THE VALINSKY'S SECTION
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.
|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.
Location: 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.
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
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
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.
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.
In order to control the population
of deer on park property, hunting is permitted. Hunters must obtain a
special permit issued by the Parks Division to be able to hunt on the
preserve. Visitors during hunting season are strongly encouraged to wear
blaze orange or confine visits to Sundays. See additional information
on the Hunterdon County Park System Controlled