|Moss Mill Road, Hammonton, NJ |
Phone: (856) 629-0090
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
It is a WMA, so it’s WILD. See information elsewhere in this brochure. Open daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Limited parking area on Moss Mill Road. Additional access points off of Columbia Road – from the main parking area, turn left on Moss Mill Road and continue East. After 3.2 miles, turn Left on Columbia Road. Trailheads are 1.4 and 2.4 miles on the Left.
From Great Egg Harbor River WMA turn Left onto Eighth Street to head back toward Hammonton. After 3.0 miles, turn Right onto Reading Avenue, then sharp Left onto Weymouth Road. After 0.4 miles, turn Right Moss Mill Road. After 1.5 miles, turn Left onto a sand road just before the sign for Hammonton Creek WMA.
DIRECTIONS FROM NEAREST HIGHWAY: From the intersection of Route 30 and Route 206 in Hammonton, continue East on Route 30/ White Horse Pike. After 2.3 miles, turn Left onto Moss Mill Road. After 1.5 miles, turn Left onto a sand road just before the sign for Hammonton Creek Wildlife Management Area. Map
From the parking area, continue north along the dirt road. After 0.6 miles, a wider trail comes in on the Right. Follow this trail to a clearing that offers good edge birding and butterfly watching. Return to the main trail and turn right to continue North. After another 0.6 miles, follow the trail to the right, then take the first spur left. This comes to another clearing that is a good place to search for reptiles and amphibians in the spring.
Amatol and the Atlantic City Speedway: Much of Hammonton Creek WMA sits on the site of a former World War 1 ammunitions plant and associated town known as Amatol. The word “Amatol” is derived from a combination of chemicals – ammonium nitrate and TNT. The town was built in 1918 and had a population of 10,000 at its height. By 1923, work ended and most residents were gone. In 1926 a portion of the site was purchased to build the Atlantic City Speedway, also known as Amatol Speedway. The race track was short lived as well, all but gone by 1933. A dirt oval where the speedway was and a few foundations from the town are all that remain. Unlike most ghost towns in the Pine Barrens, the history of Amatol is very well documented in a book that was written during the time of its existence. For more information visit http://venus.atlantic.edu/amatol/
|At over 3,900 acres, Hammonton Creek WMA protects important areas of Pine Barrens habitat along Hammonton Creek and other tributaries of the Mullica River. Miles of sand roads explore the pitch and short-leafed pines mixed with a variety of red and white oak trees. The forest floor is a sandy loam covered with mosses, lichens, and ferns. Many unique plants, reptiles and amphibians call these woods home.
Native wildflowers bloom along the sand roads and in savannah areas from April through September. Star toadflax, Pine Barren sandwort, wild lupine, blue toadflax and spotted horsemint are all good possibilities. Rarities such as swamp pink and dragon’s mouth orchid sometimes turn up in wet areas.
White-tailed deer, red squirrel, and gray squirrel are conspicuous. Wintering birds include Cardinal, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, White-throated Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Carolina Chickadee, and Tufted Titmouse. Great Horned, Screech, and sometimes Long-eared Owl are present, but difficult to detect.
Fowler’s toad, chorus frog, and four-toed salamander are among amphibians becoming active. Marbled salamander and red-backed salamander occur in the area as well. Listen for Pine Warbler, Ovenbird and Wood Thrush returning to nest. Scan clearings and savannahs for Indigo Bunting, Field Sparrow, Prairie Warbler, Bobwhite and Eastern Bluebird. Diligent searching may turn up orchids blooming along the trails in wet areas.
This season brings even more of the reptiles and amphibian species of the region into focus. Northern fence lizard, ground skink and five-lined skink are present and can sometimes be glimpsed basking on fallen logs. Pine Barrens treefrog and gray treefrog call throughout June and July. Keep an eye out for pine snake, king snake, Eastern hognose and black racer. Dragonflies and Damselflies are abundant in the fields.
Songbirds pass through once again. Look for Yellow-rumped Warbler, Red-eyed vireo and Eastern Phoebe, among others. Coopers and Sharp-shinned Hawks zip through the woodlands, while Turkey and Black Vultures circle overhead. White-throated Sparrow and Junco arrive in mid-October. Look for signs of mammals – tracks, fur and scat along the sand roads. Red fox, gray fox, coyote, mink, raccoon and opossum are in the area.