Get Outdoors This Month

by Marianne Lods, Executive Director, Millville Development Corporation

This time of year is really beautiful around our small cities and throughout Cumberland County. It’s time to make plans to get out of the house with your family or with friends.

Exploring the landmarks, you may discover some of the history that goes back to early America and the Revolutionary War era. The Cumberland County Cultural and Heritage Commission has established the “West Jersey Time Traveler signage” with VSBA Architects & Planners. It’s a series of historic sites that have signs identifying them and their places in history. Each sign has a QR Code that you can scan on your smart phone or tablet to hear about the history.

There are 15 sites around Cumberland County to visit, including the 17th century Swedish Granary, East Point Lighthouse, and the Millville Army Airfield Museum. You can find more sites by doing internet research.

The Cumberland Bayshore area has many interesting sites to take in. The serenity of the gentle waves on the shore should be enjoyed. Treat yourself to lunch or dinner at some out-of-the way eateries that are treasures you’ll want to revisit. They include Red-Eyed Crab in Dividing Creek, Fortescue Bayside Restaurant, and newly re-opened Hotel Charlesworth in Fortescue. A little off the Bayshore you’ll find the Bull on the Barn Bayshore Crab House. At Millville Airport save some time for Verna’s Flight Line Restaurant.

Whenever we have out-of-town guests visiting, we make a point of including Captain Dave’s Maurice River Cruises. This trip goes down the pristine river from the embarkation site behind Millville’s City Hall on Ware Avenue from May through October. Folks are astounded by the beauty of the landscape and clear water of the river along with the eagles, osprey, otters, and so much more wildlife.

The Maurice River Bluffs Preserves are amazing to hike with your kids. They can enjoy the outdoors and get fabulous views of the river. Millville is also home to Natural Lands Trust Peek Preserve. This wetland habitat is an excellent place to observe a wide variety of birds, especially migrating waterfowl and raptors. The preserve is part of the Maurice River Corridor “Important Bird Area” designated by the Audubon Society.

Cumberland County is filled with treasures in landscape, history, and art. There are thousands of acres of farmland, woodland, and wetlands that are protected by the State of New Jersey. Much of it allows hikers and some have biking trails. Always be mindful of delicate plants growing along side of trails.

It does seem like a lot of the county’s history and precious lands are on the west side. That’s not to say there aren’t many great places in the large land mass that is the City of Vineland. Many farm stands are located around the hundreds of acres of farmland growing everything from fine herbs to sweet corn, Jersey tomatoes and peppers.

A large amount of rich history is located around the environs of the City of Bridgeton. Greenwich Township, just west of Bridgeton, is steeped in history and includes a monument to the Tea Burning prior to America’s Revolution.

There is so much more to include in our trip through Cumberland County. We can explore that in another column. You certainly won’t be able to explore it all in one day. I hope you will begin this spring!

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