Hunterdon County, NJ | Department of Planning, Economic Development and Land Use | CUSHETUNK MOUNTAIN PRESERVE

 


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CUSHETUNK MOUNTAIN
PRESERVE


PHYSICAL ADDRESS:
106 OLD MOUNTAIN ROAD, LEBANON, NJ 08833

Phone: 908-782-1158 * Fax: 908-806-4057
parks@co.hunterdon.nj.us


Bald Eagle at Cushetunk Mountain

Round Valley ReservoirABOUT THE CUSHETUNK MOUNTAIN PRESERVE

Cushetunk Mountain Preserve is part of a horseshoe-shaped mountain that was formed by volcanic activity during the Triassic Period 200 million years ago. The Lenni Lenape called this area “Cushetunk,” meaning “place of hogs,” due to the settlers’ hogs who at times escaped and roamed the mountains. Settlers simply called the area “Hog Mountain.”

Diabase rock made the area unsuitable for farming, so timber was the dominant early use.
The natural bowl formation of the valley led to the state’s selection of this site for the creation of the
Round Valley Reservoir in the 1960s. Ten homes in the valley were demolished and 16 others were relocated before the area was flooded. At a depth of 180 feet, the reservoir is the deepest body of water in NJ. In 1981, the county acquired 380 acres as open space.

Schick Farm PropertyBALD EAGLE INFORMATION The Cushetunk Mountain range has been home to a nesting pair of Bald Eagles for over 15 years. Bald Eagles are the county’s largest raptor, with a wingspan of seven to eight feet. The white head and tail do not develop until its fifth year. Fish are the staple of the eagles’ diet, but eagles are known to steal food from other raptors and scavenge off of carcasses.
Bald Eagle populations have grown since the banning of DDT and other pesticides, which once poisoned fish and accumulated in the eagles’ bodies. In 2007, Bald Eagles had recovered enough to be removed from the federal endangered species list, although they are still considered state endangered.

WILDLIFE AND HABITAT The preserve resides on the northern side of the Cushetunk Mountain. Since it is out of direct sunlight, the habitat is wetter then the southern side. Trees in in the park include chestnut oaks, tulip trees, beeches, and hickories. A variety of woodland birds can be seen or heard throughout the park, including warblers and thrushes in spring. Evidence of woodpeckers can be found on dying trees. Rocky outcroppings and moist seeps provide excellent habitat for reptiles and amphibians.

RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES Cushetunk offers many forms of recreational activity, including hiking and mountain biking. Due to the steep inclines, the trails leading to and Cushetunk offers many forms of recreational activity, including hiking and mountain biking.

The trails leading to and including the Ridge Trail are considered difficult, but offer scenic views of the reservoir. For a moderate hike,
walk from the parking lot to the interior trail and then down to the meadow to return to the parking lot. Horse-back riding is prohibited.

NOTE: From January 1st to August 1st each year, certain areas of Cushetunk and Round Valley Recreation Area are closed to the public for the protection of the Bald Eagles’ nest and habitat. Please help protect the Bald Eagles and obey these

HUNTING Hunting is permitted to control the deer population, and hunters must obtain a permit issued by the Division. Visitors during hunting season are strongly encouraged to wear blaze orange or confine visits to Sundays. See additional information on the Hunterdon County Park System Controlled Hunting Program.

With the exception of park properties with reservable facilities, all properties are “carry in / carry out” and trash/recycling receptacles are not provided.  Please plan accordingly and do not leave any trash/recyclables behind. 

Acreage 380
Meeting Room NO
Mountain Biking YES
Campsites NO
Canoe Access NO
Cross County Skiing NO
Fishing NO
Fitness Trail NO
Gardens NO
Hiking/Nature Trails YES
Horseshoe Court NO
Horse Trails NO
Hunting YES
Information Boards YES
Nature Study YES
Picnic Pavilions NO
Picnic Sites NO
Playground NO
Restrooms NO
Scenic Vistas YES
Sledding Area NO
Soccer & Baseball/Softball Fields NO
Visitor Center NO
Gazebo NO
Parking YES
Reservable Facility NO

The Hunterdon County Parks and Recreation Division is dedicated to preserving open space and natural resources, providing safe parks and facilities, and offering educational and recreational opportunities, all contributing to an enhanced quality of life for present and future generations.

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LOCATION:

Cushetunk Mountain Preserve spans across the border of Clinton and Readington Townships. The parking area is located at 106 Old Mountain Road, Lebanon 08833. This park is open from sunrise to sunset. Please note that there are no restroom facilities at this park.

PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 106 OLD MOUNTAIN ROAD, LEBANON, NJ 08833

Directions from the Clinton Area Take I-78 east to Route 22 east. On Route 22, travel until the junction with Route 629. The junction is at a traffic light and marked by a sign for Round Valley. Turn right on Route 629 and proceed for about 0.5 miles until a left-hand turn for the “Boat-Launching Ramp.” Turn left and follow the road for another 1.4 miles to Old Mountain Road. Make the right and travel 1.5 miles. On a curve just before the railroad tracks is a gravel parking lot on the right side.

Directions from the Whitehouse Area Travel west on Route 22 and exit to the right for Lebanon/Cokesbury. Use the jug handle and cross over Route 22. At the “T” intersection with Main Street, turn left and then make the right-hand turn onto Cherry Street. Go 0.4 miles and after passing under the railroad bridge, turn left onto Old Mountain Road. After 1.5 miles, on a curve just before the railroad tracks is a gravel parking lot on the right side.

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ADA ACCOMODATIONS

It is the policy of the County to provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities upon advance notice of need. Persons  requiring accommodations should make a request at least two weeks prior to program attendance.

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TRAIL AND GUIDE INFORMATION

Trail Guides are set up as foldable brochures. Please print and fold in half vertically to view in proper order. Additionally, you may have to rearrange pages. Maps should be printed on Legal Size Paper.

Cushetunk offers many forms of recreational activities. Visitors can hike and mountain bike on the trails. Due to the steep incline as you approach the ridge, these trails are considered difficult. Horse-back riding is prohibited in this park.

In 2010, the County and Readington Township collaborated to create a connector trail between Cushetunk and Pickell Park.

Readington Township Parks can be reached at (908) 534-9752 or http://readingtonrecreation.org.

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PHYSICAL ADDRESS: Hunterdon County Arboretum, 1020 Highway 31, Lebanon, NJ 08833       MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 2900, Flemington, NJ 08822
PHONE: 908-782-1158       EMAIL: parks@co.hunterdon.nj.us

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