Hunterdon County, NJ | Department of Planning, Economic Development and Land Use | South Branch Reservation













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

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


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Hunterdon County began buying land along the South Branch of the Raritan River in 1974, when the Assiscong Marsh was acquired. Most of the remaining land was purchased in 1975, but additional parcels have been purchased through the 21st century. Today, over 1000 acres of parkland exist along this river, and these pieces are collectively referred to as the South Branch Reservation. This reservation helps protect the watershed and provides wildlife habitat. It also provides recreational opportunities such as canoeing, fishing, birding, hiking, biking, and picnicking.

This brochure is designed as an overview of the South Branch Reservation. Many of the sections have their own trail map and guide. These brochures are available at the Hunterdon County Arboretum or the Hunterdon County Website:



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 to be able to hunt on the reservation. 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.

CANOEING Canoeing the South Branch of the Raritan River is a wonderful way to view wildlife. The river corridor provides an excellent habitat for waterfowl, which can be seen all along the river. Aquatic reptiles, such as Painted Turtles and Northern Water Snakes, are regularly observed perched on the stone and tree outcroppings along the banks of the river. Recommended canoe access sites are Melick’s Bridge, Pine Hill, Valinski, Sunnyside, and Stanton Station.

FISHING The South Branch of the Raritan River is a popular fishing destination. All sections listed here permit fishing, except Assiscong Marsh. The river is seasonally stocked with trout. New Jersey State Fish and Wildlife laws apply, and a state fishing license with a trout stamp must be displayed to fish trout-stocked waters.

SHARING THE SOUTH BRANCH River etiquette calls for canoers and tubers to maneuver around someone fishing whenever
possible. But please understand not all paddlers have this knowledge, nor is it always feasible with river currents, so those who are fishing
should politely communicate their needs to ensure a safe passing distance is obtained.

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.

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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Many of the South Branch sections have short hiking trails, including Wings and Stanton Station. Some can also be used for biking or horseback riding. Please check each section’s brochure for specific information, or look for our guides on Hiking, Biking, and Horseback
Riding. The basic rule of trail etiquette is“wheels yield to heels, yield to horses” (Bikers yield to both, and pedestrians yield to horses).

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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