By Liz Johnson
As we all try to grapple with life in the time of the corona virus, one thing that hasn’t been restricted too much is getting outside. We could all use the mood boosts that come from nature and Vitamin D right now, right?! Hunterdon County has lots of options on that front. There are nearly 30 county parks alone, most offering passive recreation such as hiking trails, fishing and hunting. Most municipalities have their own parks that include hiking trails or walking paths. Then there are the slew of historic towns that offer self-guided walking tours. If you’re looking for a day out of the house that won’t break CDC quarantine guidelines, here are a few ideas.
NOTE: Many of these descriptions include mentions of features such as playgrounds that should NOT be used at this time as they encourage interaction with the public (we support social distancing!) and contact with surfaces that might not be regularly cleaned. We are including this information so that you can get an idea of the park though, and so you can keep them in mind for the future!
17 Dreahook Rd, Whitehouse Station
This Readington Township park has two baseball fields, one T-ball field, a field hockey field and a playground geared to children ages 4 to 12. A concession stand and restrooms are also available.
106 Old Mountain Road, Lebanon
This Readington Township park has a playground and walking trails.
East Whitehouse Park
93 Old Hwy 28, Whitehouse Station
The park has one softball field and a playground geared to children ages 5 to 12. It also includes an open area and picnic tables.
12 Hillcrest Rd, Whitehouse Station
One of the larger Readington Township parks, this one has four softball fields, four soccer fields, a playground geared to children ages 2 to 12, a concession stand, restrooms, a picnic grove with tables and a dog park.
509 County Road 523, Whitehouse Station
This park has a lighted softball field, two softball or T-ball fields without lights, three lighted tennis courts, a lighted basketball court, a playground geared to children ages 4 to 12, restrooms and a gazebo picnic grove.
Summer Road Park
Corner of Route 202 and Summer Road, Flemington
This park hosts four softball fields, four soccer fields, two playgrounds – one for tots and one for children ages 5 to 12 – basketball courts, an inline hockey rink, a concession stand, restrooms and a gazebo/pavilion picnic grove.
Everitts Road and Lavada Lane, Flemington
The seven-acre park includes a 1,865 foot walking trail, a children’s playground, a basketball court, a pavilion and a large open field for general use.
Sergeantsville Road, Flemington
One mile south of the Raritan Township Police Station and Municipal Building, this park contains a 5,200-foot walking trail (80 feet short of a mile), a picnic grove with tables and grills, a playground, four Little League fields, two major league fields, three girls’ softball fields, four soccer fields and four basketball courts.
Mine Brook Park
Old Croton Road and Capner Street, Flemington
This park has a picnic pavilion with tables and grills, a children’s tot lot and a half-mile walking trail along the banks of Mine Brook.
Califon Island Park
Bank Street, Califon
This borough park has a playground, a basketball court, picnic tables, a spider web climber, a climbing wall, multiple slides, swings, firemen’s pole, tunnels, baseball field and picnic pavillion and gazebo.
Lebanon Township Memorial Park
67 Bunnvale Road, Califon
Established as a 9/11 memorial, this park hosts a pavilion, volleyball and horseshoe pits, a children’s playground, a regulation softball field with electronic scoreboard, a walking path, and two basketball courts.
Ken Lockwood North
180-192 Raritan River Road, Califon
Featured on an L.L.Bean catalog cover in the 1990s, it straddles the South Branch of the Raritan River for about 2.5 miles, covering 260 acres. With access also available in High Bridge, the park offers mountain biking trails, hiking trails and fishing. It’s known best for its idyllic waterfall.
Little York Mount Pleasant Road, Milford
The township park has a playground for kids, riding arenas for horses, baseball fields, basketball courts, soccer/lacrosse fields, disc golf and a walking trail that spans just a little over a mile around the park.
Kingwood Township Park
200 Union Road, Frenchtown
This township park has a sand volleyball court, two horseshoe and shuffleboard courts, a bocce court, ball fields, a playground, picnic area, pavilion and concession stand. A one-mile loop trail encircles the park, with part of the trail travelling through a wooded natural area adjoining the Lockatong Creek.
Frenchtown Borough Park
Creek Road, Frenchtown
Amenities include new playground equipment, a zip line, a spider web climber, an ice skating rink in the winter, a suspension bridge, a creek for swimming or fishing, hiking trails, restrooms and a pavilion with picnic tables and grills.
2 Mount Hope Street, Lambertville
Playground with access to the Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath, it includes a pavilion with an outdoor fireplace.
Hunterdon County Arboretum
1020 Route 31 North, Lebanon
The 73-acre site was once a commercial nursery. It features hiking trails, a 20,000-square-foot display garden and a Wizard Walk for children that ends at a castle.
Deer Path Park
120 West Woodschurch Road, Flemington
This 122-acre county park has a one-mile fitness trail that includes 15 exercise stations. An additional two miles of trails also traverse the park along with a 1-mile horse trail. There are two soccer fields and a softball field, a gazebo and garden, picnic tables and pavilion as well as a three-acre spring-fed pond for fishing. It also hosts the Summer Concert Series.
30 Pleasant Grove Road, Lebanon
This 17-acre county park has the highest elevation in Hunterdon County at 1,051 feet above sea level. It offers picnic tables, campsites, hiking trails and a compass course, which was created as an Eagle Scout project by Owen Donnelly of Port Murray.
Round Valley Recreation Area
1220 Lebanon-Stanton Road, Lebanon
The 2.000-acre state-owned reservoir offers swimming, boating, scuba and skin diving. There are playgrounds, beachfront volleyball courts, hiking trails, picnic tables with grills, restrooms and pet friendly campsites.
Spruce Run Recreation Area
68 Van Syckles Road, Clinton
This 2,030-acre state park offers swimming, boating, hunting, fishing, picnicking, camping and hiking. It’s also host to sailing regattas, triathlons and paddleboarding.
Baptist Corner Road, Holland
It offers more than four miles of trails that were old farm roads. The main challenge is the slope from the parking area to Manny’s Pond Road.
Charlestown Road, Hampton
This park offers more than 2.5miles of compacted trails that start with a moderate climb up a hillside to a field.
Bike alongside the South Branch of the Raritan River on trails designed for fishing access but open to cyclists. The Stanton Station Section, accessible from the Echo Hill Park on Route 31, offers a moderate ride along a cliff face, before ending at a popular fishing hole.
An old driveway serves as a biking trail in the Miquin Woods off Boy Scout Road in Lebanon Township. The ride is just shy of a mile.
Take a walking tour
Lambertville (https://lambertvillehistoricalsociety.org/events-2/guided-walking-tours-of-lambertville), Frenchtown, (http://www.frenchtowninn.com/fti-updates/2019/5/5/frenchtown-walking-tours), Califon (http://www.califonhistoricsociety.org/califon-walking-tour/) and Clinton (http://www.clintonnj.gov/history_tour.html) all have walking tours.