Trail Guides
Dot and Brooks Evert Memorial Nature Trail

Buddtown-Ongs Hat Road, Pemberton, NJ
Phone: (609) 234-1225

OWNER:  New Jersey Conservation Foundation

DIRECTIONS:  From the parking lot at Pemberton Lake, turn Right on Coleman’s Bridge Road. Turn Left on Magnolia Road, then take the first Right onto Simontown Road. After 0.5 miles turn Left on Stocktons Bridge Road. After 1.2 miles turn Left on Ong’s Hat Road. After 0.5 miles the trail will be on the Left.

DIRECTIONS FROM NEAREST HIGHWAY:  From the intersection of Routes 206 and 38 in Southampton Township, travel East on Route 38 for 2.7 miles where it becomes CR530. At the second of two closely-spaced traffic lights, bear Right on Magnolia Road. Continue 0.2 miles and bear Right again on Scrapetown Road, which becomes Stocktons Bridge Road. Proceed 2.7 miles to Buddtown-Ongs Hat Road. Turn Left onto Buddtown-Ongs Hat Road and proceed 0.5 miles to the trailhead on the Left.   Map

ACCESS AND PARKING:  Open daily from dawn to dusk. Parking is limited to a few cars. Where the trail is boardwalked, it may be narrow in some places and slippery if wet. Foot travel only.

A CLOSER LOOK:  The Legend of Ong’s Hat Evert Preserve is located on Ong’s Hat Road, which runs through an area shown on many maps as “Ong’s Hat.” The exact location and origin of Ong’s Hat is not known, but there are many books, articles, and interviews on the subject. One story around Ong’s Hat involves a traveling cult and a conspiracy theory that claimed the area was a secret interdimensional gateway. The most widely circulated legend tells of a man named Ong (a common surname in the region) who was well-known at local taverns and dances, wooing women with his fancy silk hat. One night, his hat was stomped by a lover in a jealous quarrel, whereupon the frustrated Ong threw it up in the air, and it became entangled in a tree. It remained there for years and became a landmark for travelers.

SITE DESCRIPTION:  The 1.5 mile Dot and Brooks Evert Memorial Nature Trail is great for Spring birding and provides a diverse and exciting wildlife experience any time of year. This site is on the edge of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, where it meets the Inner Coastal Plain, and it supports some plants and plant communities typical of both regions, including a South Jersey hardwood swamp.

Winter:  Robins and Cedar Waxwings overwinter in these woods, along with the Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and other year-round residents.
Spring:  Arrive early in the morning and listen to the sounds of the swamp. Neotropical migrants arrive in April and May. This is a good time and place to work on birding by ear. Also look for the unique coiled sprouts, or “fiddleheads,” of different varieties of ferns emerging from the ground in early spring.
Summer:  Nesting birds include Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Ovenbird, as well as Prothonotary, Hooded, Blue-winged, Worm-eating, Kentucky and Pine Warblers. Mountain laurel blooms in June, and sweet pepperbush blooms in late July. Insects can sometimes be troublesome, so bring repellant. Pink ladyslippers, Indian cucumber-root, starflower, partridgeberry, and wild sarsaparilla can be found along the trail edges.
Fall:  The trail is great for fall foliage and studying the identification of trees. Black gum trees begin changing colors as early as September, signaling to passing birds that their fruit is ripe. Hermit Thrush, Black and White Warbler, and both Kinglets are common fall migrants.

SPECIAL FEATURES:  A viewing platform, which is found on a side trail to the left just before station 10, provides a great way to view the forest from above the understory.

ParkingViewing Blinds/PlatformsWildflowers