LONE CEDAR PARK - TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

RARITAN TOWNSHIP OPEN SPACE COMMITTEE

LONE CEDAR PARK - TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

The Raritan Township Open Space Committee wants residents to know more about the Township's parkland and encourages visits to some of our lesser known parks for hiking and the enjoyment of nature.

Lone Cedar Park and Nature Preserve is located in the northern end of the Township off Packers Island Lane near the South Branch of the Raritan River. This 62 acre park offers more than one way to enjoy the outdoors. It has an interpretive trail and is adjacent to all that Hunterdon County's South Branch Reservation has to offer.

The interpretive trail is called the Liberty Trail and was established in 2008 as an Eagle Scout project by Anthony Bacigalupo of Flemington Troop 194. This mowed trail is easily accessed from the parking area off Packers Island Lane. It honors "those who fought and died for the liberty and freedom we enjoy today." Along the trail, a tree has been planted for each of the original 13 colonies which had Liberty Trees around the time of the American Revolution. The first Liberty Tree was an American elm tree that stood in Boston, near the Common before the American Revolution and became a rallying point for independence after two British tax collectors were hanged in effigy from it in the summer of 1765.

The park is mostly open meadow with some wooded areas in the north and west sectors. The flora and fauna is typical of that associated with upland meadows and river bottom forested areas of Hunterdon County. The park is a perfect place to observe New Jersey's grassland birds. The American kestrel, the smallest North American falcon, which is native to Hunterdon County, is frequently seen hovering above the meadow hunting insects. The topography is generally sloping from the west toward the South Branch, offering excellent views of the surrounding countryside. The elevation drop is greater than 100' from a high point of 298' elevation above sea level near Old Clinton Road.

The Park's northern boundary is adjacent to the Stanton Station section of the South Branch Reservation. The Reservation is also located east of the Park but is separated from the Park by the active CSX rail line. The Stanton Station section offers approximately two miles of trails for walking, hiking and horseback riding and dogs are permitted when leashed. Anglers are also frequent visitors to this section of the South Branch Reservation. For the adventurous Lone Cedar Park visitor, the Stanton Station section trail can be accessed by "bushwacking" approximately 1500' through the meadow in a north-northwest direction from the mowed interpretive trail. The Stanton Station trail extends north to Stanton Road and south along the South Branch and near the CSX rail line. The NJ Trails Association website offers a good map and description of the trails of the South Branch Reservation at http://www.njtrails.org/trailguide.php?TrailID=99. The Open space committee will be investigating the feasibility of connecting the trails on the two park properties.

The GPS coordinates of the Park near the entrance from Packers Island Lane is: Latitude N 40 33.600 Longitude W 74 51.700

A map of all parkland in Raritan is available on the Township website at Raritan-Township.com under Open Space Committee and can also be obtained from our Township Planner, Jamie Sunyak. Please feel free to explore our lesser know parks!

Written by Harold Quinn, Raritan Township Open Space Committee

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