Trail Guides
Makepeace Lake Wildlife Management Area

Weymouth Road, Hamilton Township, NJ
Phone: (856) 629-0090

OWNER:  NJ Department of Environmental Protection

DIRECTIONS:  Exit Hammonton Creek WMA and turn Left onto Moss Mill Road. After 2.7 miles, turn Right at the traffic light onto CR 623/ Elwood Road. After crossing the Atlantic City Expressway, continue for 0.9 miles and turn Left onto a sand road just beyond Makepeace Lake.

DIRECTIONS FROM NEAREST HIGHWAY:  From the intersection of Route 322 and Route 54 in Folsom, continue East on Route 322/Black Horse Pike. After 6.6 miles, turn Left on Weymouth Road/ CR 623. After crossing the Atlantic City Expressway, continue for 0.9 miles and turn Left onto a sand road just beyond Makepeace Lake.   Map

ACCESS AND PARKING:  It is a WMA, so it’s WILD. See information elsewhere in this brochure. Open daily from 5 a.ma to 9 p.m. Do not attempt to drive through sugar sand or deep mud. Park your vehicle and proceed on foot. Hunting is permitted in season, wear blaze orange or other bright colors.

Hessels Hairstreak
Hessels HairstreakWill Kerling
SITE DESCRIPTION:  At over 10,000 acres, Makepeace Lake WMA is one of the largest WMAs in New Jersey. It possesses most of the typical habitats present in the Pine Barrens, including pine/oak uplands, Atlantic white cedar and red maple swamps, pitch pine lowlands, shrub swamps, bogs, small savannahs, spongs, sand barrens and some others. The 300-acre Makepeace Lake was formed by damming and flooding the old Bozarth cranberry bogs in the 1930s. Cranberry plants can still be found growing here along the lakeshore, in company with insectivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews.

DON'T MISS:  Formerly Bozarth’s cranberry bog (the family name Bozarth often appears in Pine Barrens folklore and history), the impounded 300-acre Makepeace Lake is a terrific place for many common, uncommon or rare species of damselflies and dragonflies from late April through September and in warm autumns, until a hard frost. Among them are Pine Barrens bluet, Eastern pond hawk, numerous skimmers and clubtails, Martha’s pennant, dragonhunter, elfin skimmer and comet darner.

Winter:  If the lake is not frozen, waterfowl such as Mallards, Buffleheads and Black, Ring-necked and Wood Ducks can be found, along with Great Blue Heron, Red-tailed and Cooper’s Hawks. Take advantage of a hard freeze to explore area wetlands for unusual sightings. Barred Owl is present here all year and sometimes calls at dawn in winter, along with Great Horned Owl and Screech Owl.
Spring:  The wood frog and spring peeper chorus can begin in early March if the season is warm. Fowler’s toads, northern gray treefrogs, green frogs, carpenter frogs, and even Pine Barrens treefrogs can be heard calling by season’s end. Look for butterflies including pine elfin, Henry’s elfin, mourning cloak and spring and holly azure in mid to late April and early May. Hessel’s hairstreak has been recorded in Atlantic white cedar swamps here in early to mid-May. Pine Warblers and Gray Catbirds return in early April and Whip-poor-will and Chuck-will’s Widow can be heard calling by early May. Look for flowering Pine Barrens plants such as bearberry in April, and flowering shrubs such as leatherleaf and blueberries, pine barrens sandwort, golden heather, violets (including birdsfoot), and pitcher plant.
Summer:  Cranberries bloom in early June, and the last heath shrubs such as maleberry, huckleberry and staggerbush come into bloom. Orioles, Prairie Warbler and other neotropical birds are in full song in June and early July. Milkweeds and dogbanes begin to bloom in early July and attract numerous butterfly species. Wet open areas along lakeshores sometimes have good displays of the orchids grass pink and rose pogonia in late June and early July, along with flowering sundews, milkworts and bladderworts.
Fall:  Through mid-October, this is the place for blooming composites. Many species of asters, bonesets, snakeroots, ironweed, Joe-Pye weed and goldenrods flower here, mostly in open areas, and are magnets for migrating monarch butterflies and other butterfly species. Barred Owls actively call at night during the fall.

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