ABOUT THE MELICK'S BRIDGE SECTION
Photo provided by June Quick
Melick's Bridge is named after the family who owned the 1880s double truss Pony bridge and surrounding land. George E. Melick (1897-1971) and his wife Helen purchased the property in 1930, and established a 127-acre dairy operation known as "River Bottom Farm." They also raised pigs, chickens, and horses, and operated a small peach orchard. Over the years, they acquired a total of 200 acres of property. In 1977, Helen sold 151 acres to the county as a measure to protect the watershed of the South Branch of the Raritan River, and all 151 acres are included in the South Branch Reservation.
Today, 62 acres of this property are considered the Melick's Bridge Section. The South Branch Reservation totals over 1000 acres. Besides providing recreational opportunities, the reservation helps preserve the South Branch of the Raritan River Watershed and provides wildlife habitat.
Location: Melick's Bridge Section is located at 245 Hamden Road, Annandale 08801 (Clinton and Franklin Townships). The park area is open from sunrise to sunset. No restroom facilities are available.
Directions from the Flemington Area: Travel Route 31 north to the jug handle at Allerton Road. Use the jug handle and cross over Route 31. Proceed from Allerton Road straight to Wellington Drive. Turn left off Wellington onto Hamden Road. Parking is on the left before the bridge or on the left immediately the bridge.
Directions from the Clinton Area: Take Route 31 south to Allerton Road. Turn right onto Allerton Road and proceed as above.
FISHING:Adjacent to the South Branch of the Raritan River, Melick's Bridge offers two short trails for access to the river's edge for fishing. The river is seasonally stocked with trout. New Jersey State Fish and Wildlife laws apply, and a state fishing license with a trout stamp must be displayed.
HUNTING: In order to control the deer population, hunting is allowed (by Parks Division permit only) in some sections of this park. Please wear blaze orange during hunting season or confine your visits to Sundays. See additional information on the Hunterdon County Park System Controlled Hunting Program.
CANOEING: The area just beyond the parking lot could be used as river access for canoes. Canoeing the South Branch of the Raritan River is a wonderful way to view wildlife. The river corridor provides an excellent
habitat for waterfowl, which can be viewed all along the river. Aquatic reptiles, such as
Painted Turtles, are regularly observed perched on the stone and tree outcroppings along the banks of the river.
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
Other South Branch Areas
Landsdown Trail: Located over on Lower Landsdown Road, this area offers an easy 1.5 mile hike into the center of the town of Clinton. The trail crosses the Coopalong Creek.
Pine Hill Trail: At the end of Hamden Road is a fisherman's trail along the South Branch of the Raritan River. The Round Valley Pumping Station is also located at the end and is a good location for waterfowl.