Westville NJ. Wheelabrator wildlife refuge~ Top Places to See in the Philadelphia Area before you die.

Wheelabrator Wildlife Refuge

600 Crown Point Rd (route 130S)
Westville, NJ

Part 1.

All I can say is, “Wow.” I have lived right down the street for years and have never heard of this place. I can literally walk here. I am now all giddy inside because I found an AWESOME place to visit that is right around the corner.


Pretty Sign


The butterfly/hummingbird garden

This refuge is stunning! It is 75 acres of undeveloped land (which is unheard of in our vicinity). With wooded walks, meadows, grassy fields, a butterfly garden, and wetlands to boast a few of its offerings.


The gorgeous refuge

The refuge offers informational plaques and a number of viewing wooden decks along your hike.


Hummingbird vine in butterfly garden


Enclosed butterfly garden there is also a bench and a pond in here. Can’t give it all away, ya know?

After you are done checking out the garden, head on back towards the meadow.


the meadow at the refuge

This will take you towards the hiking trails in the woods.

You’ll come along this shack. I’m not sure what it is to be honest with you.


Weird Shack

Keep going back towards the woods.


Hiking path

You’ll soon reach a decent hiking path. Take the left path.


Pretty Woods

Continue through you will see some plaques on the fence offering little insights about the Wheelabrator processing facility.


Wheelabrator Information

Keep walking.


First deck overlook

You will soon start to hit these gorgeous viewing docks so you can take in all the nature around you. This is the first deck.


Pretty swell

Continue along you will see a fork in the trail. Head to the right. You will come along to such beautiful ferns and will take you down to the wetlands.


Pretty forest with ferns 🙂

Head back up the way you came and go to the fork again. Going left this time. I stumbled upon massive monarch butterflies. I have never seen so many flying around in my life. It was gorgeous.


Hello, butterfly!

If you look closely you can see the butterfly. I then came upon a dirt road. I didn’t venture further along because I was carrying my 11 month old. The stroller could only get past the first viewing deck.


Can’t get the stroller off!

Haha. See the stroller in the picture.

There is also a sheltered picnic pavilion so you can bring a bagged lunch.


More greenery and lusciousness



The refuge is gorgeous. I can’t wait to hike further along when it’s a little cooler out. It was 95 degrees out when I came here. It was nicely shaded within the woods. I must say.


Pretty meadow

There are some brick ruins along the path. They may be from the prestigious Washington Amusement Park. People would flock as far away as NYC to vacation here. This land also contained the largest ferris wheel in the world at the time.

However, if you live in the Camden/Gloucester County area and enjoy hiking this is a fabulous place to ferret out. Bring the kiddies around nature. They won’t get over the gazillion monarch butterflies flying around. There’s a butterfly garden on the premises. You won’t believe this is in our backyard.

I wrote a follow up on the Westville Refuge. This talks about the amusement park that once resided on the property. You can view that here:
Westville Wildlife Refuge Part II


Another of the many viewing decks

Truly is an amazing place!

3 thoughts on “Westville NJ. Wheelabrator wildlife refuge~ Top Places to See in the Philadelphia Area before you die.

    • Thanks, Marty!! A ton of history here. Check out the Part 2 I did. It use to be the biggest amusement park in the world on this site! Plus had beaches. It’s a nice place to explore.

  1. Pingback: Wheelabrator Wildlife Refuge – Westville, NJ | South Jersey Trails

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