New Jersey Butterfly Club

A chapter of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA)

Estell Manor County Park and Lenape Farms

by Jeanine Apgar

County: Atlantic.

Municipality: Estell Manor City.

Directions: Estell Manor Park: Main entrance: 39.398181, -74.745247. From north: 4.5 miles south of Mays Landing, NJ on Rt. 50. From south: approximately 14 miles north on Rt. 50, from Garden State Parkway, exit 20.

Lenape Farms: Rt. 50 and Steelman Landing Road, Tuckahoe, NJ: 39.387424, -74.747442. From Estell Manor Park, turn left (south) onto Rt. 50, ¾ mile to Steelman Landing Road, turn left. Proceed ½ mile onto dirt road, go through gate, then ¼ mile to gravel lot on right.

Here is a local area map.

Parking: Yes. Estell Manor: Main Parking-a paved lot is next to Nature Center by the entrance with room for 30 vehicles. Another parking lot is on the southern end of the park, proceed onto Purple Heart Drive loop road past the cemetery to parking lot on right. Room for 40 vehicles. A northern section of the park is located 1 mile north of the main entrance, on the right at Artesian Well Road. A small sign marks the entrance here, and parking is ½ mile ahead on left. Lenape Farms parking lot holds 6 vehicles.

Nearest sizable town: Mays Landing about 4.5 miles north of Estell Manor. Routes NJ 50 and US 40 have gas stations and restaurants including McDonald's, a deli and a WAWA.

Habitats: The park is bordered on one side by the Egg Harbor River. There are dirt and sand trails through pine and oak woods, coastal forest with American holly and a 2 mile boardwalk through an Atlantic White Cedar swamp.

Maintained/Marked trails: Yes. Estell Manor Park has an extensive network of trails that can be viewed on this map. Many of the trails here were formerly railroad beds and are flat and make for easy walking. The trails at Lenape Farms are a dirt road and a grassy trail through pine-oak-holly woods with Atlantic White Cedar in some areas. Depending on how it is managed year to year, sometimes there are fields planted with wildflowers, especially the first field on the right after the entrance gate.

Restrooms: Yes. Restrooms are located in the Estell Manor Nature Center, open daily 8 am to 4 pm. No facilities at Lenape Farms.

Picnic tables: Yes, at Estell Manor only. Picnic areas are about 0.2 miles south of the Nature Center along Purple Heart Drive (about 6) and also farther on this road past the Veteran's Cemetary at the southern end of the park where there is a pavilion with many tables.

Notable species: In March, expect Henry’s Elfins, and Blueberry Azures on any trail. In April Eastern Pine Elfin anywhere, and Falcate Orangetip, found sometimes at the northern end of the park. Juniper Hairstreak can be found, and there are some nectar sources near and behind the Nature Center. There is also a butterfly garden across the parking lot from the Nature Center, always worth checking. Falcate Orangetip will also be at Lenape, along the sand road or the field about 1/8 mile past the old farmhouse on the right. In summer, there are often fields planted with clovers and wildflowers, with good numbers of sulphurs and skippers.

Best time to visit: Mid-April through early May, when you may find Henry’s Elfin, Pine Elfin, Juvenal’s Duskywing or Falcate Orangetip. In July/August, check the butterfly garden and plantings at the Nature Center for Skippers, Hairstreaks, or Swallowtails.

Exploring Estell Manor County Park: After parking at the Nature Center, check the gardens, then walk along the paved road, turning left onto the sand trails (North End Trail, Greenbriar Trail or Mistletoe Trail). These are good places to look for elfins and duskywings, including the side trails leading off. Be advised, it's easy to get lost here! There are some boggy areas, where Appalacian Brown and Little Wood Satyr may be found.

Exploring from the north end Artisian Well Road, the trails leading left or north from the artisian well and boat ramp, such as Oak Ridge Trail or the camping loop have Atlantic White Cedar and some low damp areas. Taking the boardwalk south from this area will bring you to more Atlantic White Cedar bogs.

Exploring Lenape Farms: As you enter the main road, and go through the first gate, there are fields along the road, which are often planted in various flowers and clovers. If you look up you might see American Kestrels which use the electric wires for perching! From the parking area, continue past the second gate on foot, checking the American Holly trees and small meadows along the sides. There is a trail leading left off the road about ¼ mile ahead, which ends at a boat ramp on the Stephen’s Creek. Continuing on the main dirt road, you will come to an old farmhouse, which used to be a hunting lodge. The fields in this area can have mustards and attract sulphurs. The dirt road continues straight, through an Atlantic White Cedar bog, then comes out to more open habitat with pines and oaks. If you make a right in front of the farmhouse, the trail leads back to the parking area.

Special precautions: Ticks are abundant at all times of year.

You might also want to visit: Lester G. MacNamara (Tuckahoe) Wildlife Management Area or Lake Lenape Park in Mays Landing, 6.3 miles north on Rt. 50, where you can camp, kayak, and find picnic areas..

Further information about Estell Manor County Park is available.

To view a larger map, click on 'View larger map' icon in upper right hand corner. (Tip: The satellite view may also suggest good potential butterfly habitat to explore.)

Butterfly Garden

Estell Manor Butterfly Garden.

Sand Road at Estell

Sand Road at Estell.

Estell Boardwalk

Estell Boardwalk.

Estell Picnic Area

Estell Picnic Area.

Lenape Field of Flowers

Lenape Field of Flowers.

Lenape Road

Road at Lenape.

Nature Center

Estell Manor Nature Center.