ABOUT MUSCONETCONG GORGE
Previously, this land was owned by the Warren Manufacturing Company. Started in 1873 by John L. Riegel, this paper plant processed wood pulp from the forest into sheets of paper through steam-powered machinery harnessed by the river. The timber was also used to make charcoal, which was sold to farmers as fertilizer. Mill workers stacked and burned the timber on man-made flat areas against the hillside called “charcoal landings.” The remains of several charcoal landings are still visible along the trails. Look for flat areas with very dark soil. Near Musconetcong Gorge, the towns of Warren Glen and Riegelsville were built by the paper company to house their workers. The company was more recently known as Fibermark, Inc. The county acquired much of the property in 1977, and smaller parcels have since been added, bringing the total area of the preserve to 523 acres.
HABITAT AND WILDLIFE: This oak-hickory forest is a major food source for wildlife. Gray Squirrels and White-tailed Deer are common residents, and evidence of Black Bears in the park has been recorded.
The ravine and water seeps located in the park provide excellent habitat for reptiles and amphibians and can be identified by rocky areas with moss and ferns growing around them.
Several types of birds can be seen throughout the year. Evidence of woodpeckers, such as the Downy Woodpecker, can be found along the Nature Trail. Turkey Vultures and hawks can be seen flying above as they use the thermal pockets created by the Musconetcong Ridge. With the ample supply of acorns and nuts, do not be surprised if you come across a flock of Wild Turkeys in the park.
|Soccer & Baseball/Softball Fields
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.
The Musconetcong Gorge Preserve is located in Holland Township, west of Bloomsbury Boro and adjacent to the Hunterdon County border with Warren County. Parking is available at 182 Dennis Road, Bloomsbury 08804.
The park is open sunrise to sunset. No restroom facilities are available.
Directions from Interstate 78: Travel west on I-78 to exit 7 and bear right to Route 173 west. On route 173, drive 1.3 miles to Route 639. Turn left onto Route 639 and travel 4 miles. At the stop sign, bear left on
Route 519, then turn left and cross the Musconetcong River, staying on Route 519. Take the next left onto Dennis Road (a gravel
road), and go 0.2 miles to the parking area
located on the left side of the road.
Directions from Milford:
Travel on Route 519 north for 5.8 miles to
Dennis Road. Bear right onto Dennis Road and
travel 0.6 miles to the parking area on the righthand side.
Photo Courtesy of Tom Drake
The trails at the park are designed for hiking only. Most of the trails range from moderate to slightly difficult. They take advantage of the smoothest grounds but are steep in some areas. This park offers beautiful vistas
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.
TRAIL AND GUIDE INFORMATION Trail Guides are set up as foldable brochures. Maps should be printed on Legal Size Paper
- Park Brochure and Trail Map
- Trail Map
- Self-Guided Nature Trail: Located on the left side of the parking lot, this trail leads to a wonderful view of the ravine and stream that runs through the park. This trail was established as an Eagle Scout Project, for which a separate brochure is available.
- Railroad Trail: This easy hiking trail begins on the other side of the ravine and runs parallel with the old rail bed adjacent to the park property until it dead-ends. Two trails branch off the
Railroad Trail: The Gas Line Road and the
- Gas Line Road: A ser vice road for a gas line, this trail is steep and rocky and it connects to the Highlands Trail.
- Waterfall Trail: Follow this trail up the ravine to a scenic waterfall. This trail links up with the Gas Line Road.
- Ridge/Highlands Trail: The Ridge/Highlands Trail departs from the right side of the parking lot and is a moderate to difficult trail. The trail runs along the ridge of the mountain. The Highlands Trail extends 150 miles from Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River in New
York south to Riegelsville on the Delaware
River in New Jersey. Blazed with teal-colored
diamonds, the trail displays the scenic and
natural beauty of the Highlands Region. A portion of the trail lies within Musconetcong Gorge Preserve. For more on the Highlands Trail, visit the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference’s website, http://www.nynjtc.org/region/highlands-trail.