Sourland Mountain Preserve—owned and administered by the Somerset County Park Commission—sits atop a ridge that extends from Hopewell to Hillsborough. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, the preserve opened in 1995 and offers hikers a choice of three trails ranging in difficulty from easy to moderate. Along these trails you’ll find massive boulders, dense forest, numerous ups and downs (some steep), a lot of boardwalks, flowing streams, and silence—except for the sweet melody of the birds.
You may also spot a deer, bear, or other critters. No one knows for certain where the name Sourland came from. One theory is that the word was derived from “sorrel-land,” which describes the sorrel-colored (reddish brown) soils encountered by the pioneering German farmers who once occupied this area. Or perhaps because the land isn’t too fertile, it was considered “sour.” Whatever the origin, one thing is certain— hiking in these lush woods is a sweet experience!
© Arline Zatz/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.