Tag Archives: Port Norris

Bivalve and Shell Pile – Commercial Township, NJ

I first heard of Shell Pile and Bivalve, two old oystering towns, the way most folks do, through Henry Charlton Beck’s classic book Forgotten Towns of Southern New Jersey.  While many of the towns in that book are long gone, Shell Pile and Bivalve (along with Port Norris) hang in there.  Despite diseases that have nearly wiped out the oyster population (twice), one factory and a handful of boats still hang on.  And, of course, there are still gigantic piles of shells, same as there were in the 1930s.  I hadn’t been there in five or six years.  What sent me back?  Well, I drove by this the other day…

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… and Millville is fairly close to Shell Pile and The Pres had never been and Spring Break is almost over, so why not?

The place has changed a little bit, more of it is run down by the year, and more marinas are closed, but the Bayshore Discovery Center has some nice digs, even if the Meerwald was in Philly for the month.  So, a brief (but in no way thorough) tour:

 

Old Port Norris School, built on stilts to avoid flooding.

Old Port Norris School, built on stilts to avoid flooding. 2014.

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Nature Trail – Bivalve, NJ

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Nature Trail- PSE&G Commercial Township Wetland Restoration Site – Bivalve (Commercial Township), Cumberland County, NJ
Distance: 2 miles (one way) (We walked 1.6 miles total)
Type: Out and back.
Difficulty: 1 of 10.
Total score: 7 of 10.
Official Website – ESTUARY ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM

Terrain – Boardwalks and walkways through tidal marshlands.

Trailheads –
#1 – 39° 14.401’N, 75° 2.662’W (Northern End)
#2 – 39° 14.009’N, 75° 2.108’W (Middle End)
#3 – 39° 13.699’N, 75° 2.281’W (South End)

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