Hunterdon County, NJ | Department of Planning, Economic Development and Land Use | Valinsky's Section - Part of the South Branch Reservation















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

American Kestrel at The Valinsky's Section



Named after its former owners, Frank and Jean Valinski, this property of forest and meadows along the South Branch of the
Raritan River contains a historic 1789 stone smokehouse that was part of the original farmstead of Jacob Gearhart (1735-1813).
Gearhart fought in the Revolutionary War, and helped secure wooden boats that aided General George Washington and his troops on the famous crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas Eve in 1776. His family lived on the farm from 1765 to 1791. With a succession of owners over the next two centuries, the land was sold to Kenneth Estabrook (1924-2003) and his wife Virginia in 1970. As one of the state’s most prominent attorneys in his day, the family moved from Cranford to this area for its charm and rural atmosphere. In 1975, the county bought the Valinskis’ property, and in 1979, the field was purchased as an addition to the adjacent landholdings. Today, this property consists of 83 acres of open space.

The Valinski Section is part of the 1000-acre South Branch Reservation, a preserved greenway along the South Branch of the Raritan River that offers recreational opportunities to explore its amazing natural resources up close.


FISHING Adjacent to the South Branch of the Raritan River, the Valinski Section offers access to the river’s edge for fishing. The river is stocked with Rainbow, Brook, and Brown Trout. State Fish and Wildlife laws apply.

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.

CANOEING Canoeists can access the river just beyond the parking lots. Canoeing the South Branch of the Raritan River is a wonderful way to view wildlife and experience the outdoors. The corridor along the river provides excellent habitat for waterfowl. Aquatic reptiles, such as Painted Turtles, are regularly observed perched on the stone and tree outcroppings along the river banks.

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.

Acreage 65
Meeting Room NO
Mountain Biking NO
Campsites NO
Canoe Access YES
Cross County Skiing NO
Fishing YES
Fitness Trail NO
Gardens NO
Hiking/Nature Trails NO
Horseshoe Court NO
Horse Trails NO
Hunting YES
Information Boards NO
Nature Study NO
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

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Bank Barn at the Schick ReserveLOCATION

The Valinski Section is located on Hamden Road in Clinton Township and River Road in Franklin Township. It is open sunrise to sunset. No restroom facilities are available.

PHYSICAL LOCATION 502 Hamden Road, Annandale 08801

Directions from the Flemington area Take Route 31 north to the jug handle exit for Payne Road. Cross over Route 31. Proceed on Payne Road until the “T” intersection with Lilac Drive and turn right. Follow Lilac Drive to River Road and turn left. Proceed to Hamden Road and turn left again. Travel past the YMCA Camp Carr. Park in the small lot on the left before the bridge (502 Hamden Road, Annandale 08801 for GPS). Or cross over the river (road changes name to River Road) and park in the pull-off area on the left before the open field (123 River Road, Annandale 08801 for GPS).

Directions from the Clinton area Take Route 31 south to Allerton Road. Turn right on Allerton and after 0.5 miles make a left on Lilac Drive. After 0.5 miles, turn right on River Road and proceed as

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Trail Guides are set up with the brochure on one side, and the map on the other.  The brochure and 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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