Sourland Mountain Preserve, Hillsborough

#4 of 24 in Trails in New Jersey
Sourland Mountain is a 17mi long ridge in central New Jersey, extending from the Delaware River at Lambertville to the western end of Hillsborough Township near the community of Neshanic, through Montgomery Township and into Hopewell Township in Mercer County. It comprises the largest contiguous forest in Central Jersey, nearly 90sqmi in area. The highest point is only 568ft above sea level, but the way it rises steeply from the surrounding farmland has earned it the title of 'mountain'. The ridge itself sits within a larger area of rough terrain called The Sourlands.ToponymyThe origin of the name Sourland is unclear and a few theories exist. It could be derived from the term “sorrel-land” which describes the sorrel (reddish-brown) colored soils encountered by the pioneering German farmers, or German immigrants from the Sauerland region simply anglicized the name of their home region. Another possible source for the name is from 17th century Dutch settlers who referred to the region as "sauer landt" because the region was clearly not suitable for farming. To this day, the area remains relatively undeveloped - besides being unsuitable for farming, the hard igneous rock, nonporous clay soils, steep slopes and perched wetlands create groundwater conditions which make the area difficult for drilling wells and installing septic systems.
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Sourland Mountain Preserve Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
53 reviews
  • The Sourland Mountain Preserve is historic, looming as much as a high hill can, over our land. Yes, we live near the Preserve. Sourland Mountain is famous in history. It is wild, remote, beautiful and...  more »
  • Great trails but not that well marked. Got turned around a few times but it was worth the hike. Moderate skill level make sure you bring a lot of water and enjoy the rock gardens.  more »
  • Good hiking spot. Clearly labeled and not too big so easy to get back to where you parked. Decent bouldering options for the climbers out there. Slippery when wet.
  • Good to walk your dogs here, and to break a sweat. Real Rocky terrain so watch your step. Overall it is a decent walk through the woods, I would go back.

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