A Short Stroll
The Idell Preserve rewards hikers with a short, pleasant stroll where they can observe a variety of plants and amphibian life. Located within the Delaware River Watershed, this 57-acre tract in Kingwood Township includes old growth trees around its perimeter, pine forests that are home to Great horned owls and young deciduous trees.
Hikers can check out the seasonal vernal pools and observe the frogs, salamanders, amphibian eggs and Eastern box turtles along the trail. The preserve is also a terrific place for birding and you’ll likely see some woodpeckers so don’t forget to look up! You’ll also notice a variety of plants: Staghorn Sumac, Pin Oaks, Spicebush, Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Mayapple. You may also spot some native blueberry shrubs.
The preserve is owned by Hunterdon Land Trust. The .8-mile trail is easy to walk, but can get quite wet at times so make sure you dress appropriately.
Idell’s preservation is important for groundwater infiltration, carbon sequestration and protection of habitat for bats and insects. Protecting a tract that attracts amphibians is also vital. Amphibians are sensitive to changes in their environment, like pollution, so their strong presence at the Idell Preserve serves as an indicator of high environmental quality.
Protected Water Source
A healthy amphibian population offers important evidence that Hunterdon Land Trust is also preserving the most critical resources in the Lockatong Creek watershed to protect this source of high quality water. The Lockatong Creek feeds into the D&R Canal which provides drinking water to central New Jersey.
The Land Trust’s efforts to protect such properties also serve to advance the goals of the National Park Service’s Lower Delaware Wild & Scenic Program which aims to protect the remarkable natural, historic, and recreational resources that earned this stretch of the river the Wild and Scenic designation.
HLT purchased 55 acres of the property from William Clark around 2009, then purchased an additional two acres to allow better access to the trail in 2013. Visitors can park near the Hunterdon Land Trust sign on Barbertown-Idell Road just past Tumble-Idell Road.
Project partners: Kingwood Township, Hunterdon County Open Space Trust Fund, New Jersey State Green Acres Program