Ken Lockwood Gorge Wildlife Management Area

Ken Lockwood Gorge Wildlife Management Area

Along the South Branch of the Raritan River - Photo credit: Daniela Wagstaff Along the South Branch of the Raritan River - Photo credit: Daniela Wagstaff
40.688177, -74.880171

Hike along an unpaved road closed to vehicles that parallels the South Branch of the Raritan River through a deep gorge.  Some say it is amongst the ten most beautiful spots in New Jersey.

 

Typical of Wildlife Management Areas, the 500-acre Ken Lockwood WMA is managed primarily for hunting and fishing.  It is also one of the New Jersey's most picturesque WMAs.  Towering hemlocks lining the steep walls of the gorge provide shade and contribute to a sense of isolation.  A 2.5-mile stretch of the South Branch of the Raritan River flows through the gorge, cascading over boulders,...

Park Acreage:

498.76 acres

Municipality:

Lebanon Township

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Contact Information

Web Link:

NJDEP, Division of Fish and Wildlife,

Phone:

(609) 984-0547

Fees:

None

Dogs in park:

Dogs on leash

Prepare For Your Destination

Let's Go

Trip Reports

rate experience
May 27, 2019
1
Cycling the Ken Lockwood Gorge
I rode the Columbia trail on Memorial Day 2019 from High Bride to Long Valley and on the way back I got off the trail at Hoffman's Crossing and rode through the gorge. I was shocked at the condition of the road through the gorge. There are many more than the usually numerous pot holes, but in addition there are areas where "gravel" (actually small boulders) have been placed that are not ride-able. The worst section is close to the gorge exit where there is a perpendicular ravine that is probably a foot deep. If anyone on a bike tries to go over that they are going down. There are no cones or warnings. To be honest this is just plain nuts. If we are supposed to be able to bike the gorge than the road should at least be bike-able and if not the dangerous areas should be marked. Someone is going to have a serious accident if these conditions are not re-mediated soon. The rest of the trail is in much better shape and is a joy to ride.
rdtansey
August 26, 2009
0
Road repair

From George Perry, author of "Hiking the Jersey Highlands," who visited the gorge in mid-August:

The State has been repairing and resurfacing River Road after it was washed out in places by a flash flood after a heavy thunderstorm in June. During the work, access to the road from Hoffman's Crossing Road and from High Bridge was blocked to cars. The work is now almost complete. On Monday I walked the hike, as described in "Hiking the Jersey Highlands," from the parking lot in Califon off Route 512 to the restored rail bridge over the river. Parking on River Road about 0.4-mile in from Hoffman's Crossing is available. A gate has been installed beside the parking area at the beginning of the new pavement, but it isn't locked. No obstacle to hikers.  

Until the paving work is complete, access for cars to River Road may be blocked, but walkers can get through. The work was supposed to be done by the end of July, but of course there have been delays.

It seems to be almost complete, but there are now auto gates at both ends. I've seen one and been told about the other by the driver of the passing car. How they will be used isn't clear.

Access for hikers on the railbed trail from Califon to High Bridge (the route of the Columbia Trail and partially of the Highlands Trail) was never impeded by the work, and remains open.

Hiker parking and access to the Highlands Trail from route 513 and Stephens State Park was never impeded.

Added note: Updates are welcomed, please use the "reply" button.

Phil McLewin
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