New Jersey

East Plains Preserve

Why You Should Visit
Located in the larger East Plains fireshed, East Plains Preserve complements the state and federal lands already protected in the Pine Barrens, a "Wilderness in the Garden State."  Globally imperiled pygmy or dwarf fire-shaped pine forests are found in the fireshed. These miniature forests or "pine plains" are dominated by closed-cone pitch pines measuring from four to ten feet high. These cones open and release seeds only after being subjected to the high temperatures associated with fire.

Bass River and Barnegat townships, Ocean County

Acres protected
959 acres

Open from dawn till dusk.

Informal trails wind through the forests.

Why the Conservancy Selected this Site
Protection of East Plains Preserve helps form an uninterrupted greenway with neighboring state and federal lands. East Plains Preserve is part of a larger natural area that is home to fire-dependent globally rare landscapes.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Conservancy has worked to safeguard this important natural area through land acquisition and creative partnerships with local nearby landowners. 

Visitation Guidelines

  • No swimming, camping, fires, or alcoholic beverages.
  • Littering and dumping are prohibited.
  • No collecting or trapping.
    Motorized vehicles are prohibited.


Several state-rare plants are found here including pine barren gentian, Knieskern's beaked rush, Buchholz's dart, broom crowberry. The region is also home to globally rare pine plains.

Northern pine snake find habitat in the region.



East Plains Preserve, Rt. 610
Barnegat Township, Ocean County

From the North NJ Turnpike

Take the NJ Turnpike exit #7 for Route 206 South.  Take 206 South to Route 70 East (intersects at a circle).  Take Route 70 East to Route 72 East (intersects at another circle).  Turn onto Route 72 East.  You will pass signs for Route 563 and Route 532.  At the stoplight for Route 72 and Route 539, go straight and stay on Route 72.  In about 2.2 miles, turn right onto Route 610/Wells Mills Road.  Travel on Route 610 about 0.7 mile.  The East Plains Preserve is on the left.

From the East

Take Route 70 West past the Garden State Parkway, Route 9 and through Lakehurst.  Turn left onto Route 539 South (there is a stoplight at this intersection).  Stay on Route 539 South for several miles till you get to the stoplight for the intersection of Route 539 and Route 72.  Turn left onto Route 72 East.  In about 2.2 miles, turn right onto Route 610/Wells Mills Road.  Travel on Route 610 about 0.7 mile.  The East Plains Preserve in on the left.


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