Trail Guides
Stowneck Road to Mad Horse Creek Wildlife Management Area

Stow Neck Road, NJ
Phone: (609) 984-0547

OWNER:  NJ Department of Environmental Protection

DIRECTIONS:  Turn Left out of the parking area onto CR 623/Canton Rd. Follow for 0.9 miles to Frog Ocean Rd. and turn Left. After 1/2 mile, turn Left onto Stowneck Rd. Follow Stowneck Rd. to the end. There is ample wildlife-viewing along entire road, which ends at a boat launch access to Mad Horse Creek WMA.   Map
ACCESS AND PARKING:  Open daily from dawn to dusk. Although the road is not heavily traveled, it is winding and traffic may approach at high speed. Parking available on site.

Winter:  Cold and wind do not seem to bother wintering waterfowl such as Brant, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, and Ring-necked Duck. Fox, raccoon, opossum and white-tailed deer may also be seen in the open fields.
Spring:  Scan for Eastern Bluebird on the telephone wires along the road. Also listen for Marsh Wren and Seaside Sparrow, and try to catch a glimpse of a colorful Orchard Oriole. As the marsh grasses grow taller, it becomes more difficult to view the local muskrats and groundhogs, so scan the sky for the local pair of Stow Creek Bald Eagles (see page 25). At Mad Horse Creek WMA, look for movement in the trees on the south side of the parking lot, and you may find a visiting Black-throated Green, Northern Parula, or Black-and-white Warbler.
Summer:  Wild Turkey with their young may be seen crossing the open fields or foraging in the ditches on the side of the road. Drive slowly and be on the lookout for diamondback terrapins and snakes crossing the road. The abundance of insects can be uncomfortable, so you may wish to keep your windows up and observe from your vehicle.
Fall:  On a crisp day, Stowneck Rd. is ideal for a relaxing walk or bike ride. Enjoy the turning of the leaves, and watch the open sky for migrating hawks and eagles. Other migratory birds will stop in the area, so check for passerines in the stands of trees, and shorebirds in the open waters of the marshland.

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit
Eastern Cottontail RabbitBill Garwood
SITE DESCRIPTION:  Stowneck Rd. is 3.5 miles of varied habitat that is not only scenic, but packed with wildlife. The road begins with farm fields on private land, then leads through open wetlands and out to a boat launch access point within Mad Horse Creek WMA. Other than a few large stands of trees, the views of the surrounding area are wide open, and the combination is ideal for wildlife watching. Look out over the wetlands, particularly for areas of open water. Scan the water for ducks and wading birds, and look along the edges for a glimpse of a Clapper Rail. The groups of trees are also likely to be active with birds and mammals. In fact, the trees at the end of the road across from the boat launch serve as a migrant trap because of their position as an ideal feeding and resting spot within the vast open marsh. Stow Creek serves as the county line between Salem and Cumberland. Looking west from Stowneck Rd., where you can see across the creek at the beginning of the road, you are actually looking across to the immediate vicinity of Stow Creek State Park, which is part of the Gotta See an Eagle Trail in Cumberland. See page 33 for more information.

Bike TrailsBoat LaunchFishingHandicapped AccessHuntingParking