ABOUT SOURLAND MOUNTAIN PRESERVE
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
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
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.
WILDLIFE AND HABITAT
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 marshs existence along the Service Road Trail.
|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.
MAIN PARK ACCESS: 233 RILEYVILLE ROAD,
RINGOES, NJ 08551
NORTH SECTION: 13 RIDGE ROAD,
RINGOES, NJ 08551
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.
TRAIL AND GUIDE INFORMATION
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
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.