Higbee Beach, Cape May, NJ, is located at the end of New England Road on the southern shore of the Delaware Canal that separates the Island of Cape May from the southernmost part of mainland New Jersey. It is south of the zero marker of the Garden State Parkway and is 4 miles from the City of Cape May.
In spite of its name, Higbee Beach hosts diverse habitats that include forest, scrub and dunes. Its more than 1,000 acres are a Wildlife Management Area maintained by the Division of Fish and Wildlife of the New Jersey Department for Environmental Protection.
Migrating songs and hawks rest here and various winter birds nest in this area, making it one of the biggest bird watching locations in all of North America.
A network of trails and fields as well as observation platforms give bird watchers a variety of viewpoints to observe feathered creatures here. A variety of land animals may be seen as well, as New Jersey is home to more than 500 native vertebrates in all.
One section of Higbee Beach, Cape May, NJ, is accessed from the end of New England Road where there is a parking lot. From the parking lot there is a road to the right that leads to a dike and jetty. Some years this parking lot is kept closed between Memorial Day and Labor Day, (the busy season at the beaches of Cape May), in order to decrease pressure on the ecosystems at Higabee. The second section is a half mile prior to reaching the end of the road. There is a parking lot there as well, on the south side of New England Road.
There are marked trails in both sections.
The beach itself, which until 1999 was a nude beach, has signs posted today that prohibit nudity on this beach. There are no lifeguard services.
The beach is one and a half miles in length. While the law allows only leashed dogs here from September through April, it is common for nearby residents to come to the beach with their dogs in the early morning of late afternoon and allow them to run freely in the shallow surf.
The beach and the park it is in are open from dawn to dusk throughout the year.
During the summer the high temperature here reaches the upper 80s and at night drops into the 60s. In the colder months the daytime high is in the 30s and the night time low usually does not drop below the 20s.
If one is trying to see the migratory birds at Higbee Beach, Cape May, NJ in the spring, one should be ready for rainfall as March is the month that sees the most precipitation annually.
These birds can also be seen in the driest month, October.