Lansdown and Capoolong Creek Trails

Overview

Hike almost seamlessly from the more manicured Lansdown Trail to the more rugged Capoolong Creek Trail through scenic woods and countryside as a 5.4-mile two-car shuttle or a 10.8-mile out-and-back.

Details
Time:
2 hours
Difficulty:
Easy
Length:
5.4 miles
Route Type:
Shuttle/Two car or Public Transportation
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Historic feature, Woods, Birding, Wildflowers
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Hunterdon
State:
NJ
Maps/Books
Publication
First Published:
09/07/2012
Submitter:
Daniela Wagstaff

Photo

Capoolong Trail along Capoolong Creek

Parking


View Lansdown and Capoolong Trails in a larger map

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
40.63385,-74.912872
Driving Directions
Beginning of Lansdown Trail in Clinton:GPS Coordinates 40.63385,-74.912872Take I-78 to exit 15.  Keep right on NJ-173/West Main Street and continue for .2 mile.  Turn right between the Agway, Weichert Realtor and Fox Lumber (before the Exxon station).  While there is no designated parking for the Lansdowne Trail, public parking may be used.End of Capoolong Creek Trail in Pittstown:  (to spot a car)GPS Coordinates 40.580367, -74.959572Take I-78 to exit 15.  Keep left on Pittstown Road and continue for 4.4 miles.  After passing Race Street on the right, start watching for a red house on the left.  Just after that house turn left on a narrow, unnamed road.  A gravel parking pad with room for about 2 cars is on the left a short distance ahead.
Description

Look for the start of the Lansdown Trail just to the right of Fox Lumber Company, easily identifiable by a crushed stone path leaving the parking lot.  Follow this path along the side of lumber company, which at one time was the train station for this spur of the Lehigh Valley Railroad.  An interpretive sign on the left outlines the interesting history of the railway. 

Countryside View from Lansdown TrailAfter a short distance, pass under I-78 then cross a bridge.  Don’t be discouraged by the sound of zooming traffic.  This will soon fade away and be replaced by the sound of flowing water.  About a quarter of a mile into the hike, the trail meets up with the South Branch Raritan River on the left.  A little farther along, cross a paved road to an open view of the countryside to the right.

After crossing three more bridges and noticing piles of old railroad ties along the side of the trail, the Lansdown Trail comes to an end at a kiosk and pullout parking on Lower Lansdown Road.  You have hiked 1.75 miles to this point.  There are two ways to connect to the Capoolong Trail.  Turn right on Lower Lansdown Road avoiding the very overgrown rail bed that continues straight ahead.  After a few steps another overgrown rail bed leaves to the left.  There is a path through and over the old railroad ties that still lie in place but if you want to avoid the overgrowth, continue walking along paved Lower Lansdown Road.  A short distance ahead at the intersection, turn left on Lansdown Road.  You will arrive at the same live railroad crossing as the overgrown rail bed.

Wildflowers Along TrailCross the live tracks and note the blue historical sign on the left.  To the right just before the street signs, a footpath leaves the road – this is the Capoolong Trail although there is not sign.  This trail, although well defined, will alternate between wider cinder rail bed and narrow dirt footpath as it winds along the scenic Capoolong Creek.


At the 2.45 mile point, cross Lansdown Road and Sidney Road towards an interpretive sign where the trail continues. At 2.70 miles turn right on Lower Kingstown Road towards the bridge.  The trail turns left before the bridge that someone has adorned with American flags and hanging plants.  There is a gravel road with a “Private Drive” sign; proceed on the path to the left of that gravel road which will run a level higher.  In .2 mile the path and gravel road merge together briefly then come out at a paved fork in a power cut.  You might see some cattle grazing in the power cut to the left.  Keep right on the paved road and turn right to pick up the trail just before the “Wrong Way” sign.

Tree Trunk BenchAt the 3.55 mile point, cross Lower Kingstown Road again at a large red barn then in a quarter of a mile come out on Lower Kingstown Road once more, turn right and head towards the Lower and Upper Kingstown Road signs with the one lane bridge on your right, cross Upper Kingstown Road and pick up trail at an interesting bench cut out of a huge tree trunk.

At 4.6 miles into the hike, turn right on White Bridge Road and follow the road briefly.  When White Bridge Road turns right, continue straight through a small gravel parking pad to once again pick up the trail that almost immediately crosses over a footbridge.

At 5.3 miles cross a gravel road then in another tenth of a mile arrive at the dilapidated old train station, still standing right on the side of the trail.  If you did this hike as a shuttle, continue straight a few steps to the gravel road, turn right and arrive at the spotted car.  For an out-and-back hike, this is the turnaround point.


Click here for more pictures of this hike.

Turn by turn description
[  0.00]  Walk towards Fox Lumber keeping to the right of the parking lot to the trail head[  0.25]  Cross bridge[  0.35]  Cross paved road[  0.50]  1/2 mile marker[  1.15]  Cross bridge then power cut then another bridge[  1.55]  Cross bridge[  1.70]  End of Lansdown Trail; either cross Lower Lansdown Road and veer right then left on unmaintained rail bed (not the unmaintained bed straight ahead, the one to the right of that) OR turn right on Lower Lansdown Road to intersection, left on Lansdown Road to live tracks[  1.85]  Cross live tracks then turn right on Capoolong Creek Trail (not marked) just before the Lansdown and Sidney School Road signs[  2.45]  Cross Lansdown and Sydney slightly to the left[  2.70]  Veer right on Lower Kingstown Road briefly towards bridge, turn left before bridge - trail runs parallel to the left of the private drive[  2.90]  Trail merges together with gravel private drive and comes out at paved fork in power cut; keep right and pick up the trail to the right just before the "Wrong Way" sign[  3.25]  Cross wooden footbridge built by boy scouts[  3.55]  Cross Lower Kingstown Road at a large red barn[  3.80]  Turn right on Lower Kingstown Road and walk towards Lower and Upper Kingstown Road signs, with one lane bridge on the right, cross Upper Kingstown Road to pick up trail at log bench[  4.15]  Cross bridge[  4.45]  Cross bridge[  4.60]  Turn right on White Bridge Road, continue straight towards parking pad, cross White Bridges Road where it curves to the right and continue on trail through parking pad; cross bridge built by boy scouts[  5.20]  Cross bridge[  5.30]  Cross gravel road[  5.40]  End of Capoolong Trail at old train station on right; continue to gravel road and turn right to spotted car or retrace from old train station for out-and-back hike