The Dot and Brooks Evert Memorial Nature Trail

Trail is located near the intersection of Stockton’s Bridge and Ong’s Hat Road with the trailhead east of the intersection on Ong’s Hat Road. There is a small parking area at the trailhead. It features a 1 3/4 mile trail, some of it on boardwalk (but boots will still be necessary for some portions even in early May). The 170-acre tract belongs to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. The trail is located along the Stop-The-Jade Run on the boundary of the Inner and Outer coastal plains.

Much of the area is a mature red maple swamp forest with the northeastern portions of the tract being drier more pine barrens like habitat. As a result of the habitat and microhabitat diversity within this tract, it supports a rich passerine breeding bird population.
Since 1993, when I first became aware of the Evert tract while doing a breeding bird survey for New Jersey Audubon, I have recorded 98 species of birds in and over the woods and from the adjacent boundary roads. But this is a special place for warblers, especially breeding warblers. Twenty five species have been recorded and no less than eleven regularly breed. The earliest breeders to arrive are Louisiana Waterthrush and Pine Warbler. Male waterthrushes can be heard singing the first or second week in April. It is not prolific in the tract, but frequents habitat only along Stop-The-Jade Run where its loud song draws attention.

By the last week in April Blue-winged, Black-and-White, Hooded, Common Yellowthroat, Ovenbirds, and Worm-eating Warblers are establishing territory. Worm-eating Warblers frequent the smaller second growth transition areas between the maple swamps and piny uplands. Prairie Warblers and the beautiful Prothonotary also arrive about this time. The bridge on Stockton’s Bridge is often an excellent spot for viewing the “Golden Swamp Warbler”. The last breeding warbler to arrive, the Kentucky, can be heard the first or second week of May. About three pairs of Kentuckies have annually breed in the woods since 1993. They are much easier to hear than see so it would be wise to learn their song. This are is also excellent for cuckoos. Most will be Yellow-billed but Black-billed are occasional.
For a list of birds seen

From the intersection of Rte 206/38/530 North-West of Pemberton,
take 530 into Pemberton and then Rte 644 South. This begins as Hampton St and before it turns into Magnolia Rd, turn a right on Scrapetown Rd. This becomes Stockton’s Bridge Rd. Follow the road to the T-junction with Ongs Hat Road/ Buddtown Rd and turn left. Evert Memorial Nature Trail and Woods are now on your left. There is a small parking area on the left at the entrance to the trailhead.
DeLorme New Jersey Atlas & Gazatteer: P. 56 B7
(Note: It is marked incorrectly in DeLorme as P. 57 C8)

Close by is another hardwood swamp where perhaps the most accessible Acadian Flycatcher in Burlington County regularly nests. Louisiana Waterthrush (easier to see here than at Dot and Brooks Evert), Prothonotary Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Black & White Warbler and Pine Warbler also nest here along with Red-eyed Vireo and Gray Catbird. Wood Duck and Green Heron are often seen.

To reach the Acadian Flycatcher area from the trailhead for Dot and Brooks Evert, proceed east on Ong’s Hat Road for about ¾ mile. Just across from a bar parking lot where Ong’s Hat Road makes a sharp left hand bend to join Magnolia Road is a small dirt track to the right. Pull in and park (do not attempt to drive in as the puddles created by ORV’s are very deep). Walk about 50 yards into the center of the hardwood red maple swamp. The Acadian can be seen and heard (a very emphatic peent-suh!) usually on your right at this spot.