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Wildcat Ridge Hawkwatch


Panoramic Time-lapse From Wildcat Ridge Hawk Watch (YouTube video courtesy of Dave Blinder)

Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Mangement Area, located off Rt. 513 in northern Morris County, features an official Hawk Migration Association of North America "hawkwatch" at the top of the ridge. This is a great place to see migrating hawks in the spring and fall as they ride the thermals along the ridge top.

The hawkwatch is staffed with Division volunteers who perform the hawk counts from August 15 to November 15, and again in the spring from February 15 to May 15. A kiosk provides information about the site. Unfortunately, a viewing platform on the ridgetop was destroyed by vandals and funding has yet to be secured for its replacement.

The breathtaking view of the Highlands is well worth the walk to the lookout even when the hawks are not moving. The hawkwatch provides a spectacular vista of the forest and valleys of the Highlands. On a clear day the New York City skyline is visible from this overlook high on the edge of the ridge. As the video linked above illustrates, the view provides an otherwise hard to obtain understanding of the vastness of the Highlands forest resource and its value to hundreds of species including humans, in northern New Jersey.

No other area in north Jersey has the large unfragmented forests needed to preserve populations of endangered hawks, owls, and increasingly rare songbirds. These forests are even more important to the millions of humans living in the urban centers whose drinking water comes from the lakes and streams of the Highlands purified by its forests and open space.

A trail network, which includes a segment of the Highlands Trail.

Directions to Wildcat Ridge Hawkwatch
Wildcat Ridge WMA Hawkwatch Facebook Page
History of the Wildcat Ridge Hawkwatch
Hawk Migration Calendar
Wildcat Ridge WMA Maps
Wildcat Ridge Enhancement Site
Hawk Migration Association of North America
Hawk Counts available at

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: September 2, 2016