|Fredon Springdale Road, Green and Fredon Townships, NJ |
Phone: (973) 383-0918
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Return to CR 617 South by turning Right from School House Road. After 2.3 miles turn Right at the stop sign onto CR 521 South. After 0.2 miles turn Left onto CR 610 East. Proceed straight on CR 610 East crossing Route 94 at 3.7 miles and CR 519 at 4.9 miles. Continue straight and after 6.0 miles the Whittingham WMA office is on the Left. This road will change from Stillwater Road to Phil Harden Road and finally to Fredon-Springdale Road. Map
Open daily sunrise to sunset. There are numerous additional parking areas around the perimeter of this 2,000-acre preserve. Of note is the Observation Parking Area, the directions to which are as follows: Turn Left out of the office parking area and turn Right at the stop sign onto CR 618 East. After 1.3 miles turn Right at the traffic light onto U.S. Route 206. Turn Right at the first traffic light onto CR 611 South. After 1.2 miles the Observation Parking Area will be on the Right. To view a map of the entire area visit www.njfishandwildlife.org/pdf/wmamaps/whittingham.pdf.
The limestone outcroppings, hemlock forests, the overlook and the Big Spring are the best spots to observe the variety of wildlife and scenic wonders. The swamp itself has many varieties of flowering shrubs and other wetland species of plants, including marsh marigold. For a full plant list see http://nynjctbotany.org/njrvtofc/whittngh.html.
|Whittingham WMA is a significantly large tract containing thick deciduous forest, sinkhole ponds, hemlock glens, fields, swamp and numerous rock outcroppings. Largely unspoiled, it is abundant with native wildflowers, 35 species of ferns and over 150 species of birds, some of which are on the state and federal threatened and endangered species lists. The state-threatened long-tailed salamander is among the many amphibian and reptile species to be found. Big Spring, which is located a half-mile east of the parking lot on Fredon-Springdale Road, pumps out nearly a million gallons of fresh water per day and is one of the main tributaries to the Pequest River. Insect repellant is recommended during spring and summer.
the opportunity for quiet observation near sunrise or sunset at
the Big Spring, especially in early May.
The Big Spring never freezes, and painted turtles have been observed even in January. Where the ice begins, otter may be seen romping in and out of the water. Several varieties of ducks and geese can also be seen in the open water. Tree Sparrow, Pileated Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, Great Horned Owl and several species of raptors are quite common.
Many varieties of wildflowers can be spotted along the swamp and various species of warblers, vireos, woodpeckers, flycatchers and hawks can be seen at this time. Check the many limestone rock outcroppings for different species of ferns and wildflowers such as walking fern, pink lady slippers, starflower, nodding trillium, partridgeberry, showy orchid, violets, Joe Pye-weed, New York ironweed, and many others. Several kinds of frogs can be seen and heard at this time, such as gray treefrog, spring peeper, bull, green, wood and pickerel frogs; don’t forget to look for red eft, long-tailed, red, red-backed, slimy, spotted and northern dusky salamanders.
A hike in summer can be rewarding with the sighting of snakes, deer, beaver, coyote and red fox. A good variety of butterfly species can be seen cruising over the many fields such as Monarch, Viceroy, Black, Spicebush and Tiger Swallowtails, Spring and Summer Azures, Eastern-tailed Blue, Red-potted Purple, Cabbage White, sulphurs, American Copper, Hackberry Emperor, Mourning Cloak, commas, Question Mark, Red Admiral, Little Wood Satyr, many skippers and hairstreaks. Wildflowers are also plentiful at this time.
Sundays are best for wildlife viewing, as this area is heavily-used for hunting. Many fall migrants such as Cooper’s, Sharp-shinned and Red-tailed Hawks, Wood and Hermit Thrushes, Veery, Field Sparrow, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green and Black-and-white Warblers and Common Yellowthroat can be seen. The lookout on Wolf's Corner Road is a great place to observe the fall colors and take in a lovely view of the swamp.