Wickecheoke Creek Preserve
About the Preserve
The Wickecheoke Trail is a great place for a hike in a beautiful, rural New Jersey setting. The trail follows the Wickecheoke Creek through dense forest and along scenic meadows. Loop hikes of varying distances are possible by combining sections of the trail with the areas quiet rural roads. Walking is fairly easy as most sections of the trail are relatively flat, although some sections of the trail require walking over uneven ground. Creek crossings are indicated on the trail maps; they can be difficult even when the water is low, but can be dangerous when the water is high.
Draining the rolling hills of southwestern Hunterdon County, the Wickecheoke Creek winds its way through bucolic farm fields and spills over rocky ledges on its way to the Delaware River. Since the 1980s, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has been preserving lands along this pristine creek from the wet forests of the Croton Plateau to Stockton Borough. To date, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has helped to preserve more than 4,000 acres of open space and farmland in the Wickecheoke Creek Greenway.
The Wickecheoke Trail traverses many of the preserved lands in the area and leads hikers along some of the most beautiful parts of the creek. The preserve is a work in progress, and hikers will sometimes have to walk along the quiet country roads in between trail sections. If you enjoy bicycling, consider combining a visit to the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve with a ride on the nearby Towpath Trail of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. The two trails meet in Stockton at the historic Prallsville Mills.
At the mouth of the Wickecheoke Creek, New Jersey Conservation Foundation owns a historic circa 1750 stone house formerly owned by John Prall, proprietor of the historic Prallsville Mills. New Jersey Conservation Foundation maintains a small office for its local land protection staff, but provides the remainder of the building for use by the Delaware River Mill Society for educational purposes. In the middle of the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve you can find New Jersey’s only covered bridge. Built circa 1860, the Green Sergeant’s Covered Bridge crosses the creek at County Road 604.
If you plan to visit the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve, be sure to bring sturdy walking shoes and your camera. You will not want to miss the opportunity to photograph the shale cliffs, cascading waterfalls and scattered hemlock stands that give the creek its unique beauty.
In 2011, biologist Dr. Mike Van Clef prepared a Management Plan for the Wickecheoke Creek. This plan provides the vision and goals for protecting biodiversity and recreational opportunities, provides mitigation recommendation and targets conservation measures and threats to the preserve.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation has blazed hiking trails on several of its properties in the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve. The trails are open to the public, and leashed dogs are permitted. Parking areas and bicycle racks are provided in several locations.
- Bird Watching