The Maurice River Bluffs Preserve
Millville, New Jersey
“In poker, there are many ways to bluff, depending what situation you are in.”
It was winter going on spring…. It’s one of those days that breaks, from all the frosty/freezing cold of the fall and winter. You just want to get the heck outside. You’re itching for some nature and determined to find it. Well, welcome to the Maurice River Bluffs, my Yoda friends. ” Do or do not, there is no try.” And Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing thru him” – Obi-Wan to Luke because the Maurice River Bluffs are a fantastic force of Jedi power. So get out your “hiking stick”, or I like to call it, “light saber” and lets go on a magical journey to the Bluffs.
The magnetic Maurice River begins in Gloucester County, and flows south, forming the eastern boundary between Salem and Cumberland Counties and travels on to the Delaware Bay. The Maurice is quite big at 20 miles long. The roaring river is an important link to wildlife. It offers high quality water and is delivered to the Delaware Bay. This magical water system plays a crucial role for the regional oyster, crab, and fish industries of the Bay. Which the industry has been significant both historically and economically in the South Jersey region for centuries.
This 500-acre solace of Nature Conservancy sanctity.
Is well… Located on the Maurice River. Do you get it? Maurice River Bluffs? A popular river for boaters, nature nuts (like myself) and anyone who wants to see true rustic beauty in South Jersey… Well… I found THE place.
“R2-D2 where are you ?” – C3PO. Oh… Just seeing if you’re still paying attention.
Many folks who visit, encounter something pretty phenomenal… Their first look at a bald eagle… in the wild. Gasp. Yes, I know sweet. Now, I have seen some “baldys” out and about on my adventures, but I think this encounter really captivated me. It was due to the true bucolic nature of where she was perched.. On a tree and on an island, overlooking the Maurice River. It was truly an idyllic scene and she was the true QUEEN. The ideal American conception of how eagles live in the wild.
Now, there are also ospreys, who call the marvelous Maurice their home and many other fine feathered fowl creatures.
A few other features to this preserve… The newest addition, the yellow trail. They call her (“they”=Yummygal) the mellow yellow trail, fyi.. The trail caters to a 35-foot long drawbridge. It takes you to significant steeper areas of the wildlife sanctuary and definitely was a pain in the Yummy hiney or Darth Vader.. as we MUST stick to our Star Wars theme… This trail was difficult navigating with a stroller… But Yummy persevered and enjoyed the journey (and the 5 pounds she lost that day).
“You can not escape your destiny. You must face Darth Vader again.” – Ben to Luke
This trail will eventually lead to what they call the “Bird Blind.” A nice sheltered lookout to watch all the waterfowl frolicking in the river. You will also encounter a nice deck that allows you to sit on the river and watch the spectacle of aviary feathered friends. As you sit there… Remind yourself that a bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. Tweet Tweet Tweet!
There are multiple benches and picnic areas so bring the family and friends (even furry friends, if you don’t have any human ones). Just please don’t leave your trash.
There are also mystical ruins of a Century ago, in this preserve, so there is a ton of stuff to see. It will tickle your adventurous spirit.
And for all my Star Wars geeks out there…
May the Maurice River Bluffs Force… Be With You.
And singing a little “Weird Al.”
“Well, I heard my friends really got in a mess
So I’m gonna have to leave Yoda I guess
But I know that I’ll be coming back some day
I’ll be playing this part ’till I’m old and gray
The long-term contract I had to sign
Says I’ll be making these movies till the end of time
Oh with my Yoda
Yo-yo-yo-yo Yoda Yo-yo-yo-yo Yoda. “
Well… Yummy has to exit the rear…”Strong am I with the Force, but not that strong. Twilight is upon me and soon, night must fall. That is the way of things. The way of the Force.” – Yoda to Luke.
Until our next epic adventure, my friends! -The Yummygal