New Jersey Conservation Foundation's Delaware River Bluffs project area is located along the
wild and scenic Delaware River in Hunterdon County. It is comprised
of the high ridge that runs along the river. Whether on the river
looking to the ridge, or hiking the ridge overlooking the river
– this area offers spectacular, unspoiled views. The many rocky
ravines host a bevy of healthy streams that are protected by the
surrounding intact forest. The contiguous forest provides significant
undisturbed habitat for many interesting species, including unusual
ferns, endangered salamanders and a variety of grasses found at
the Milford Grasslands. The Devils Tea Table, a noted geological
feature, is also located on the bluffs.
| Saving the Delaware River Bluffs
& Raritan Canal was made a state park in the 1970s and 80s.
Since that time, many non-profit and state agencies have been working
to preserve the surrounding bluffs to provide a buffer for the river
and canal park, as well as to protect its viewshed, water and natural
resources. In 2010, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and partners preserved 73 acres along Horseshoe Bend Road in Kingwood Township, a property with a panoramic view of the bluffs.
Preserving the land surrounding the river and canal helps to ensure
a stable and healthy water supply for the 1.2 million New Jersey
residents who rely on the river for drinking water. If this land
had been developed, the accompanying impervious surface would have
swelled storm water run-off into the river, and increased flooding
in a region that already endures excessive flooding.
The D&R Canal State Park runs between the river and the bluffs,
providing a publicly accessible trail from Trenton to Frenchtown.
There are numerous parking areas and river access points along the
trail. The public is welcome to explore a diversity of parks in
the area, including
Washington's Crossing State Park, Baldpate Mountain on Jacobs
Mill Road in Hopewell, Bulls
Island State Park in Stockton and the Milford bluffs. The region
can also be enjoyed by traveling along NJ’s 1st scenic
byway, Route 29.
With the help of non-profits like New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Hunterdon
Land Trust Alliance, the State Green
Acres program has acquired some very significant acreage in
the Delaware River Bluffs Greenway in recent years. The
Stockton School remains New Jersey’s oldest and smallest school
thanks to the Green Acres 2004 acquisition of My Ben. The 72-acre
My Ben property in Stockton was slated for a large condominium development
that would have inundated the tiny school with new residents while
ruining scenic views from the river and creating a surge in stormwater
run-off into the canal. Other recent Green Acres acquisitions include
the Schuck property, a 200-acre addition to Bull's Island State
Park in Stockton, and the 170-acre Trap Rock property in Kingwood.
The state and non-profits continue to work together to preserve
the remaining land in this unique region.
To learn more about New Jersey Conservation Foundation's preservation work in the Delaware River
Bluffs region, please contact Alix Bacon, NJCF Western Piedmont
Regional Manager, at 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728) or Alix@njconservation.org.