In summer 2011, the Hunterdon Land Trust, NJ Conservation Foundation and their government partners announced the completion of a major preservation project on the Delaware River bluffs in Kingwood Township. The partnership was the culmination of 10 years of negotiation, relationship-building and sheer persistence. And the effort paid off handsomely. More than 450 acres of open space and farmland were permanently protected, creating a contiguous belt of preserved land stretching across more than 800 acres.
The park is huge – 796.45 acres in all – including a section on the east side of Horseshoe Bend Road now known as Copper Creek Preserve. It’s one of the most beautiful spots in western Hunterdon County, with rolling hills, lush forested ravines, and sweeping vistas of the Delaware River Valley.
Woodlands, Bluffs, Meadows
Its high meadows are home to meadowlarks, bobolinks, redwing blackbirds, and many other grassland species. Bald eagles and hawks are believed to nest here. Copper Creek and other small streams flow through the park before tumbling down the bluffs into the Delaware River. Improvements on the property include an 11,000-square-foot equestrian center, barns and other farm structures as well as seven miles of existing trails.
The property is owned by Kingwood Township. The Hunterdon Land Trust helped preserve the land. The park is a destination for horseback riders, hikers, mountain bikers, bird watchers, cross-country skiers and anyone searching for a peaceful experience of nature in our increasingly crowded region. The property had been approved for a development of more than 70 houses.
“Preserving the State’s natural spaces is critical to the quality of life for our residents. This land will provide countless benefits of open space preservation, including the protection of water quality, wildlife, and providing a place for people to recreate and enjoy the outdoors,’” said NJ DEP Commissioner Bob Martin.
Project partners: Kingwood Township, NJ Green Acres Program, NJ Conservation Foundation, NJ State Agriculture Development Committee, NJ DEP Office of Natural Resources Restoration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Hunterdon Land Trust.