Rainbow Hill at Sourland Mountain Preserve

Rainbow Hill at Sourland Mountain Preserve

View the Preserve Stewardship Plan here. To view the Stewardship Plan Maps & Appendices, please click here.
The entrance to the new main temporary parking lot is located at 386 Wertsville Road. Take the gravel driveway about 700 ft and follow traffic signs. Please use pull-offs along the driveway when opposing traffic is exiting the preserve. Our auxiliary parking lot at 61 North Hill Road will be temporarily closed. Parking along North Hill Road is not allowed.

During hunting season (September thru February) we ask that all visitors wear orange and try to make their visits between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm out of courtesy to our deer managers.

All pets must be on leashes at all times.

The preserve welcomes horseback riding on the majority of our trails when conditions are favorable, however please be aware that at this time we do not currently have adequate space for trailering in. Please check back for updates on this status.


Rainbow Hill at Sourland Mountain Preserve is 1,150 acres located in the foothills of the Sourland Mountain, a unique and critical region of New Jersey’s landscape. Here you can explore the diversity of habitats this area has to offer. Follow trails through working farmlands, and meadows being managed as habitat for grassland birds and pollinator insect species.

Some of the farm fields were abandoned years ago and have grown up into shrub thickets and young forest dominated by invasive species, providing opportunities for future restoration. There are also patches of high quality old growth forests on parts of the Preserve that were never farmed. Forests on these undisturbed soils resist invasive species and offer critical habitat for native understory plants. Here you will find interior forest nesting birds, including scarlet tanagers and wood thrush.

In the heart of the Preserve, you’ll find a serene 8-acre pond. If you approach the pond quietly, you will often be lucky enough to see a bald eagle or osprey perched along the shoreline or soaring above the water, searching for fish. While you are here please enjoy the sweeping views across the Amwell Valley to the Cushetunk and Round Mountains situated almost 10 miles to the north.

The Sourlands is a region of New Jersey including and surrounding Sourland Mountain, a low diabase ridge with a high point of 568ft. The ridge runs roughly 17 miles northeast from its southern terminus at Goat Hill along the Delaware River.

One common theory of the origin of the name is that it derives from “sauer landt” or “sour land”, an early European settler reference to the poor quality of the land for farming due to the stone, shale, and dense poorly draining soils. For this reason, much of the Sourland was never converted to farmland or residential development. As a result this region is widely recognized for its importance as a carbon reserve and for its mature forests and biodiversity.

NJ Conservation spearheaded a partnership of public and private agencies that contributed to the preservation of these properties, including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) Green Acres Program, Somerset County, Hunterdon County, the state Office of Natural Resource Restoration, Hillsborough Township, East Amwell Township, Hunterdon Land Trust, Raritan Headwaters Association, The Nature Conservancy, 1772 Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

NJ Conservation recognizes that Rainbow Hill at Sourland Mountain Preserve, like the rest of New Jersey, is part of the traditional homelands of the Lenape people. We pay respect to the Lenape and other indigenous caretakers of these lands and waters, those who lived here before and the generations to come.


Organized group trips by appointment only. Please contact rebekah.buczynski@njconservation.org 

386 Wertsville Road
Ringoes, NJ 08551

Explore More

  • Bird Watching
  • Hiking

Do you love our preserves?
Donate today to keep them beautiful.

Translate »