Wildlife Viewing, Arts, and Food: Turn Your Hike into a Day Trip

Planning a visit to the Maurice River Bluffs Preserve? Here's tips on how to turn your hike into a day trip. 

By Elizabeth Schuster on May 23, 2016

Have you been meaning to try out the 20 miles of hiking trails at the Maurice River Bluffs Preserve in Cumberland County?

When I moved to the Delaware Bayshore region of NJ, the preserve immediately became a favorite of mine- and I’m not alone. Hundreds of visitors each year come from all across New Jersey and surrounding states to visit the Bayshore’s cultural and natural sites.

Perhaps you have heard about southern Jersey’s high number of bald eagles and you finally want to capture a photo of an eagle at the preserve, where we have two nests. But something stops you. After all, if you are going to make the drive, you want to make sure it's worth the trip.

If you like the idea of combining exercise and quality time outdoors, enjoying diverse cuisine from locally owned restaurants, and delighting in a visit to the art district, it IS worth your trip. I've mapped out a sample itinerary for you - featuring some of my own favorites - to help plan your day trip.

  • Mornings are great for hiking. The earlier you hit the trail, the more birds you’ll see. Make sure to catch a photo of yourself at the dock, overlooking the gorgeous Maurice River and vast stretches of marshes. You might even catch a glimpse of an osprey on the platform.
  • For lunch, head into town to choose from a handful of locally owned restaurants on High Street, Millville’s “Main Street.” For an ethnic flair with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, check out El Guacamole. Or for pub-style food, grab a sandwich or salad (and a beer!) at Old Oar House.
  • Buy a locally made gift at the art gallery. Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts has a gift shop plus you can check out the gallery. Millville’s art district includes many other small galleries and shops as well.
  • Grab some coffee and check your email with free Wi-Fi at Bogarts Bookstore and Cafe.
  • If beer is your beverage of choice and not coffee, indulge in hand-crafted beers at Millville’s Glasstown Brewing Company. I’m a fan of their “609” - it’s an IPA with fruity undertones.
  • Finish up your day with the locally renowned Winfield’s Restaurant, where we’re partial to the delectable specials and their savory risotto.

I hope you enjoy the Bayshore as much as my family and I do!

Travel information:
Maurice River Bluffs Preserve – about 3 miles from Millville on Silver Run Rd. (left hand side when coming from Millville)
El Guacamole- 110 N High St, Millville, NJ 08332
Old Oar House - 123 N High St, Millville, NJ 08332
Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts - 22 N High St, Millville, NJ 08332
Bogarts Bookstore, 103 N High St, Millville, NJ 08332
Glasstown Brewing Company, 10 Peterson St, Millville, NJ 08332 (within Millville’s airport)
Winfield’s Restaurant, 106 N High St, Millville, NJ 08332

NOTE: The views represented here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of The Nature Conservancy.


Categories: Hiking, Wildlife, Maurice River Bluffs, Preserves

Elizabeth Schuster is an environmental economist with The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey. She works with the freshwater, coastal and marine programs to integrate economics and human wellbeing into conservation strategies.

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