|Courthouse-Dennisville Road and Gravel Hole Rd, Route 657, South Dennis, NJ |
Phone: (609) 628-2436
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Open daily from dawn to dusk. Small parking area on site.
Turn Left out of the East Creek Trail parking area onto Route 347 South. Continue straight to Route 47. After 6.2 miles, turn Left at the light for CR 657/Dennisville Road. After just
0.10 miles, turn Left onto Gravel Hole Road,
and then immediately turn Right onto Beaver Dam Road. Continue down Beaver Dam Road until it ends at Sluice Creek. Map
Walking along the road leading into the area, as well as walking across the dam and into the wet woods on the other side of the pond can be productive. Yellow-throated
Warbler, Pine Warbler and American Goldfinch can be heard singing in the woods in spring. There is a hiking trail just up the short hill from the parking area where one might come across a muster of Wild Turkey.
|Immature Seaside Dragonlet||Bill Garwood
||Beavers once populated the freshwater pond that is the central feature at Beaver Swamp Wildlife Management Area. Clint Mill Pond, encompassing some 50 to 75 acres, was at one time the sight of Clint Ludlam’s saw mill where lumber for housing and shipbuilding was manufactured. The beavers and other wildlife began to leave when the dam, which was originally constructed of wood, began to erode.
In 1992 restoration of the present dam was
completed. Even though the beavers have not returned, the area provides ample opportunity to see hawks, eagles, wading birds, terns, and songbirds. Frogs and dragonflies are often easy to see perched on the lily pads and along the pond’s edge in spring and summer.
Beaver Swamp is one of the most reliable places in Cape May County to watch Bald Eagle year round as they nest in the area and forage in the lake and nearby streams.
Red-tailed Hawk, Bald Eagle, and
vultures can be seen soaring over the pond and adjacent marshes. The best view of Beaver Swamp’s 300-acre expanse is from the middle of the dam, although it can be cold and windy. Wintering waterfowl, including Hooded Merganser, Wood Duck, and Blue-winged Teal are attracted to the freshwater pond.
Encountering a flock of warblers at either end of the dam can be very rewarding during migration. Glossy Ibis, Great and Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Heron, and Forster’s Tern are regular visitors to the pond and surrounding tidal marshes. Gull-billed Tern, who have a specialized diet of frogs, search the pond’s profusion of lily pads for their prey. Look for painted and red-bellied turtles basking on partially submerged logs.
Butterflies make use of the nectar
provided by the abundant pickerelweed growing in the pond while dragonflies perch nearby. Prothonotary Warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Wood Duck, and Tree Swallow are just a few
of the species that nest here. Red-winged Blackbirds take up residence in the marshes and their distinctive “konka-ree” calls are heard throughout the summer.
Red-tailed Hawk, Bald Eagle, Turkey and Black Vultures can be seen along with other
raptors soaring over the dam. Waterfowl
begin to find their winter residences in the