Ever since we moved to our new house last year, I've been wanting to check out the nearby Sourland Mountain Preserve, and we finally got a chance to!
Sourland Mountain Preserve is a 4,000 acre preserve located in Hillsborough. For more information about the park and to get a trail map, visit the Somerset County Park Commission here.
The preserve has a couple major trails and then a few connector trails that you can take to visit other areas or make your hike shorter or longer. Our plan was to take the 5-mile Ridge Trail around the outer limits. From the trailhead, we started moving up the eastern portion of the trail. It had a pretty steady incline up to Devil's Half-Acre Boulders. The trail had an outcropping of rocks and roots through this entire climb, so we definitely had to watch our footing.
|Just a small portion of Devil's Half-Acre Boulders|
Once we passed the boulders, the trail mellowed out a bit and we were able to move a lot quicker. Even though there were a lot of cars in the parking lot, we only came across a group of Boy Scouts and it was really quiet most of the way. That's something that always surprises me when we hike - even though I know we're in the middle of a pretty populated area, it can feel entirely isolated and peaceful.
Unfortunately, the trail conditions weren't the best the day we went (it had rained a lot the night before, so it was pretty muddy), so instead of doing the entire Ridge Trail, we took advantage of a connector trail that basically bisected the preserve. Coming down a pipeline, this trail had a pretty good view of the area and was somewhat steep - going downhill can be just as hard as going uphill sometimes!