Nestled in New Jersey’s famed “Pine Barrens,” the Great Egg Harbor National Scenic and Recreational River runs from its source 129 miles north in Berlin, NJ, to the Atlantic Ocean at Great Egg Harbor Bay.
The Great Egg Harbor River has drawn people to its bountiful banks since before Europeans reached the New World. Lenape Indians hunted and fished here. Early settlers used the tall cedar to build ships. American colonists made cannon balls from the bog iron.
Today, the river provides a safe place for threatened and endangered species, including the swamp pink, the bog turtle and the Pine Barrens tree frog. Bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and osprey feed on the striped bass and alewife that return to the river each year to spawn.
Kayakers and canoeists will thrill to the river’s challenging whitewater and float mindlessly along the tamer stretches. Fishermen can find plenty to catch in the tea-colored waters, while birders can scan the skies for raptors, warblers, and other migratory fowl.