Hunterdon, Mercer and Somerset
The Sourland Mountain region is a 94-square-mile area in Hunterdon,
Mercer and Somerset counties noted for its water resources and mature,
interior forests and wetland habitats. It contains portions of East
Amwell, Hillsborough, Hopewell, Lambertville, Montgomery and West
Amwell. The Sourland Mountain region and the nearby Amwell and Hopewell
Valleys are facing tremendous development pressure.
The Sourlands contain 25,000 acres of contiguous forest, 7,500
acres of wetlands and some 18,000 acres of agricultural lands in
active production. Groundwater recharge and various streams in the
Sourlands supply the Delaware & Raritan Canal, which provides
drinking water to over 1.2 million New Jersey residents.
The Sourlands region’s forests and wetlands provide habitat to
threatened and endangered animal species including the barred owl,
bobcat, Cooper’s hawk, grasshopper sparrow, savannah sparrow, upland
sandpiper and wood turtle. In addition, the Sourlands serves as
a stopover area for migratory birds that travel between South America
and the boreal forests of Canada and for breeding, migratory birds
that travel from New Jersey to Central America. The area also supports
a large population of forest interior birds such as scarlet tanagers,
Kentucky warblers and red-shouldered hawks.
Outdoor enthusiasts, artists and those out for a pleasant country
drive recognize the Sourlands is like no other place in New Jersey.
Meandering trails, winding roads and deep forests offer spectacular
views. Narrow country roads find their way to charming, centuries
old hamlets. Biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, nature study
and skiing can be enjoyed throughout the region. Just a few of the
areas worth exploring are the Sourland Mountain Preserve, McBurney
Amwell Lake Fish and Wildlife Management Area and Stony
Brook-Millstone Watershed Association Reserve.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation with its partners have preserved
hundreds of acres of farmland and natural areas in the Sourlands
and Amwell and Hopewell Valleys over the last 20 years. We have
also supported research examining the development threats facing
the region. For more information on our work in the Sourlands, please
contact Lisa MacCollum, Assistant Director of Acquisition, at Lisa@njconservation.org
or 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).