Lakes Bay Preserve
Down a sand and clamshell road, away from the bustle of nearby
Atlantic City, there is a secluded stretch of beach and marsh that
juts into Lakes Bay. This is the 27-acre Lakes Bay Preserve, a haven
for both nature lovers and enthusiasts of water sports like windsurfing,
board-sailing and kayaking.
The preserve contains a mix of saltwater marshes, bayberry thickets
and sandy beaches strewn with sea lavender and the shells of mussels,
clams and blue crabs. Seagulls and brown pelicans rest on wooden
pilings, while wildlife like raccoons, muskrats and foxes make their
homes in the marsh.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation saved the property from development
in 1998 and now operates it, with the help of the non-profit Lakes
Bay Recreation Association, as a nature preserve and launching point
for non-motorized water sports. Lakes Bay point has been rated as
one of the best windsurfing venues in the United States for its
strong, steady winds.
In addition to being a great location for nature observation and
water sports, Lakes Bay has a strong maritime history. The bay was
named after Simon Lake, a Pleasantville native who invented the
first submarine in 1894. The tip of Lakes Bay Preserve once housed
the Ventnor Boat Works, which manufactured wooden cruisers and speedboats.
All that remains of the old plant are a layer of bricks and stones,
and some wooden pilings in the water.
For more information about the Lakes Bay Recreation Association,
View Lakes Bay Preserve in a larger map