Maple Hill Preserve, Blairstown and Hardwick - 193 Acres
HIKING AT MAPLE HILL PRESERVE
Public access is provided via a hiking trail, accessible at the intersection of Maple Lane and Walther Lane. Users must stay on the trail, as the remainder of the property is privately owned.
The preserve consists primarily of forested land situated atop resistant shale and sandstone ridges, which support large stands of deep forest vital to migrating songbirds and large mammals. Runoff and ground water recharge in these areas is important to maintain the pristine water quality in the region. The mature hardwood forest climbs a ridge from Maple Lane and offers beautiful views of the Paulinskill Valley. Resistant layers of shale and sandstone form dramatic rock outcrops in the forest and make up stone walls attesting to the rugged nature of historic farming in this part of New Jersey. An impoundment holds back a scenic lake in the middle of the property, which attracts many forms of wildlife looking for food and water. Adjacent to the pond is an historic lime kiln, one of the many in the region, but one of the few found atop shale and sandstone. Historically, the kiln was used to reduce limestone brought to the site to calcium oxide (lime), used to increase the fertility of the poor soils atop the ridges.
Maple Hill Preserve is comprised of 3 conservation easements. Each was acquired by purchase in 2005, in partnership with Blairstown Township, from siblings of the Walther family. Grants from the Garden State Preservation Trust, the Warren County Open Space Trust Fund, Hardwick Township, and Blairstown Township were used for the project.