Trail Guides
Birch Grove Park

1700 Burton Avenue, Northfield, NJ
Phone: (609) 641-3778

OWNER:  City of Northfield

DIRECTIONS:  This is the first stop on the trail. From the intersection of Route 9 and Route 322 in Pleasantville, continue South on Route 9/New Road. After 2.1 miles, turn Right onto Zion Road, then Right onto Mill Road. After 0.2 miles, turn Right onto Burton Road. Turn Left into the entrance for Birch Grove Park.   Map
ACCESS AND PARKING:  Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with ample parking. Fee for campsites, which are available April 1st through September 30th. Registration and fees also apply to use of picnic area. Fees are $1 per person and $7 per grill and free for Northfield residents. Trails are limited to foot traffic only. No pets.

NEAREST PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:  NJ Transit Bus Route 509 stops at Route 9 and Mill Road. Walk 0.2 miles West on Mill Road, then turn Right on Burton Avenue. Proceed another 0.1 miles to the park entrance on the Left.

SPECIAL FEATURES:  There is a museum and a historical house on site. Staff are friendly and helpful. Interpretive signage describing plants, animals and ecosystems can be found along the trails.

Wood Duck, female
Wood Duck, femaleMarvin Hyett
SITE DESCRIPTION:  271-acre Birch Grove Park is a secluded pocket of natural land in a well-developed suburban area. Historically the site of Somers Brick Works, the many ponds in the park are the result of excavation for clay. Miles of trails through pine/oak woodland and lakeside habitat combined with various amenities and programs make Birch Grove Park especially appealing for family visits.

DON'T MISS:  Bring a fishing pole in May or June and enjoy the surprising solitude available on the trails throughout the extensive acreage of the park.

Winter:  Mixed winter flocks of Juncos and White-throated Sparrows are joined by Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch and Golden-crowned Kinglet. Look for the occasional Winter Wren and less common sparrows such as Savannah, Swamp and Fox Sparrow. Year-round residents such as Red-bellied and Hairy Woodpeckers, Sharp-shinned Hawk and Great-horned Owl are easier to spot in the bare branches.
Spring:  Migrating songbirds such as Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Blue-winged, Blackpoll and Yellow Warblers are passing through. Muskrat and beaver can be spotted on the ponds. Green Frog, chorus frog, cricket frog, gray treefrog, Fowler’s toad, spring peeper and carpenter frog are among amphibians vocalizing. Watch for Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Double-crested Cormorant and Green Heron on the ponds. The ponds are stocked with Trout in April.
Summer:  Breeding birds include Belted Kingfisher, Ovenbird, Pine Warbler, Eastern Kingbird and Eastern Wood Pewee. Fishing is good for sunfish, crappie, yellow perch, catfish, pickerel and largemouth bass. Great Blue Heron, Great Egret and Black-crowned Night Heron make regular appearances. Dragonflies and damselflies are abundant around the ponds. Camping and kids programs offered, as well as a summer concert series. Insect repellant recommended.
Fall:  Scan the ponds for Ruddy Duck, Hooded Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, Double-crested Cormorant and Pied-billed Grebe. Raptors such as Cooper’s Hawk and Osprey pass overhead. Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers sometimes stop along the pond edges. Foliage turns beautiful colors and migrating songbirds are abundant in the woods. Tree and Barn Swallows form large feeding flocks over the ponds. Camping and kids programs continue, including special Halloween activities.

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