Bunker Hill Natural Area

Bunker Hill Natural Area, Franklin Township, NJ (2/2/2013)

We have been hiking a lot in Somerset County, New Jersey lately, and in particular areas in Franklin Township. It's not too far from us, and as far as we can tell, it didn't sustain as much Sandy damage as places up north. Most importantly, though, even if there was Sandy damage, the parks are all open! Sure there might be blow-downs, but we can get over and around them! Hmmm, maybe there are less trial lawyers in Somerset county. Today we headed to an area just east of the Griggstown Native Grasslands Preserve and south of the Butler Road Natural Area (both of which we hiked two weeks ago).

Using this map we started at the small parking lot on Bunker Hill Road and covered just about every trail in the area, an amazingly varied area. We first headed north on Yellow, then continued north on Brown, crossing a small creek along the way. We took Brown all the way to its end, at one time bordering a nice farm, at Old Vliet Road. We then retraced our steps back to Yellow, which we took counter-clockwise completing that loop. We next headed west on Blue, which is a bit messy since the hurricane but without too many blow-downs. We then continued west on Red (crossing Bunker Hill Road) but turned back before it ended because there were too many blow-downs and the area is quite a mess. We took Red east back to Yellow and then back to the car.

Total distance hiked today was 4.6 miles in 2.5 hours.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Kiosk on Bunker Hill Road

Beginning of Yellow

North on Yellow


Native grass

Downy woodpecker

House Finch


Wildflower over path

Thanks a lot Sandy!


Shagbark Hickory on Brown

Target practice

Stream icing up a bit


Stream crossing ...

... and blow-down on Brown

Beautiful cliff


Slippery crossing

30-foot cliffs

Fields east of Brown

North on Brown

Bunker Hill Golf Course just west

Row of houses east across field

View south

Cool treehouse!

Colorful vines

Antenna tower south

At northern tip of field

Treehouse from below

Old farm equipment

Red-tailed hawk

Hornet's nest

I scare them away!

Blow-down on Brown

Nice evergreen tunnel

Gate to private farm

Brown continues along farm

Yellow-bellied sapsucker

Kiosk at Old Vliet Road

Grass along path

Evergreen tunnel

Stream along Brown

View west

Tricky crossing

A lone bench

On Blue

Tall trees on blue

Sandy damage!

Blow-down on Blue

Red crosses Bunker Hill Road

Bench on Red

On Red

Blow-down on Red

Laura on the blow-down

Bat house off Yellow

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