Hunterdon County, NJ | Department of Planning, Economic Development and Land Use | Musconetcong Gorge Preserve

 


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MUSCONETCONG GORGE
PRESERVE GUIDE

PHYSICAL ADDRESS
182 DENNIS ROAD, BLOOMSBURY, NJ 08804

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


Musconetcong Gorge Section of the Musconetcong River Reservation - Guide and Trail Map

ABOUT MUSCONETCONG GORGE

Musconetcong Gorge Recreational Opportunitiies
Photo Courtesy of Tom Drake

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.

RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES 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 population of deer on park property, hunting is permitted. Hunters must obtain a special permit issued by the Division. Visitors between September and February 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 523
Meeting Room NO
Mountain Biking NO
Campsites NO
Canoe Access NO
Cross County Skiing NO
Fishing NO
Fitness Trail NO
Gardens NO
Hiking/Nature Trails NO
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

The Musconetcong Gorge Preserve is located in Holland Township, west of Bloomsbury Borough 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.

PHYSICAL ADDRESS 182 DENNIS ROAD, BLOOMSBURY, NJ 08804

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.

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TRAIL AND GUIDE INFORMATION

Trail Guides are set up with the brochure on one side, and the map on the other.  The brochure should be printed on legal size page, and the map can be printed on standard 8 ½ x 11” 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 Waterfall Trail.
  • Gas Line Road A service 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, www.nynjtc.org/region/highlands-trail.

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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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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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