|Carmel Road, CR 608, Millville, NJ |
Phone: (609) 984-0547
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Open daily from dawn to dusk. Parking available on site.
Turn Left out of Peek Preserve onto Route 47 North. After 1.5 miles, turn Left onto Route 49/Main St. at the gas station. Continue
on Route 49 for 1.3 miles, and then turn Right onto CR 608, Carmel Rd. Follow for 0.7 miles and turn Right at the sign for the Union Lake Wildlife Management Area. Map
A Boat Ramp Maintenance Permit or valid hunting or fishing license is required
to use the boat ramp at Union Lake. Go to www.njfishandwildlife.com/wmaregs.htm for
|Red-spotted Newt||Bill Garwood
||The 5,000-acre Union Lake WMA offers a variety of viewing experiences to naturalists of all levels. A large boat ramp is located at the far end of the parking lot and there is ample parking for vehicles and trailers. A small dock provides a place for fishing or observing. Stand at the edge of the dock and take in the amazing view of this large reservoir. An additional parking area on Sharp St., across from Riverview Park (see page 46), affords a good view of the fish ladder on the opposite side of the dam. It also provides additional fishing access to the Maurice River. Bald Eagle nest on the lake and Osprey are often seen fishing for a meal. There are many miles of unmarked trails that wind through the woods and along the lakeshore. For more information about the WMA and a map, go to the website listed above.
Bald Eagle and Belted Kingfisher are likely to be spotted, as well as wintering waterfowl.
In fact, this is a great time of year to work on your duck identification skills as Union Lake attracts a wide variety including scaup, Ring-necked Duck, American Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Shoveler and Green-winged Teal.
Although warmer spring weather brings more human activity to the lake, the trails are quite pleasant. The woods are invigorated with the arrival of migrating birds and emerging new plant growth. Listen for frogs and toads singing their mating calls. Spring peepers begin calling in early March and the clamor can be deafening. Spotted turtles wake from their winter torpor and can sometimes be seen in the streams that feed the lake. Wild Turkey shatter the early morning dawn with their wake-up calls.
The piki-tuki-tuk of the exquisite Summer Tanager’s call note announces its
presence at Union Lake. Look for them just under the forest’s highest canopy. Prothonotary warbler and Louisiana Waterthrush nest in the thick
brush of the stream corridors. Dragonflies and damselflies are abundant, and if you are in
the area for July 4th, join the community’s Independence Day festivities and fireworks
display as it lights up Union Lake.
Visit the reservoir throughout the fall to
witness the progression of colors from greens to oranges and reds. Migrating songbirds and waterfowl make a trip to the lake worthwhile.