Barnegat Bay (at Bridge to Nowhere - Manahawkin)
Update (As of August 9, 2009), the last two miles of Stafford Avenue has been paved and now drivable. Launch into tidal creek directly from roadside. Immediate access to marsh labyrinth of Manahawkin Wildlife Management Area and Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, centered on old AT&T antenna farm. Beyond is open water of Manahawkin (Barnegat) Bay. Take bug repellent.
Some suggested routes from a paddler:
Follow Cedar Creek north approximately 1 mile to L 39o 41' 20.9" N Lo 74o 12' 26.0" W. You will see a straight manmade creek that will take you into Log Creek Pond. If you proceed in a southeasterly direction to L 39o 41' 17.9" N Lo 74o 11' 53.0" W you will be able to follow a short creek with an entrance to Turtle Cove L 39o 41' 06.8" N Lo 74o 11' 58.1" W. If you would prefer, in place of going to Turtle Cove, you could proceed in a northeasterly direction to the entrance to North Pond L 39o 41' 26.3" N Lo 74o 11' 44.5" W. Going north and east from here, you have many options. Approximately 2 miles from the entrance to North Pond, on your right, you will see the entrance into the open (Barnegat) Bay which is called Big Cove. If you keep to your left, you can follow Black Snake Creek into Big Flat Creek, which if you follow it in a westerly direction you will end up in Marshelder Pond centered on the AT&T antenna farm. You will be paddling in the Manahawkin Wildlife Management Area and Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. Additional Comments: In addition to the abundant wildlife you will experience, I would like to point out another feature. As you proceed through the many creeks and ponds in this area you will notice clusters of pilings and some bulkheads. These are the remains of the by- gone error of commercial duck hunting. I personally can say that I have visited four of the duck shanties that are now but a cluster of pilings on the bank of the bay. I was told by some of the old timers, that people such as Babe Ruth were members of the Log Creek Duck Hunting Club. There is a lot of history in this area that is quite hidden at this time. Baymen with names like Inman, Black, DeFreitas, Hazzle and Verlinden once roamed these waters.
Launch on right side of bridge. Avoid launching in low tide conditions.
- Garden State Parkway to exit 63.
- Follow Route 72 East.
- Exit Right to Route 9 North.
- After second intersection, just after traffic light, make right on Stafford Avenue.
- Stafford turns into a dirt/sand road after two stop sign intersections and ends at the Bridge to Nowhere.