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Trails

Why Is This Happening?

A healthy forest ecosystem requires native undergrowth.

Emerging growth replaces old trees, provides small animal habitat, and helps maintain water and soil health. The absence of this undergrowth is often a product of overgrazing and allows for the proliferation of invasive plant species.

Population studies have revealed up to 15x the recommended level of deer density on this property. Deer also present a hazard to drivers on local roadways.

Seasonal Trail Closures

The Watershed Reserve employs several techniques to combat overgrazing, including deer exclusion fencing, native reforestation, and hunting. Unauthorized hunting is prohibited.

Visitors are advised to wear fluorescent orange to be seen and safe!

Trail closure dates will include: 

Saturday, 1/8 – All Trails Closed 

Saturday, 1/15 – All Trails Closed

Saturday, 1/22 – Trails south of Wargo Pond open at 9 (including pond loop)

Saturday, 1/29 – All Trails Closed 

Bow Hunting will be active in areas of the Watershed Reserve (away from the trails) from 1/2 hour before sunrise and until 1/2 hour after sunset through Feb. 19, except for Sundays.

 

The Watershed Reserve offers free access to more than 10 miles of hiking trails that are open from dawn to dusk throughout the year including a half-mile accessible boardwalk that is currently under construction, a segment of the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail (LHT), and a 2,000-foot LHT-link trail made of porous asphalt that connects to our main driveway.

Our trails explore wetlands, forests, meadows, streams, an organic farm, and the four-acre Wargo Pond, which support the Watershed Reserve’s vibrant and diverse community of animals and plants. Some of the oldest trees in central New Jersey are found here, as well as fox, coyote, weasel, and flying squirrel. Birders will enjoy looking out for osprey, bobolink, Coopers hawk, red-shouldered hawk, or any of six species of owl that frequent the reserve.

 

The trails are accessible from our main entrance at 31 Titus Mill Road, a parking lot on Moore’s Mill-Mount Rose Road and W. Broad Street just outside Hopewell Borough. View or download a copy of our trail map here:

Trail Map

Please observe the following while enjoying the trails:

    • Trails, including the boardwalk, are for foot travel only.
      No motorized vehicles or horses are permitted; bicycles are also prohibited except on the LHT and LHT-link trail. [Snow shoes & Cross Country Skis ARE acceptable in the appropriate season]

    • No off-trail travel is allowed to protect wildlife habitat.

    • Picnicking is  allowed.  Please carry out all trash.

    • Pets must be on leashes at all times. Respect other hikers by cleaning up after your pet.

    • No smoking or lighting of fires is allowed.

    • No hunting, trapping or collecting of any natural materials is allowed.

    • Catch and release fishing is permitted only from the dock and shores of Wargo Pond in conjunction with an appropriate license.

Trail Safety Tips!

We want to ensure that you enjoy our ten miles of trails safely as possible. Here are a few safety tips.

Weather:
Please check local weather forecasts before heading out onto the trails. Be prepared with appropriate clothing and footwear for potentially muddy conditions. Here are a few potentially dangerous conditions to be aware of and how to stay safe:

  • If you observe lightning – Start to make your way towards shelter, if you count less than 15 seconds from hearing thunder to seeing lightning, seek shelter immediately
  • If wind gusts over 35-40 mph (or when you can hear the wind whistle, see whole trees sway, and it is difficult to walk into the wind) – stay away from trees, look and listen for branches about to fall
    In any weather, be aware of dead trees with branches that can fall
  • If the ‘feels like’ temperature is over 98 degree F – stay in the shade, slow down, and drink lots of water
  • In case of emergency, please call 911 immediately. If you need assistance on a trial, but it is not an emergency, call the front desk between 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 609-737-3735.

Interested in Geocaching?

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunt using GPS. It has been described as “hiking with a purpose”! Participants navigate to a specific set of geographic coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache, or special container, hidden at that location. All you need to get started is a GPS-enabled device – even your phone will work! Visit Geocaching.com to learn more about the activity and to locate caches placed all over the world.

Geocaches on the Reserve

The Watershed Reserve has several permanent geocaches hidden throughout our 950-acre property. It’s a great place to spend the day with a GPS, friends, and miles of trails through a variety of habitats. How do you know where to look? Enter these GPS coordinates into your device and start hunting! Just be sure to leave the treasure for the next geocacher.

Geocaching Coordinates

Name Coordinates GC Code
Watershed – Returning N 40° 21.318 W 074° 46.543 GC4HQCP
Watershed – Lonely Tree N 40° 21.461′ W 074° 46.389′ GC6N5MJ
Watershed – Hedging Your Bets N 40° 21.168 W 074° 46.632 GC3F2CG
Watershed – Cache but Don’t Dash N 40° 20.969 W 074° 45.908 GC6ZV2Y
Watershed – Bad Shot N 40° 21.336′ W 074° 46.242′ GC6MXMY
Watershed – Wilson Too N 40° 21.624′ W 074° 46.074′ GC6MXK8
Watershed – Bush House N 40° 22.825′ W 074° 46.372′ GC6MQQW
Stony Brook – Four Seasons N 40° 20.935 W 074° 46.656 GC1F9G9
Watershed – Pooped N 40° 21.268 W 074° 46.105 GC23J98
In the Shadow of the Two Towers N 40° 21.497 W 074° 46.011 GC1KZ5F
Symplocarpus N 40° 22.119 W 074° 46.468 GC1M55V
Rocky Too N 40° 22.662 W 074° 46.236 GCH0R4
Watershed – Wrong Turn N 40° 21.122 W 074° 46.111 GC45CNB

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