Staycations – The Most Chillaxing Thing You Can Do This Fall is Stay Home!

Enjoy the freedom of the great outdoors by visiting one of the many public access trails across 21,000 acres of lands preserved by D&R Greenway Land Trust.

Your 2020 staycation can redefine “spectacular!”

Dry Run Creek Trail

This trail near Lambertville meanders along the top of a steep-sided valley with views of an old stone wall, ancient oaks and ferns. It crosses three rustic bridges including the Arthur and Marilyn Sales Bridge named by a daughter for her parents.

 

Read More about Dry Creek Run

Enjoy the Freedom of the Outdoors 

2020 Is the Year of the Central Jersey Staycation!

The Coolest Thing You Can Do this Summer is Stay Home!

Dry Run Creek Trail

 

This rustic Arthur and Marilyn Sales Bridge at Dry Creek Run was named by a daughter for her parents.

Featured today, Dry Run Creek Trail, near Lambertville, leads into cool, forested beauty. The charming, ledge-bound tributary of Moore’s Creek flows into the nearby Delaware River.  Bathe in the beauty of this forest!  The trail meanders along the top of a steep-sided valley with views of an old stone wall, ancient oaks and ferns, crossing three rustic bridges.  Look for the D&R Greenway sign at the parking area on Route 518 and find a map on the kiosk. The trail climbs up out of the creek valley, sometimes on stone stairways.

 Dedication of newly designed D&R Greenway kiosks at Dry Run Creek. Shown above (l-r) are Cindy Taylor, assistant director of stewardship, former board member Alan Hershey, and Deb Brockway, honored as a volunteer trail builder.
“The value of our land preservation mission has never been more evident than during this global health crisis. Social and indoor activities may be restricted, but outdoors we are free.”  – Linda Mead, President & CEO, D&R Greenway

IMPORTANT:

When you visit Dry Creek Run, wear sturdy shoes, use sunscreen and bug spray.  Pull up socks over long pants and consider lavender and rose geranium oils to repel ticks.  Remember social distancing –  6 feet for low-risk groups, and 10 feet for high-risk groups (age 60 and/or with underlying health condition).

If the preserve is busy, be extra careful to maintain social distancing.

We all are in need of the outdoors for our health and well-being!

St. Michaels Farm Preserve, Hopewell

At D&R Greenway’s St. Michaels Farm Preserve in Hopewell, visitors enjoy stunning sunsets throughout the year. As dusk falls, you might even catch fireflies — Go outside and see the sunset, do some stargazing, enjoy nature’s fireworks!

Read more about St. Michaels Farm Preserve

Enjoy the Freedom of the Outdoors 

2020 Is the Year of the Central Jersey Staycation!

The Coolest Thing You Can Do this Summer is Stay Home!

St. Michaels Farm Preserve, Hopewell

 

At D&R Greenway’s St. Michaels Farm Preserve in Hopewell, visitors enjoy stunning sunsets throughout the year. As dusk falls, if you’re there soon, you might even catch fireflies, –nature’s fireworks.  In 2010, these 415 bucolic acres were saved through intense community support, stretching well beyond Hopewell Borough and Township. On the preserve’s tenth anniversary, D&R Greenway launched Community Victory Gardens. Crops are burgeoning on a rise above the vintage barn. For an audio tour celebrating historic and natural features on the 6 miles of trails, download to your smartphone free TravelStorys app.

 

IMPORTANT:

When you visit St. Michaels Farm Preserve, wear sturdy shoes, use sunscreen and bug spray.  Pull up socks over long pants and consider lavender and rose geranium oils to repel ticks.  Remember social distancing –  6 feet for low-risk groups, and 10 feet for high-risk groups (age 60 and/or with underlying health condition).

If the preserve is busy, be extra careful to maintain social distancing.

We all are in need of the outdoors for our health and well-being!

2020 is the Year of the Central Jersey Staycation!

Box turtle at home on D&R Greenway’s Kate’s Trail, off Elm Ridge Road in Mercer County.  This wooded trail, named in memory of Katharine Wright Gorrie, is a perfect place for inspiring future naturalists. The terrestrial box turtle, a New Jersey Species of Special Concern, is right at home on Kate’s Trail.  If you are lucky enough to see this turtle, don’t touch and leave it in its chosen habitat.  Photograph by Cindy Taylor, D&R Greenway assistant director of Stewardship.

 

Read more about Central Jersey Staycations

Enjoy the Freedom of the Outdoors 

2020 Is the Year of the Central Jersey Staycation!

The Coolest Thing You Can Do this Summer is Stay Home!

 

D&R Greenway is part of Discover Central New Jersey. Click above for interactive map.

D&R Greenway and Discover Central New Jersey are collaborating with farmers, beverage makers, and restaurateurs on a staycation agritourism initiative this summer prominently featuring D&R Greenway preserved lands.

The new guide highlights Goat Hill Preserve, Greenway Meadows,

Sourland Ecosystem Preserve and St. Michaels Farm Preserve.

You’ll also find lots of historic sites, farms, and wineries that can be visited while staying outside.  Our staycation effort is earning press coverage.  Plan your staycation itinerary today!

“At D&R Greenway, ‘putting the garden back in the Garden State’ has been a motto for years. A silver lining of the pandemic is that more people are realizing the wisdom of our efforts. Local, organic food is important on so many levels. Visiting and patronizing local farms and wineries is a key way to ensure their viability over the long term.”   – Linda Mead, President & CEO, D&R Greenway Land Trust

 

 Grape leaves beginning to open a few weeks ago at Old York Cellars,
located on preserved land in the shadow of the Sourlands in Ringoes, NJ.
Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard!

IMPORTANT:

When you visit Kate’s Trail, wear sturdy shoes, use sunscreen and bug spray.  Pull up socks over long pants and consider lavender and rose geranium oils to repel ticks.  Remember social distancing –  6 feet for low-risk groups, and 10 feet for high-risk groups (age 60 and/or with underlying health condition).

If the preserve is busy, be extra careful to maintain social distancing.

We all are in need of the outdoors for our health and well-being!

Greenway Meadows, Princeton

The pollinator meadows are in fully bloom!  Take a walk among orange butterfly milkweed and lavender bergamot, savor the Poetry Trail and experience nature’s inspiration on poets through the ages.  Enjoy the shade of the 300-year old D&R Greenway oak, whose shape evokes memories of the original Mercer Oak.

 

Read more about Greenway Meadows

Enjoy the Freedom of the Outdoors 

2020 Is the Year of the Central Jersey Staycation!

The Coolest Thing You Can Do this Summer is Stay Home!

Greenway Meadows

 

Come, take a walk among wildflower meadows, now in bloom with orange ‘butterfly milkweed’, as native bergamot creates a sea of lavender on the sloping hillside. Watch for nectaring butterflies among the wildflowers. Stroll alongside the towering evergreens, experiencing Forest Bathing. On the hill’s gentle crest, take in for sweeping views of Princeton Ridge and Hopewell’s Sourland Mountain to the west.

 

Listen along the way to tales of neighbors who have found healing in nature here, by downloading the free TravelStorys app to your smartphone. Savor the McVay Poetry Trail, experiencing the impact of nature upon poets through the ages. View D&R Greenway’s Native Plant Nursery, and visualize planting native trees, shrubs and perennial flowers to turn your home garden into nourishing habitat, come autumn. Walk around the Johnson Education Center, once Robert Wood Johnson’s working barn, now home to D&R Greenway Land Trust and its nature art galleries.

End your tour in Meredith Petersen’s Garden of Inspiration, where you’ll find outdoor sculpture and stone walls at the perfect height for a rest. Enjoy your socially-distanced picnic, shaded by the 300-year-old D&R Greenway Oak, whose noble shape evokes the original Mercer Oak.

Listen to the silence of yesteryear as you stroll—in season—serenaded by birds and even hearing bees, thriving, as you will, in this ideal habitat.

IMPORTANT:

When you visit Greenway Meadows, wear sturdy shoes, use sunscreen and bug spray.  Pull up socks over long pants and consider lavender and rose geranium oils to repel ticks.  Remember social distancing –  6 feet for low-risk groups, and 10 feet for high-risk groups (age 60 and/or with underlying health condition).

If the preserve is busy, be extra careful to maintain social distancing.

We all are in need of the outdoors for our health and well-being!

Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve, East Amwell & Hopewell Township

Many people credit the rocky terrain of the Sourlands for preventing development over the last two centuries.  Did you know it’s a favorite place for “bouldering”? The rocks in the area are diabase and igneous argillite. Both are very hard and non-porous. Called “basaltic intrusion”, they are the result of an intrusion of the earth’s magma into the soil formation. Come take a walk, or bring your climbing shoes!

Read more about Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve

Enjoy the Freedom of the Outdoors 

2020 Is the Year of the Central Jersey Staycation!

The Coolest Thing You Can Do this Summer is Stay Home!

Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve

 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.” Robert Frost in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

More than 3,000 acres welcome you at D&R Greenway’s Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve.  Experience this cool, deep forest here in your backyard. The largest contiguous woodlands in the center of the State, the Sourlands have been called New Jersey’s “Central Park.” Discover weathered basalt rocks that once hid Revolutionaries. Find “Knitting Betty Rock.” Listen to the soothing babbling of Stony Brook’s headwaters. Stroll over mossy rocks along the stream.

D&R Greenway has already facilitated the preservation of more than 3,400 acres in the Sourlands and is a leading partner with state, county and municipal officials, and private landowners, to continue preservation of this region.

Click for more information and download a larger map

The forested tract is dominated by such species as American beech, shagbark hickory, black birch, red maple and tuliptree. Beneath the upper canopy, look for spicebush, viburnum, sassafras and dogwood. A wide variety of ferns such as Christmas fern and plants like jack-in-the-pulpit can be found along the forest floor.

 

 

The unbroken stretch of forest is prime habitat for forest interior birds. Ovenbirds, wood thrushes, Eastern wood pee-wee, veery and Eastern towhee are just a few birds that can be seen and heard in the forest. Other common birds include downy and red-bellied woodpeckers as well as wild turkey and great horned owls. Wet days are ideal for amphibians like green, pickerel and wood frogs as well as reptiles like box turtles. Mammals are also abundant including white-tailed deer, woodchuck, raccoon and opossum.

If children are with you, remind them of Mole’s decision in Kenneth Graham’s Wind in the Willows, “One afternoon, … he formed the resolution to go out by himself and explore the Wild Wood.” Salamanders, fox and even bear are found in this “reservoir of Central New Jersey biodiversity.” More than 150 species of birds arrive here from Mexico and Guatemala during spring migration, many nesting here now. In August, you will be treated to the notorious cacophony of “Teacher, teacher, TEACHER!”, from the male ovenbird high overhead.

Click Here to learn more about the deep forest species of the Sourlands.

IMPORTANT:

When you visit the Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve, wear sturdy shoes, use sunscreen and bug spray.  Pull up socks over long pants and consider lavender and rose geranium oils to repel ticks.  Remember social distancing –  6 feet for low-risk groups, and 10 feet for high-risk groups (age 60 and/or with underlying health condition).

If the preserve is busy, be extra careful to maintain social distancing.

We all are in need of the outdoors for our health and well-being!

The Omick Woods at Rocktown Preserve in East Amwell at the western end of the Sourlands in Hunterdon County

The 97-acre Omick Woods at Rocktown Preserve south of Ringoes is crisscrossed with old stone walls marking field and property boundaries.  The oldest trees in the Preserve are found along those walls and in forested wetlands that offers the chance to see wildlife. Lots of birds and deer…a perfect after-work or lunchtime walk to unwind.

Read more about Omick Woods at Rocktown Preserve

Enjoy the Freedom of the Outdoors 

2020 Is the Year of the Central Jersey Staycation!

The Coziest Thing You Can Do this Fall is Stay Home!

The Omick Woods at Rocktown Preserve in East Amwell
at the 
western end of the Sourlands in Hunterdon County

 

Omick Woods at Rocktown Preserve in East Amwell is a lovely place to visit as summer turns to fall in the Sourlands. Park off Rocktown Road, east of Route 31.

The trail makes a loop, with a stem from the parking lot on Rocktown Road, just west of the T intersection with Mountain Road, north to a small wooden bridge over a tributary of Back Brook. Just after the bridge, the trail goes east and west. The eastern path crosses the brook twice, then heads north and climbs a ridge to a broad view of the Amwell Valley with the edge of the Hunterdon plateau on the horizon.  Now heading downhill and southwest, the trail connects to a stub over an historic earthern dam, ending with a view down to a brook which has cut a breach in the dam, leaving a marsh where there was an historic mill pond. The main trail heads generally south back to the bridge at the end of the stem.

Since its early settlement, much of the Sourland Region was farmed in some way. Farmers raised crops, pastured herds, and tended orchards in the fertile Amwell Valley, and woodlots on the ridge supplied those farmers. The Preserve is crisscrossed with old stone walls marking field and property boundaries.  The oldest trees in the Preserve are found along those walls and in forested wetlands.

The trail makes a 1.5 mile loop.  The eastern side of the loop has two stone crossings of the brook, reaching a high overlook with a broad view to the north over the Valley.  Heading southwest, the trail descends to an old dam.

D&R Greenway spearheaded preservation of this land, securing all funds and negotiating its purchase from Gladys Omick, and worked in partnership with East Amwell to create this trail.

Recently, Peggy Lester Pitcher commented, “My grandparent’s farm! I had the privilege of walking all over that farm; remembering “ice house hill” and seeing the pond; the open fields were overgrown at that time (1965) but rock walls were still in place. Jim Omick’s aunt Alvah lived in the farm house at the time. It’s too bad the farm house did not survive. Just past the farmhouse, headed towards Ringoes is a lane on the right and that is where Dawlis Mill was located, interestingly enough, at one time, owned by Jim’s (and my) 2x great grandfather. We’re not even sure if the family knew this as another cousin found this out doing research just this past year. So glad Jim’s wife, Gladys decided to do this! Keep it green and open to the public, always!

 

Some Reflections on Autumn

Only lovers
see the fall
a signal end to endings
a gruffish gesture alerting
those who will not be alarmed
that we begin to stop
in order simply
to begin
again.
– Maya Angelou

As long as autumn lasts,
I shall not have hands,
canvas and colors enough
to paint the beautiful things I see.
– Vincent Van Gogh

I am struck by the simplicity of light
in the atmosphere in the autumn,
as if the earth absorbed none,
and out of this profusion
of dazzling light came the autumnal tints.
– Henry David Thoreau

 

IMPORTANT:

Remember social distancing –  6 feet for low-risk groups, and 10 feet
for high-risk groups (age 60 and/or with underlying health condition).

If the preserve is busy, be extra careful to maintain social distancing.
We all are in need of the outdoors for our health and well-being!

 

Hunting for deer population management is underway on D&R Greenway preserves.  Wear bright colors, stay on trails, and keep pets on leash.

When you visit the Preserve, wear sturdy shoes, use sunscreen and bug spray.  Pull up socks over long pants and consider lavender and rose geranium oils to repel ticks.

Our Mission: To Preserve & Care for Land and Inspire a Conservation Ethic, Now and Forever

Land Preserved
20,961 Acres
Upcoming Events
Oct 31

D&R Greenway Land Trust Masquerade Parade 2020!

St. Michaels Farm Preserve, Hopewell, NJ
Join Us for a Happy Halloween for the Community > Read More

Business Partners in Preservation - Leaders