1070 Route 202/31   •    908-782-8536   •     Fax: 908-782-1967

Seal of East Amwell Township


PRESS RELEASE

East Amwell Township celebrated National Trails Day, June 3, by opening a nature trail in the Sourland Mountain region of Hunterdon County.  The new Rocky Brook trail follows a tributary of Stony Brook north from a bridge on Route 518 to Snydertown Road, about 1.1 miles.  It is located in a Public Access Corridor in a 226 acre conservation easement that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection obtained in 2002.  The State of NJ and East Amwell signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the construction and maintenance of a walking trail in the corridor in 2016.  The trail is in the jurisdiction of Washington Crossing State Park.

At the ceremony, East Amwell Mayor Charlie Van Horn, assisted by Deputy Mayor Dart Sageser, cut a ribbon at the trailhead, and a group of 20 hikers walked the trail, enjoying  the woods and stream on a beautiful spring day. Hikers included a representative of NJDEP, the East Amwell officials, and some of the volunteers who built the trail, led  by Alan Hershey under the auspices of D&R Greenway Land Trust based in Princeton. The volunteers logged more than 1000 hours between September 2016 and May 2017.  The hike was led by Toni Robbi, Project Coordinator and member of the East Amwell Environmental Commission, and John Allen, a geologist and member of the East Amwell Historic Society.

Three tributaries of Stony Brook converge at the Route 518 bridge, a few hundred feet east of Route 31.  The eastern branch, Rocky Brook, rises in the Sourlands, heads west, crosses Stony Brook Road just south of the Snydertown Road intersection, and curves southward to the confluence at the Route 518 bridge.  There is a small pull-off parking area on the north side of Route 518 near the western end of the bridge. From there, marked by blue blazes, the trail descends the steep bank of Woodsville Brook and crosses it on stepping stones, just upstream from its junction with Stony Brook. In a mere 100 feet or so, the trail then crosses the Stony Brook in similar fashion, and continues east to the west bank of Rocky Brook.

The trail includes six stream crossings, all on stepping stones.  It's particularly beautiful in early spring, when the ephemeral flowers are blooming.  The southern stretch passes the historic Snook grist mill site.  The northern stretch includes several picturesque water falls.  Bird song and the sound of flowing water create tranquility.  There are many stone field and boundary walls to be seen, young forest, a patch of spruce forest, and many mature hardwoods near the streams and rock walls.

Submitted by: Toni Robbi, Project Coordinator and member of the East Amwell Environmental Commission, t.robbi@ieee.org, 609 466-0119.

NB associated photo is stream crossing 2, taken by T. Robbi on 5/28/17