From the end of Stanton Avenue, follow the trail toward the bluff and Crosswicks Creek. The main trail turns right (north) at the t-intersection, crosses a ravine and runs through a Mountain Laurel thicket (unique in this part of New Jersey). Along the way are side trails to spectacular views of Crosswicks Creek and the marshlands beyond. This trail is NOT A LOOP. The trail ends at a steep ravine with at a small tidal stream at the bottom. Return the way you came, back to Stanton Avenue.
The oak woods on the top of the bluff are dominated by chestnut, white and black oaks, and numerous tulip poplars and black gums. On the bluff itself, in the older part of the woods, are thickets of mountain laurel and great rhododendron. There are a few remnant eastern hemlocks that have survived the invasive wooly adelgid infestation. The deer herd in this area is very small. Spring birds are plentiful and include scarlet tanagers, brown thrashers, titmice and chickadees. At the overlooks, watch for bald eagles, marsh hawks, red-tailed hawks and wetland birds. Listen for king-fishers.
There are two spurs from the main trail. At the t-intersection nearest Stanton Avenue, turn left. This will take you to an open sandy area and a Crosswicks Creek ‘beach’. The beach will be accessible only at low tide because Crosswicks Creek is tidal. Take care near the water as currents can be fast and dangerous. Do not allow children to play in the water.
A second spur is located at the top of the hill after the ravine. At the hilltop, turn left to walk through rhododendron and mountain laurel. This will take you to the top of the bluff, sixty feet above Crosswicks Creek; there is tidal freshwater marsh beyond.
For more information about the Abbott Marshlands, as well as maps, scheduled field trips, guides, etc. visit the Abbott Marshlands website at www.abbottmarshlands.org