The Spizzle Creek Trail is an easy, flat trail with views of the Barnegat Bay and a bird observation blind making it a great place to spot the abundant wildlife attracted to this rich ecosystem. The trail is mostly wide with sandy patches and some mud as well as boardwalk in places.
sandy patches and some mud
Length: 0.8 miles. Shorter if only going to the bird blind.
Elevation gain: +0 feet
Location: Island Beach State Park, NJ
Spizzle Creek Trail Parking
The trailhead is on the west side of the road 7.5 miles south from the park entrance between parking areas 19 and 20. Park in either parking area 19 or 20. Parking area 20 is slightly closer to the trail entrance.
Spizzle Creek Trail Map
Spizzle Creek Trail Hike
The trail entrance is behind a gate.
Follow the flat sandy path for about 0.2 miles. You will soon be stepping into the Sedge Islands Marine Conservation Zone.
The 1,900 acre Sedge Islands Marine Conservation Zone (SIMCZ) is located at the southern end of Island Beach State Park. Floating buoys and signs along the boundary notify the public that they are entering the SIMCZ. This is one of New Jersey’s most productive wildlife habitats because it contains a combination of maritime forest, thicket, and an extensive tidal marsh.Sedge Islands Brochure
There are faded interpretive signs along the way with information on the plants you’ll pass . You’ll soon reach a junction with a kiosk with posted information and picnic table.
From here, the right fork leads to a bird observation blind. Head right as the trail – muddy in parts – narrows and eventually crosses a wooden boardwalk and passes interpretive signs.
Ahead, you’ll see the bird observation blind.
Spizzle Creek Bird Blind
The right fork of Spizzle Creek Trail leads to a bird observation blind.
The bird blind offers a chance to see ospreys or wading birds. Step into the blind and watch the rich diversity of birds that make this salt marsh their home – or lunch spot. I watched a herring gull grab a crab out of the mud and share a meal with the juvenile gull watching on.
Some more herring gull photos, because why not?
After checking out the bird blind, return to the fork.
If you go left at the fork, the trail follows a raised path through a salt marsh.
At the end of the trail, Barnegat Bay spreads before you. This is an excellent place to watch osprey.