|980 East Academy Street/CR610, Clayton, NJ |
Phone: (856) 881-0845
Open daily from dawn to dusk. There are fees for canoe/kayak and pavilion rentals. The Ranger Station, Nature Center and more hiking trails are located across the street from the main parking area by Wilson Lake. The Nature Center is open Tuesday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and by appointment.
1st stop on the trail.
From Route 55 take exit 45 and proceed North on Route 553/ Buck Road. After 1.2 miles turn Right on CR 610/ Clayton-Aura Road. Continue on CR 610 for 3.8 miles. After the traffic light at Fries Mill Road, turn Left into the parking lot for Scotland Run Park.
DIRECTIONS FROM NEAREST HIGHWAY: From Route 55 take exit 45 and proceed North on Route 553/ Buck Road. After 1.2 miles turn Right on CR 610/ Clayton-Aura Road. Continue on CR 610 for 3.8 miles. After the traffic light at Fries Mill Road, turn Left into the parking lot for Scotland Run Park. Map
There is a fishing/wildlife viewing platform near the boat launch that offers excellent views over the lake any time of year. Fish caught in the lake include bluegill, chain pickerel, largemouth bass, yellow perch and catfish. To reach the boat launch area, exit the main parking lot and turn Right onto Academy Street, then Right onto Fries Mill Road. The entrance to the second parking area is less than 0.5 miles on the Right. This area can also be reached by hiking the trails North from the main parking lot.
From the trail behind the nature center, visitors can view the fields of Florio Farms across Fries Mill Road. Watch for raptors such as Northern Harrier and American Kestrel here in Fall and Winter. Florio Farm has habitats such as fallow fields, successional woods, wetlands and pond. In the future, trails will be opened for the public to explore this recent addition to Scotland Run Park.
Scotland Run Park’s 1000 acres host a wonderful variety of wildlife in a setting of woodland, field, stream and lakeside habitats. The park is on the border of New Jersey’s Inner and Outer Coastal Plains and has features of both piedmont plains and Pine Barrens landscapes. Amenities such as a playground, picnic areas, restrooms, a nature center and maintained walking trails make the park very family friendly. The centerpiece of the park, 80-acre Wilson Lake, is a man-made lake resulting from the dam built for Fries Mill (pronounced "freeze mill") on Scotland Run. It is popular for fishing and canoeing in the summer. The park hosts a number of programs and activities for all ages throughout the year. Call ahead for details.
Visit in the summer and rent a canoe or kayak to access the hidden aquatic vegetation, beaver dams, and abundant insect and bird life at the North end of Wilson Lake.
Diving ducks come to the lake. Hooded Merganser, Pied-bill Grebe and Ring-necked Duck are known to overwinter. One can track turkey and mammals in the snow and sandy portions of the park. Look for White-breasted Nuthatch mixing with Chickadees and Titmice in the evergreens. Bald Eagles have been spotted over the lake. Muskrat and River otter occasionally disturb the calm water.
Warblers and other songbirds are abundant and conspicuous. Look for Prairie Warbler, Ovenbird, Eastern Bluebird, Field Sparrow, Orchard Oriole, and Louisiana Waterthrush, among others. Amphibians such as spring peeper, wood frog, cricket frog, carpenter frog, and red-backed salamander can be found in wet leaves and vernal pools.
Rent or bring a canoe to enjoy the lake. Dragonflies and damselflies are abundant, and include mantled and prince baskettails, banner clubtail, stream cruiser, swamp darner, springtime darner, green darner, fragile bluet and swamp spreadwing. Rough-winged, Tree and Barn Swallows are present, as well as Purple Martin and Chimney Swift. Baltimore Oriole, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Wood Thrush, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron and Osprey can also be heard and seen around the lake. Black rat snake, Northern water snake, red-bellied snake, brown snake, ring-necked snake, red-bellied turtle, and fence lizard are among reptiles to look for. Gloucester County Water Fest is the first Sunday in June.
Look for the occasional Spotted Sandpiper around the lake in September and October. Cedar Waxwing, Hermit Thrush, Palm Warbler and American Redstart are among the many songbirds stopping in the woods. Coopers and Red-tailed Hawks pass overhead. The foliage turns beautiful colors.