Sourland Mountain Preserve

Princeton, New Jersey 08540

Sourland Mountain Preserve

Sourland Mountain Preserve Professional Review and Guide

"Hike up and down a rugged ridge through a rich, rocky woods, highlighted by a ridge-top boulder “amusement park” with rock outcrops, crevices, overpasses, and underpasses."

More Sourland Mountain Preserve Professional Reviews and Guides

"Sourland Mountain is a 10-mile-long volcanic ridge in the central New Jersey lowland. The 2780-acre preserve offers you and your dog a hike through quiet woods with different habitats, wildlife, an easy trail to follow, dramatic boulders, and a fun stream. You can’t get lost here.

A river of glacial boulders decorates the wide trail and mountainside, as if they had rolled down like marbles. In summer, hear the sound of cicadas among the tall American beech, oak, and tulip poplar. Spicebush scents the air on humid days."

"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!"

Sourland Mountain Preserve Reviews

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7/17/2018
I followed the white square trail but got lost. Trails marked but in spots it get unclear. I have a good sense of direction so I figured it out.
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2/8/2009
I don't even want to waste 50 characters writing about this place...it just plain sucks!
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9/7/2008
This trail is great if you are a beginner hiker, even though it is always fun for any level hiker. The trails are easy and the scenery is beautiful, they are great for pets as well.
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12/31/2007
The trail ws much better in the woods. We got married on the bridge in the afternoon and most of the trail was dry. The rain the day before left things quite damp though and we didn't make it to the summit.
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8/7/2006
Excellent directions. I had tried last week using the somerset county map but got confused. The trails.com map descriptions gave me the confidence that I was on the right trail. Bravo! Mike Klein
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7/8/2006
This trail is a bit rockier and windier than the summary and the map on this site would suggest. I have done it twice, both times on very hot days, and it is definitely much cooler on the trail, which is refreshing. There are a few points which provide a very nice overlook on the area, which is also not mentioned. Overall, it is enjoyable for novice or moderate hikers.
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Sourland Mountain Preserve Photos

Trail Information

Princeton
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
5
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
2.25 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
USGS: Rocky hill
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018