Trail Guides
Harold N. Peek Preserve

2100 Route 47 South, Millville, NJ
Phone: (856) 825-9952

OWNER:  Natural Lands Trust

DIRECTIONS:  Take Rt. 47 South through Millville. Follow Rt. 47 for 1.5 miles after crossing over Rt. 49 and turn Right into the Peek Preserve’s small parking area.   Map
ACCESS AND PARKING:  Open daily from dawn to dusk. Visitors should park their cars only in the area outside the entrance gate, as the gate must be closed and locked whenever staff is not present, which could be at any time of day.

SPECIAL FEATURES:  Get close up views of nesting Osprey and Bald Eagle at the Jenkins Landing viewing platform adjacent to the wild rice marshes. This platform is handicapped accessible if you make arrangements in advance with the Natural Lands Trust.

Cooper's Hawk
Cooper's HawkKevin Karlson
SITE DESCRIPTION:  The Harold N. Peek Preserve, just a short distance from downtown Millville, is a naturalist’s treasure trove occupying over 250 acres around a bend in the Maurice River. Its wild rice marsh is one of the largest and healthiest in southern New Jersey. Trails lead visitors through various habitats that include pine barrens, a cedar swamp and a hardwood swamp. Visitors should only park in the parking area just before the gate (see above) and pick up a trail guide from the box near the gate. Simply walking along the access road into the preserve can bring numerous encounters with wildlife. After walking the half mile to the river, scan the wild rice marsh beyond the field office before venturing on one of the three hiking trails. Stop at the field office to pick up brochures of local destinations. Although the field office is open to visitors only when staff is present, the observation deck connected to the staff office is always open to visitor use, as is the 160-foot-long boardwalk and observation platform located a few hundred yards upstream at Jenkins Landing.

DON'T MISS:  the Cedar Swamp Trail, the longest loop trail, which heads south from the main access road. Look carefully along the edges of the path, and even underfoot, for false reindeer lichen and tar lichen. Their presence and relative abundance offers a hint as to just how much, or how little, the trail has been used before you. The loop leads through a small yet engrossing Atlantic white-cedar bog, surrounded by an impressive stand of giant, old Sweet Gum trees, where you may find a Great Horned Owl.

Winter:  Raptor-watching is a favorite activity and patient visitors may witness aerial interactions between Bald Eagles of varying ages. Red-tailed Hawk may be seen soaring over the treetops or perched along forest edges and Northern Harrier cruise over the wild rice marsh almost continually hunting for muskrat and mink. In addition, Tundra Swan occasionally winter on the northern areas of the Maurice River and you may hear them calling even before you see them.
Spring:  Handsome warblers such as Prothonotary, Worm-eating and Common Yellowthroat arrive to nest at the Preserve. Nesting Osprey and Bald Eagle compete for striped bass and shad along the waterways. Enjoy the wide array of wildflowers and native and introduced trees as they bud and bloom. See if you can identify the difference between a pitch pine and a Virginia pine.
Summer:  The Maurice River often provides a cooling breeze on a hot summer afternoon. Take precautions against gnats and biting insects if you plan to explore the lush trails in full bloom.
Fall:  The beauty of fall is captivating at Peek Preserve as the autumn colors of Sweet Gum, Black Gum and maples provide vivid contrast to the cedars and pines. Mammals in the forest scurry to prepare for winter. Watch for gray squirrels caching acorns. Scan the sky from the trail along the river, or out over the wild rice marsh for evidence of the hawk migration.

Boat LaunchHandicapped AccessHeritage TrailHiking TrailsHuntingIdeal for BeginnersInformationParkingViewing Blinds/PlatformsWildflowers