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Opinion: 5 ways to enjoy autumn in the Stockton area

When considering how to celebrate the fall season, many people think about visiting haunted houses, going pumpkin picking, and doing other Halloween-related activities; however, there is a wide variety of fall activities that can be done even after Halloween has passed. In honor of today’s holiday, here are five ways to celebrate the season in the general Stockton area.

1.) Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Absecon, NJ

Located only six miles away from Stockton’s Galloway campus, the Edwin. B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is an ideal spot for seeing native wildlife and gorgeous autumn foliage. There, visitors can walk a variety of wooded trails and even take their cars along an 8-mile scenic route where they can catch a glimpse of various birds and other wildlife. The refuge even offers a variety of volunteer and educational opportunities for those interested in subjects like environmental science and sustainability. More information about the refuge and the species that reside there can be found here.

2.) Historic Smithville, Smithville, NJ

Just a five-minute drive from the Edwin. B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Historic Smithville is home to a charming array of family-owned businesses, antique shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. Visitors also have the option of staying the night in Smithville’s various inns and suites. Historic Smithville is open year-round and hosts public events each month, including the Dickens Fest, which is held in the last week of November. More information about Smithville’s shops, restaurants, and events can be found here.

3.) R&J Farms, Egg Harbor City, NJ

Each year, R&J Farms offers pumpkin picking, corn mazes, and hayrides starting in September, as well as sunflower picking starting in August. Though the farm closes off its pumpkin picking and hayride activities at the end of October, the farm reopens in November for Christmas tree tagging, where visitors will be offered complimentary hot chocolate and cookies. More information about the farm’s activities and pricing can be found here.

4.) Historic Gardner’s Basin, Atlantic City, NJ

For those who reside on Stockton’s Atlantic City campus, Historic Gardner’s Basin is a must-see, regardless of the time of year. There, visitors can partake in scenic boat rides, go fishing, enjoy a good meal, and explore the unique shops in Crafter’s Village. It also features a maritime park and the Atlantic City Aquarium, all within walking distance of one another. More information about Historic Gardner’s Basin can be found here.

5.) Stockton’s Nature Trails, Galloway, NJ

Want to enjoy what nature has to offer during the fall season, but cannot leave campus? No worries! Stockton University’s Galloway campus is home to a variety of wooded trails surrounding Lake Fred. There, visitors can discover sections of Stockton’s corner of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, like the swampy lowlands and the burned areas, where trees are subject to controlled burning each year to promote new growth. Similar to the Edwin. B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, these trails are home to a variety of local flora and fauna, which are always a treat to see during the autumn months. More information about the trails can be found here.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to make the most of the fall season– and on behalf of The Argo community, have a happy Halloween!