Recommendations for a DC to NYC road trip in mid-February

Hi everyone! I’ll be driving between Washington and New York during mid-February and trying to plan out some potential stops along the way to observe wildlife, plants, fungi, really just any unique ecosystems and natural areas. I was thinking of going down through New Jersey, possibly along the coast, and maybe trying to car camp along the way. Any good spots you guys know? Wanna meet up and go hunt for unique species? Let me know!

Thanks,
Erik

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It’s been years since I visited New Jersey, but I know it has many habitats. There are lakes in the south near Philly, rivers, the Pine Barrens, lots of marshes up north, and all sorts of beaches.

Maybe explore the iNat map of observations for New Jersey to see what organisms are new to you and then go there.

Sorry I can’t meet up. If you’re ever in Central Texas, message me. I’m always looking for company and an excuse for a road trip.

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If you happen to pass through Philadelphia, be aware the Wissahickon Valley Park is home to an impressive collection of some of the tallest trees in the northeastern US. I realize that’s a niche interest- I can expand if there’s an interest, just figured I’d put it out there for the moment.

Some great stuff in the Pine Barrens of NJ, of course- and NYC itself has a lot more in terms of interesting wild places than most visitors would ever realize, especially in the outer boroughs but even in Manhattan.

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Thanks! I was planning on stopping in Philly anyhow so I’ll definitely be adding that to my schedule! Any particular spots in New York you had in mind? I’m staying with a friend in the city for a few days so I’ll have plenty of time to check out a few spots.

Thanks for the reply! Yeah I might end up taking a few days to just sorta meander through the state. Hopefully I can find some good spots to car camp.

I’m not sure of your route, but if you’re passing through Delaware, there’s Bombay Hook and Prime Hook, both of which might be too far south from looking at a map but would offer a lot of birding. In northern DE, there’s White Clay Creek State Park on the DE and PA border, which I love, though I’m not sure mid-Feb. will show it at its best, and there’s Brandywine State Park. There are also serpentine barrens in the area, but I haven’t been to any of them, except Nottingham County Park long ago. I know they feature unusual plants, but it’s February, so . . . If the weather is really cold and snowy and you just want to remind yourself of beautiful gardens and summer, I suggest Longwood Gardens. They have a conservatory full of exotic plants, including some wonderful orchids. It’s all casual grade observations of course, but in mid-winter, it’s a relief from the bleakness of the outdoors. Have a fun, safe trip.

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Yeah, there’s not a whole lot going on on the serpentine barrens right now, unless you really know what to look for. The New Jersey state forests in the Pine Barrens should offer some good camping sites.

OP might be interested in a Philadelphia Botanical Club trip on the Wissahickon on February 15: http://www.philbotclub.org/field_trips.html

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