Gnome Hollow Preserve, Frelinghuysen NJ - 132 Acres
Hiking at Gnome Hollow
Public access is provided via a hiking trail on the preserve, accessible on Stillwater Road. The trail system will connect to the state’s Paulinskill Valley Trail to the west. Directions: Go North on Route 94 (from Blairstown), past Marksboro, take a left on Lincoln Laurel Road, take first left onto Stillwater Road, go to bottom of hill and around the hairpin turn. Parking area for Gnome Hollow on the right.
Gnome Hollow is primarily deciduous hardwood forest, but it contains a small former Christmas tree farm. The property has a mix of native hardwoods, including mature oak and black birch, hickory, and emerging sugar maple. These dense stands of forest are important habitat for migrating songbirds and large mammals, such as black bear and bobcat. The mix of evergreens and hardwoods makes for suitable owl habitat as well.
Several large vernal pools, which flood in spring then drain in summer, are found throughout the forest. These pools are important habitat for reptiles and amphibians, which can breed in them without having fish eat their eggs. The vernal pools are also important recharge areas for the aquifers. Ground water seeps into the forest floor in these pool areas, and then gradually flows through the bedrock to streams, wetlands, and the Paulinskill River. Protection of the forest helps to protect the Paulinskill Watershed.
Gnome Hollow Preserve was acquired in 2010 through transfer/donation of title from Kids Corp. II and The Trust for Public Land. A grant from the Warren County Open Space Trust Fund was used to fund the project.