Muckshaw Ponds Preserve the beaten path! - Chester, NJ

Unique geology, topography and hydrology shape the natural beauty of this quiet preserve. There are a series of large and small seasonal sinkhole ponds scattered throughout the limestone ridges and valleys. This area is home for a wide range of threatened animals and plants. The sheltered forest and abundant wetlands are visited by migratory waterfowl. Historically, artifacts were uncovered indicating Native Americans of the Lenape tribe stopped by the Muckshaw Ponds to hunt and fish. The trails throughout the preserve are well delineated and marked with color coded blazes. Signs at trail intersections indicate mileage.  Informative  field guide maps are located at the kiosk at the trailhead. Muckshaw Ponds Preserve is a special place that can be enjoyed in every season.

A large rock shelter on the southern edge of Muckshaw Ponds Preserve is said to have served as a hideout and headquarters for Revolutionary spy, Lt. James Moody. Many legends arose about Moody and his exploits during his stay in a Muckshaw cave and have become part of the area's folklore.

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Latitude: 41.022308 Longitude: -74.78641 Elevation: 609 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
JoAnne Beliveau

Recreational Opportunities

The preserve's fragile ecology limits the trail travel to hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and wildlife viewing. (benches provided in key areas)

Seasons Accessible

Open to visitation all year long...except the following days:*CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC for special permit hunting in Bow Season: September 12  through January 31, and Fire Arm Season: November 30,  December 1,  December 7 through January 30. There is no hunting in NJ on Sunday.


No fee required.

Accessibility Notes

Across the street (Route 618) from The Nature Conservancy trailhead sign, there is a large parking area at the Whittingham Wildlife Management Area. The trails are not handicapped accessible. Trails are open from dawn to dusk.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are prohibited. (except seeing-eye dogs)


Thumbs up for Muckshaw Ponds, a beautiful hiking area.

NJ Hiker, 3/18/2016

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