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Backpacker Magazine – March 2014

Trail Mix: East

Perfect Days, Bring Your: Sweet Tooth and Hear This Now.

by: Sarah Stewart

(Brian Lasenby/iStockphoto.com) Peeper among first frogs calling each spring
(Brian Lasenby/iStockphoto.com) Peeper among first frogs calling each spring

Hear This Now: Spring Peepers

Cheesequake SP, NJ

Listen for a crescendo of chirps this March as the northern spring peepers attempt to woo females. The 1.5-inch amphibians sport vocal sacs that can expand to 2 inches when they croak, creating a pika-like chirr. Hear the orchestra as the males gather en masse every dusk to compete for attention in the New Jersey backcountry. From the Cheesequake trailhead, connect the Blue and Green Trails to create a 2.7-mile loop. At the junction of the Red and Green Trails (mile 1.6), scan the wetland bogs and moss gardens for the tiny, tan males (often decorated with black markings) and chartreuse-and-black females, which thrive in the moist fields and oak and maple forests. Tip: The frogs hide along freshwater pond edges during the day and come out to grub on algae and small insects at night.Note Camping is not permitted until April. Contact (732) 566-2161 Trip data 





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