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














275 ELLIS RD., MILFORD, NJ 08848

Phone: 908-782-1158 * Fax: 908-806-4057

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


Musconetcong Gorge Recreational Opportunitiies

The early settlers on Musconetcong Mountain were farmers. Two springhouses still stand in the preserve that point to the area’s use as a dairy farm, as milk in tin containers was kept cool by the running water. The springhouses also provided a source of running water for families and farm animals.

Before the County acquired the original 102 acres, this property was slated to become a housing development, and the main trail was the original lane. Located on the southern side of the Musconetcong Ridge, the property lies within the New Jersey Highlands Region. As such, development on the land became subject to the requirements of the 2004 Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act. This was a factor in the owner’s decision to eventually sell the land to the County in 2006. In 2015, 125 additional acres were acquired, which allowed for the current road access and parking lot. The trail system was established during volunteer events in 2016.

HABITAT AND WILDLIFE This preserve is located on the southern slope of the Musconetcong Ridge and is part of the Highlands Region of the state. The stream in the property drains into the Delaware River. The forest is an open oak-hickory canopy, except for a section that was planted with evergreens. Edge species have also pushed into the park’s interior, so expect to see birds such as Northern Cardinals and Gray Catbirds. One can also expect some visitation from the spring migrants and a few woodland breeders, such as Baltimore Orioles and Eastern Towhees. A small pond on the short blue trail and wetlands around the springhouses provide breeding areas for amphibians. Rock walls in the park offer shelter for small animals like rodents and snakes.

RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES Much of the trail system of the Musconetcong Mountain Preserve consists of old roads remaining from when the area was being considered for development. Most of the trails are several feet wide and are very easy to hike or bike, but there is an uphill slope on the return to the parking area. Cross-country skiing is not recommended due to the sloped terrain. Although horse back riding is permitted within this park, no parking is available for trailers.

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 227
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 NO
Nature Study YES
Picnic Pavilions NO
Picnic Sites NO
Playground NO
Restrooms NO
Scenic Vistas NO
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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The Musconetcong Mountain Preserve is located in Holland Township at 275 Ellis Road, Milford 08848. The park is open from sunrise to sunset. There are no restroom facilities.


Directions from Clinton Area Take Route 78 west to exit 11. Use the jughandle and the second exit of the circle to cross over Route 78 and proceed west on Route 614 (Little York - Pattenburg Road) for about 5 miles to Little York. At the intersection in Little York (where 614 turns left), proceed straight across onto Ellis Road. Continue about 1.3 miles, and look for a double driveway with the brown park sign on the left. The park is the driveway on the right.

Directions from the Stockton Area: Proceed north on Route 519 until the junction with Route 631. Proceed straight onto Route 631 until the junction with Route 614. Turn right onto Route 614 and drive through Little York. Turn left onto Ellis Road when Route 614 bears sharply to the right. Proceed about 1.3 miles, and look for a double driveway with the brown park sign on the left. The park is the driveway on the right.

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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. 

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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:

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