Note: Trees have blown down across some trail sections at Bear Creek Preserve. If you visit before we remove the fallen trees, please be prepared to climb over or go around.
Bear Creek Preserve offers a rare chance to view water and wading
birds up close in various wetland habitats. This 106-acre preserve
is located where the Bear Creek flows into the lower Mullica River.
The Mullica River in this area is close enough to the ocean that
its waters rise and fall with the tides. The water is also brackish,
meaning it is a mix of fresh and seawater.
A sandy dike road starts at the access point on Lower Bank Road,
just north of the Mullica River Bridge. After traversing Atlantic
white cedar swamp, the road runs along a dike that dams the water
of the Bear Creek, creating a fresh water pond and wetland habitat
on one side, and a brackish water wetland on the other. This mix
of habitat types attracts a wide diversity of wildlife species.
Coupled with views of the Mullica River and mud flats that are exposed
at low tide, the property is a great location for watching birds
and other wildlife. The dike offers great views of the lower Mullica
River Bald Eagle nest, located just across the river.
The property was donated to New Jersey Conservation Foundation in 1986 by the Bear Creek Conservancy,
a group of duck hunters and conservationists who wanted to ensure
that the property was always protected.
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