Trail Guides
Lizard Tail Swamp Preserve

Court House-- Dennisville Rd, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Phone: (609) 861-0600

OWNER:  The Nature Conservancy

DIRECTIONS:  Go back out Beaver Dam Road, and turn Left onto Gravel Hole Road. Turn Left onto CR 657/Dennisville Road. Continue down Dennisville Road for 3.3 miles, and turn Left into Lizard Tail Swamp entrance.   Map
ACCESS AND PARKING:  Open daily from dawn to dusk. Small parking area on site.

Winter:  Although resident birds can still be seen and heard, winter is a time of stillness for the trees and plants. It is a chance to take a brisk walk and look deep into the woods. Be sure to check the aerial view map at the entrance, which has the boundaries and trail brightly marked.
Spring:  Early in the spring, look for swelling tree buds and short-lived woodland wildflowers that bloom even before the tree leaves appear. Later in the spring, birds will become more active. Look also for woodland amphibians, such as salamanders and toads. Wildlife viewing can be very different from one day to the next.
Summer:  In the heat, you may appreciate the shaded forest as you enjoy the cacophony of songs from birds, frogs and grasshoppers. Look for ripe wild blueberries and raspberries. Stroll along the trails to track deer, or identify trees, shrubs and mushrooms. In addition, a diversity of forest insects can be found, some people-friendly, and others not. Insect repellent is recommended, especially near dusk.
Fall:  With the changing of the seasons comes the colorful foliage. Sassafras, tupelo (black gum), oaks and blueberry bushes offer a fascinating succession of changing colors. Fungi and fall wildflowers are also along the trail.

Male Common Yellowthroat Warbler
Male Common Yellowthroat WarblerKevin Karlson
SITE DESCRIPTION:  Lizard Tail Swamp Preserve is an 857-acre tract of forest habitat waiting to be explored. This site, only a short distance from Cape May Court House’s busy commercial and residential areas, has easy access into seemingly wild woodland. When you walk into the forest and the trees surround you, the sound of traffic gives way to the sounds of forest life. A narrow trail winds through various habitats from lowland swamps and ponds to upland dry woods. A dirt road leads you into another interior portion of the site. Along each trail you can listen to the many sounds of the forest, look for animals and tracks, and identify the trees and plants.

DON'T MISS:  the forest for the trees. A forest habitat consists of many species of trees, but also shrubs, wildflowers, ferns and fungi. Walk the trail and look through the trees to see the “structure” of a forest ecosystem from the low-growing herbaceous plants, taller shrubs, small trees like flowering dogwood that make up the understory, to the tall canopy of the highest tree tops.

SPECIAL FEATURES:  A narrow, one person wide, winding nature trail begins just past the parking area at the entrance to the site. Located on the right hand side and marked with a small wood sign labeled “Trail”, it provides an ideal exploration of this special habitat. A scattering of small yellow (signifying IN) and white (signifying OUT) plastic trail markers mark your direction.

A CLOSER LOOK:  Bring a field guide to wild mushrooms, ie. fungi, as you are likely to encounter many different species in summer and fall. You may enjoy identifying them, which is a growing hobby in the United States.

ButterfliesHiking TrailsParkingWildflowers