AND PARKING:  The park and gardens are free to visitors, but there is a fee to visit the lighthouse. The lighthouse park and gardens are open daily from dawn to dusk. From May 15 to October 18, the lighthouse is open daily from 9-5. From October 19 to May 14, the lighthouse is open Wednesday thru Sunday from 10-4. Parking is available on site.

SPECIAL FEATURES:  The site includes a pavilion, several benches, a platform for viewing birds and a scenic overview of the inlet. By accessing the seawall through the park, you can walk along the edge of the inlet for shorebird viewing.

A CLOSER LOOK:  Visit the shade garden tucked away under the tree behind the pavilion. Each garden is designed to give you a sense of being in another “room” in nature’s house.

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Gardens
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse GardensCourtesy Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
SITE DESCRIPTION:  The historic Hereford Inlet Lighthouse was constructed and began its operation in 1874. A severe storm in August of 1913 severely damaged the foundation, causing the Lighthouse to be moved about 150 feet to where it sits today. The Hereford Lighthouse is listed on both National and State Registers of Historic Places. Surrounding habitat gardens are picturesque and you can view wildlife almost any time of year. Learn about the fascinating history of the lighthouse and stroll through an English cottage butterfly garden that takes you right up to the edge of the ocean. From this scenic overview of Hereford Inlet, you can walk along the seawall and watch migrating shorebirds and waterfowl.

DON'T MISS:  one of the largest Victorian style gardens within 100 feet of the ocean on the East Coast.

Winter:  Evergreens, grasses, and various flower seed heads provide plenty of winter interest in the different sections of the gardens, while also offering cover and food for resident songbirds. The seawall is a great vantage point for viewing flocks of wintering waterfowl, including Long-tailed Ducks and Red-throated Loons.
Spring:  Crocus, hyacinth, tulip and daffodils provide the start of the spring garden. Wander through the gardens and see new growth taking the place of last year’s growth. Look for waterfowl diving, feeding and riding the tides, as well as shorebird flocks whirling by on migration.
Summer:  The gardens are at their best during the summer. Enjoy over 200 plant varieties in the butterfly garden, herb garden, shade garden, or seashore garden. Search for butterflies among the blossoms or just sit on the bench overlooking the inlet and relax to the sound of waves against the seawall.
Fall:  The lighthouse gardens were planned to provide blooms through the summer and into fall. Many butterflies and migrating songbirds can still be seen at the gardens. Besides the formal gardens there is plenty of Seaside Goldenrod out in the dunes to attract southbound Monarch butterflies.

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