Sourland Mountain Preserve

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Sourland Mountain Preserve with Alex Regan - August 16, 2007 016.jpg

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Park Overview:

The largest of the open spaces on Sourland Mountain, with easy to moderate trails.

Trail Uses:Hiking, Mountain biking, Bridle path
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:
Park Acreage:3197 acres
City/County/
State:
Hillsborough &
Montgomery
Townships/Somerset/NJ
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Park Description:

The largest of the open spaces on Sourland Mountain is the 3,197-acre Sourland Mountain Preserve, a Somerset County park.  It occupies a portion of the northeast "point" of the Sourland Region, which stretches southwest across Hillsborough and Montgomery Townships through southern Hunterdon and northern Mercer counties to the Delaware River.

Trails Overview:

The preserve contains nested loop and connecting trails through a mature hardwood forest of primarily oak, beech, and tulip trees.  The Pondside Trail [circle] is an easy 0.5-mile loop trail over level to gently sloping terrain.  Another easy trail, the Maple Flats Trail [triangle], loops 1.1 miles further into the preserve.  Rising and descending moderately to the ridge, the Ridge Trail [rectangle] covers 3.3 miles.   For a trail map, click on the preserve's web site below in Contact Information.

  • In dry season, when posted as appropriate, mountain bikers and equestrians can use the trails.
Directions:

The parking lot and trailhead are located on East Mountain Road, 0.6 mile south of NJ 514 [Amwell Road], off US 206 near Somerville.   For directions, click on the preserve's web site below in Contact Information, and follow the link to "Parks and Facilities."

Contact Information:Somerset County Park Commission
908-722-1200
Region:Central Jersey
Fees:None

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

Sourland Hike Rally Sept. 8

Somerset County Parks System has given permission to the Sourland Planning Council to hold a hikers rally  in the park on September 8th as a fundraiser.  There will be eight different guided hikes that Saturday morning, led by some well-known area naturalists / open space advocates, including nature photographer Clem Fiori and Stony Brook Watershed's chief env. educator Jeff Hoagland.  Brick over pizza and ice cream are included and served in park after and a t-shirt too!  Also, a road cycling rally at own pace of up to 60 miles will also be set to go.  Should be fun and raise consciousness of this Central NJ jewel.  More info at www.sourland.org/spectacular .

sourland hike

did the loop on Memorial Day (hot humid) - an interesting trail but not among my top-ten in the state. The Devil's Half Acre is cool and worth the trek. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sph001/sets/72157624059797373/show/ Did not find Rolling Rocks all that exciting -but perhaps after a major rain storm or winter thaw.... and as noted before - From #6 you can take the Red Square to the Rocks -then continue up to #8.

New trails have been blazed with red blazes

Two new trails are now blazed with red blazes. The Ridge Trail [white square blazes] connects to the newly blazed Red Blaze trail which runs to Roaring Brook and the re-connects with the Ridge Trail below the brook. The Red Circular blazed trail runs north from the brook and terminates at the gas line.

Trails at Sourland

I left a comment about hiking beyond the fence between markers 6 and 8. I stated that the Somerset County Park Commission had made a lease arrangement with the private property owner to allow hikers to be able to get over to the wonderful boulders and Roaring Brook. A Trail Conference member questioned me about this. He said that he had seen the trail blaze beyond the fence but had not ventured in. Well, friends, venture in. I was at Sourland today. I hike it backwards from 13 to 1, clockwise.. When I got to 8, the trail was blazed beyond the fence. I hiked in and up to the cairn. To go the the brook, take the left fork at the Cairn. The trail will eventually take you to a spopt where you can easily get to the brook. Go back from the brook to the trail and continue in the clockwise direction. Soon there will be a trail off to the right, no blaze, yet, but that is the correct trail. The trail is also blazed straight ahead, and it is terrific, but it ultimately at least for now just dumps you out after quite a while at the gas line. You then have turn right to hike back down the gas line in the direction of thre parking lot, until you come to the trail on the left at 5. If you hike from 1 to 13, counter clockwise, just go on through the fence and keep on to the brook. Go out still keeping to the counter clockwise direction. If there are any other questions about this, my source is Sgt Phil Richards, superintendent of the the Somerset County Park Rangers. Richard Mitnick