|Ark Road, Medford, NJ |
Phone: (609) 259-2132
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
It is a WMA, so it’s WILD. See information elsewhere in this brochure. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Trails are not always maintained during summer months.
From the parking areas at Strawbridge Lake, turn Right onto Haines Drive. At the “T” intersection, turn Right onto Pleasant Valley Avenue. After 0.9 miles, turn Right onto Church Road. At the second light turn Left onto Elbo Lane, just after passing under the New Jersey Turnpike. After 4.3 miles, Elbo Lane becomes Stacey Haines Road. After 0.5 miles, turn Right at Ark Road. The parking area for Medford WMA will be 1.1 miles on the Left.
DIRECTIONS FROM NEAREST HIGHWAY: From I-295, take exit 40 and merge onto Route 38 East toward Moorestown. After 1.9 Miles, turn Right onto Ark Road. After 3.7 miles look for the Medford WMA sign and turn Left into the parking area. Map
Medford WMA has many native wildflowers throughout its fields.
|Medford Wildlife Management Area offers leisurely hiking and walking trails that meander through a patchwork of shrubby fields and mixed deciduous and coniferous forest. The edges of these fields offer ideal habitat for both migrating and breeding birds; making Medford WMA a hidden gem for birders any time of year, but especially during spring and fall migrations.
Follow trails to the left from the parking lot, heading Northwest to come to a wooded wetland, across the power line cut. Although sometimes difficult to access, this woodland edge offers different species than those found on the rest of the WMA.
A walk through the woods may yield wintering bird species such as Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Hermit Thrush. Look and listen for Downy, Hairy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers calling and drumming. Check bare trees for Sharp-Shinned and Cooper’s Hawks perch-hunting. Cottontail rabbit and gray squirrel are abundant, and red fox may be glimpsed the trails in the early morning or late evening.
Arrive early, just after dawn, for the sights and sounds of spring migration. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting and Prairie Warbler nest here, offering glimpses at their beautiful plumage as they flit between trees. Northern Parula, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Blue-headed Vireo are just a few of the songbirds that can be present with the right conditions. After a spring rain, areas with vernal pools come to life with the calls of frogs and toads. Check shaded pools and deeper puddles in the trails for tadpoles.
Eastern Phoebe, Kingbird, and Great Crested Flycatcher will hawk insects over the fields and return to their perches repeatedly. Listen for the random sequence of notes from Gray Catbirds, as well as singing Chipping Sparrows, Field Sparrows, and Pine Warblers. Butterflies and dragonflies float and buzz in the fields, and bats are plentiful at dusk. Trails may be overgrown with vegetation in the summer. Long pants, boots, and insect repellent are strongly recommended.
The habitat mixture comes into play for the second round of migration, as birds move south for the colder months. Barn Swallows and American Robins form large flocks before heading South. Black and Turkey Vultures migrate overhead, as well as Northern Harrier, Red-Tailed, Sharp-Shinned, and Cooper’s Hawks. Check bare branches along field edges for the possible Kestrel or Merlin.