Trail Guides
Maple Lake Wildlife Management Area

Maple Avenue, Estell Manor, NJ
Phone: (856) 629-0090

OWNER:  NJ Department of Environmental Protection

DIRECTIONS:  Exit Tuckahoe WMA and turn Right onto Route 50. After 3.3 miles turn Left onto Walker’s Forge Road and then Left onto Maple Avenue. After 1.6 miles turn Right into the parking area for Maple Lake WMA.

DIRECTIONS FROM NEAREST HIGHWAY:  From the intersection of Route 50 and Route 40 in May?s Landing, continue South on Route 50. After 0.5 miles, turn Right on 11th Avenue. After 4 miles, turn Left onto Maple Avenue. After 1.3 miles, turn Left into the parking area for Maple Lake WMA.   Map

ACCESS AND PARKING:  It’s a WMA, so it’s WILD. See information elsewhere in this brochure. Open daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Boats restricted to electric motors.

SPECIAL FEATURES:  From the East parking area, a trail runs North along the Lake and has offshoots to additional shore access points.

Atlantic Bluet
Atlantic BluetTony Geiger
Stop and ScanSITE DESCRIPTION:  Maple Lake is a 30-acre lake along Stephens Creek, a tributary to the Wild and Scenic Great Egg Harbor River. With 482 acres of state protected forest surrounding the lake, the waters are pristine and popular for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.

DON'T MISS:  During the first two weeks in May, this wildlife management area is one of the best locations around for observing Blue-headed, Yellow-throated, Red-eyed and White-eyed Vireo, as well as other migrating and breeding neotropical migrants. Walking West along Maple Avenue from the lake toward 10th Avenue is best in the early morning hours.

Winter:  When the lake is not frozen, scan for Common Merganser, Double-crested Cormorant and Bufflehead among wintering waterfowl. Bald Eagle occasionally makes an appearance overhead. Listen for Barred and Great-horned Owls while enjoying the solitude and clarity of the night sky. Star-gazing is excellent here due to low light pollution.
Spring:  Spring migration is excellent at this location, especially for the various vireo species that pass through and breed in the area. Fishing for largemouth bass and eastern chain pickeral is also good to excellent at this time of year. Amphibians such as Fowler’s toad, red-backed salamander, red-spotted newt and pickerel frog can be found here. Great Blue Herons fish in the shallows.
Summer:  Fishing is good for yellow perch, pickerel, largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish through the summer. Turtles bask on branches in the lake, while Osprey hover-hunt for fish, and Belted Kingfisher chatter from the trees. Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Pine Warbler and Ovenbird nest in the woods. Watch for Northern water snake, Eastern hognose and black racer along the trail. Dragonflies and damselflies perch on emergent vegetation in the lake.
Fall:  Scan for Wood Duck, Ruddy Duck and Hooded Merganser on the water. Migrant songbirds move through the woods searching for food, and raptors soar on the thermals. Perching Snowy and Great Egrets are sometimes joined by Black-crowned Night-Heron on the trees around the lake.

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