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Manumuskin Preserve

Millville, New Jersey

5.0/5
based on 1 reviews

Description

Added by Heidi Dallas

Turquoise Blue Water! And absolute solitude.

Just outside of Millville, NJ is Menantico Ponds Fish and Wildlife Management Area. There are several entrances with their own sets of pros and cons, but we chose to drive in from the E Main Street/Rt. 49 entrance. From here there is a very narrow dirt road that eventually leads to a small parking area and boat ramp with one single, but well kept (or we just had good timing...) porta-potty. Stop here if you're interested in boating, fishing, or other activities you'd like to drive straight to! However, we were on a hunt for the legendary "Blue Hole."** Luckily, even though you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere, you're really not! Because of this, I had full cell phone service and was able to use the satellite option on my phone's GPS map app to figure out where exactly this lake was hiding. We turned around and drove about halfway back towards route 49 and parked in a bare spot off to the side of the dirt road. From here we followed one of about 1 billion ATV trails until we found it!! I'd guess we walked about 2 miles each direction at best.

The walk there was surprisingly hard because of the sand bottom. I wouldn't recommend this trip for kids. There are also bugs and ticks everywhere. I wore bugspray, and reapplied it, and was still eaten alive! One very adorable thing was all of the frogs we passed on the walk out. There are tiny frogs just littering the sandy paths. They're really good about getting out of the way before you step on them (thankfully!!) so if you watch the ground as you're walking, you'll just see little quarter size dots hopping out of the way by the dozen. I love frogs, so I found it adorable.

The water itself is really a sight to behold. The water is cartoonishly blue. Yep, "cartoonishly". There is no swimming allowed, but 90+ degree temperatures got the best of me and I tested the waters just a bit. The bottom of the lake is clay, not sand, which was a crazy feeling. The water also is surprisingly deep considering how light the water is! How deep, I'm not sure, but I couldn't touch the bottom once I was more than about 10 feet out. I'm not sure if anything more than fish live in the water... but realizing I could not longer reach the bottom is all it took to scare me back out to land!

The beach around the water is kind of surreal. There are tons of tracks from ATVs which gave a sort-of construction zone feel to the land. But seeing all of this evidence of people having been there, and yet not a soul in site, was creepy. But cool creepy. We hung out on some beach blankets and hammocks we'd taken, got a bit sunburned, and debated on whether or not the water was toxic (it was so blue!!) or if my LifeStraw bottle could handle it. (We took the risk and survived.)

Because of the ATV tracks and unfortunately some litter at the site, you're not going to get that "I'm out in the wilderness" feel. So while I still totally recommend this day trip, I also recommend just accepting the experience for what it is. Go ahead and bring a battery radio, some portable blankets, and sunscreen, and escape the Jersey Shore tourists for some private beach time instead! Just don't walk there in flip-flops...

**note: there is an official "Blue Hole" in NJ located in Winslow Fish and Wildlife Management Area in Hammonton, NJ ... from what I've heard, that blue hole is not an actual blue hole, but rather just an ordinary pond with that name.

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Reviews

Awesome tips! Thanks for the info.

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