North Stony Brook & Sourland Mt Preserves
Today we hiked in two little gems in Hunterdon County, the Sourland Mountain Preserve (not to be confused with Somerset County's Sourland Mountain Preserve!) and North Stony Brook Preserve. The former is east of Rileyville Road (Route 607) in East Amswell while the latter is west. There's a special historical interest surrounding Sourland Mountain Preserve. The preserve is situated in a square bounded on three sides by Rileyville Road (to the west), Lindburgh Road (east) and Ridge Road (north). Within this very same area (you can clearly see it on the Google Earth) is the house of Charles Lindbergh, the site of the infamous kidnapping in March, 1932. It was from this house that Lindbergh's baby son disappeared. Sadly the remains of the boy were found less than 5 miles SE of the house two months later. The eastern end of the white trail in Sourland gets quite close to the house, closer than one can get from Lindbergh Road (since the house is so far off the road). Had there not been leaves on the trees, we may have been able to see it. We couldn't help but wonder if on that ill-fated night the kidnapper ran into the woods, with the baby, where we were now hiking.

Using this map we parked on Rileyville Road, headed east into the preserve using the Service Road Trail. Don't be discouraged, it's hardly a road, but more a narrow dirt path, a woods trail in almost every sense. We made a right on the South Loop trail, then continue east on the White trail before picking up the eastern end of the Service Road trail which we took back west to the South Loop trail, making a left there and then heading back to the parking area. To hike the North Stony Brook Preserve, we walked out to Rileyville Road, made a right and after only about 100 feet saw the green trailhead on the western side of the road. We took this green trail in the clockwise direction. The loveliest part of the hike was the green trail south of Mountain Church Road where it ran parallel to a stream (North Stony Brook?).

Total distance hiked today was 6.5 miles in just under 4 hours.

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

Entrance on Rileyville Road

Trail head for Sourland

Service Road trail

Concrete pipes



South Loop trail

Mushroom photography [photo by Laura]


Creek crossing

Spray paint ...

... on boulders


Interesting rock patterns

Irene blow-down

On the White trail

Boulder field

Telephone line cut

White Ash

Two young deer

Service Road trail

Another hurricane blow-down

Laura on other side

Brunswick shale abounds here

View east of Service Road trail

Creek off SR trail


Creek off ...

... South Loop trail

Mushrooms on bank

Entering No Stony Brook Preserve


First of several boardwalks

[Photo by Laura]

A tree with character

Trail signs at every intersection

Very old drum

Grassy patch

White Ash on Green trail

More boardwalks

The Green blaze

Crossing Mountain Church Road

Shagbark Hickory

Tiny animals prints

North Stony Brook

Crossing the brook

[Photo by Laura]

Lovely views ...

... of the brook

Awesome mushrooms ...

... inside a tree!

Boundary wall

Tree packed with mushrooms

Crossing Northern Stony Brook ...

... for second time

Laura found a shovel


Mountain Church Road

Back into the preserve

Old tree [photo by Laura]

Still on Green

Very rocky here

Very informative bird sign

Huge blow-down

Interesting rock growth

Shagbark Hickory



Support rail for creek crossing!

Abandoned farm equipment?

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