Home | Division of Parks and Recreation | Park Guides & Trail Maps | Sourland Mountain Preserve Join Us On Facebook Twitter
Seal of the County of HunterdonDepartment of Parks and Recreation

Division of Parks and Recreation
PO Box 2900, Flemington, NJ 08822-2900
1020 State Route 31, Lebanon, NJ 08833
Phone: 908-782-1158 * Fax: 908-806-4057

OFFICE HOURS: Monday - Friday, 8am to 4:30pm

Sourland Mountain Nature Preserve - Guide and Trail Map


The name "Sourlands" is derived from the fact that early settlers found the rocky soils difficult to farm. The limited supply of groundwater saved the forest from destruction by developers. Its woodlands shelter a very rich and diverse native plant community.

The park's 364 acres are comprised of a deciduous forest with a swamp surrounded by two streams. Formed almost 200 million years ago, the rocks of the Sourlands, called diabase or "trap rock," were used to produce railroad ballast, concrete aggregate, and Belgian blocks for road beds. Evidence from quarrying can still be found embedded along the fissures of
some boulders.

The Sourland Mountains are also steeped in mysticism and history. Some say compasses do not work in these hills; others say the mountains are haunted. John Hart, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, hid in these hills during the Revolution. The Lindbergh Estate, the site of the famous baby kidnapping/murder, is near the property.


Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve (formerly called Stony Brook North) is public open space that is owned and managed by the D&R Greenway Land Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving habitat along the Sourland Ridge. The trail network covers more than eight miles of forest following the headwaters of the Stony Brook. Only recreational hiking is permitted within this park. For more information on Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve or the D&R Greenway, contact them at (609) 924-4646 or visit their website www.drgreenway.org.


The Sourland Preserve is a second generation oak forest. The original forest was cut down when the area was an active quarry. When the quarrying stopped, the area was reclaimed by nature. This forest is still in development. Most of the trees that make up the canopy are the same size and width, and the under canopy is just developing.

The property has many vernal (temporary) pools which provide perfect breeding habitat for amphibians. Frogs and salamanders will lay their eggs in these pools to avoid fish predation. By the time these pools dry, the young have usually matured and are no longer fully aquatic. Spotted Salamanders, Wood Frogs, and Gray Treefrogs are just a few of the amphibians that you may find here.

The rocky terrain of the mountain is an impermeable layer that channels and retains water in depressions. This layer is what permits the marsh’s existence along the Service Road Trail.

Acreage 364
Meeting Room NO
Mountain Biking YES


Canoe Access NO
Cross County Skiing YES
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 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.

{To Top}


Sourland Mountain Nature PreserveLOCATION



Location: Sourland Mountain is located in East Amwell Township, in the southeastern section
of Hunterdon County. There is a small parking area at 233 Rileyville Road, Ringoes 08551.
Please note: No restrooms facilities are available.

Directions from the Flemington Area: Take Route 202/31 south from the Flemington Circle for 5 miles to the jug handle for Wertsville Road (Route 602). Use the traffic light to cross over Route 202/31. Continue on Wertsville Road for 3.3 miles to Rileyville Road (Route 607). Turn right onto Rileyville; go 1.7 miles. The park entrance is on the left and is marked by a Green Acres sign as well as a County Park sign. The entrance is shared by two other driveways; continue up the
center driveway to the small parking area. Do not block the gated access road.

A satellite parking lot is available at 13 Ridge Road, Ringoes 08551. Proceed back to Rileyville Road and turn right. Make the first right onto Ridge Road. The lot will be on the right in about 1/2 mile.

Directions from the Lambertville Area: Take Route 202 North for about 6 miles to Ringoes. Turn right onto Wertsville Road (Route 602), and follow the directions above.

{To Top}



Mountain Preserve is very wide and flat, with a short uphill slope at the end. The trail winds through a beautiful deciduous forest, strewn with large boulders. Along this trail is a floodplain with a rich diversity of aquatic life.

Yellow Trail: This trail branches off the Main Trail, about a quarter of a mile from the parking area. It can be a very wet trail and crosses a small stream where hikers must rock hop. In spring, many wildflowers can be found along this trail.

White Trail: This trail connects the end of the Main Trail with the Yellow Trail. It traverses a few rocky areas and can be very wet in spring or after rains.

Blue Trail: This trail branches off the Service Road Trail and connects to the satellite parking area on Ridge Road. It climbs through the boulder area and crosses one of the creeks. The creek crossing may be impassable during the wet spring season. This trail also uses a D&R Trail easement. Please follow the established trail.

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.

{To Top}




This park offers easy hiking, biking, and crosscountry skiing. Horseback riding and rock climbing are prohibited in the preserve.


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.


{To Top}




Home | Division of Parks and Recreation | Park Guides & Trail Maps | Sourland Mountain Preserve