Best local outdoor recreational areas


Jordan Oldenburg

The Milford Bluffs are just one of the many scenic hiking spots in Hunterdon County

Jordan Oldenburg, The Delphi Staff

If you’re local and enjoy the outdoors, then you’re in luck; Hunterdon County is limitless in what it has to offer you. 

Because of its proximity to the Delaware River, as well as its natural, rural setting, Hunterdon County is home to many great hiking and recreational spots, all which are worth visiting. After 9 months now of being mostly indoors, exploring some of these places would be a great change of scenery.

If you’re just looking for somewhere easy to be active outdoors and enjoy some fresh air, Alexandria Park is a great place for you and your whole family. The park has sports fields and courts open to the public, as well as a riding arena for horses and a playground for children. You may also choose to run or walk on the trail that encompasses the park, spanning about 1.1 miles in total. Alexandria Park is a great place for everyone of all capabilities to get outdoors and exercise.

As many people already know, the towpath in Frenchtown is also a great place for some leisurely exercise. You may choose to walk, run, or even bike, all while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Delaware River. While traveling on the towpath, one can cross bridges into Pennsylvania along the way, and even stop in and explore nearby riverside towns. If you’re looking for an easy and fun hike, try visiting this spot here in Frenchtown.  

However, if you’re looking for somewhere slightly more uphill, check out the Milford Bluffs. This area is a great nearby destination for Milford and Holland residents, and it has long been enjoyed by Del Val students and locals. The beaten path will lead you up to a great area for bird watching and enjoying the breathtaking sight of the river down below. Although traveling uphill, the hike is quite easy and low impact, and it is very much worth the view. You only need to make sure you’re careful near the edge of the overlook! The Milford Bluffs are a great place to take in the beauty of Hunterdon’s natural riverside scenery.

A visit to the Lockatong Preserve waterfalls is the perfect summer adventure. (Jordan Oldenburg)

Another great destination, one you may want to keep in mind for summer, is the Lockatong Preserve off of Kingwood-Stockton road. A little over a mile down the trail into the woods, the Lockatong Creek opens up into a rocky swimming hole surrounded by waterfalls. The hike down is a bit rocky and steep at parts, so you’ll have to watch your step. However, it is still very manageable for beginning hikers. The falls in Kingwood are an ideal destination for a summer hike. 

If you’re willing to drive a short distance south into Stockton, you can experience the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve hiking trails. Beginning across from the Prallsville Mill, the trail leads you up through the forest, past fields, and along the creek. Something you may explore on the way up is the historic Rittenhouse family cemetery, which overlooks the old quarry. The trail is relatively easy, although it can be a bit rough in certain areas. However, the Wickecheoke trails have in store a variety of landscapes and areas to explore, and they definitely make for an enjoyable weekend hike. 

If creek preserves aren’t for you, consider visiting the Round Valley Recreation Area. Surrounding Round Valley Reservoir are three marked hiking trails, which allow you to explore different segments along the water. The trails are open year-round and will lead you to places such as lookouts onto the reservoir, or camping grounds along the shore. The hiking trails vary in length, as well as difficulty, as some areas going over the mountain and dams can become steep and rocky. However, Round Valley Reservoir is a staple landmark in our county that has been enjoyed by Hunterdon boaters and hikers for decades and is certainly worth visiting.

Whether you’re an avid hiker, or just someone looking to spend some time outdoors, each one of these places guarantees an enjoyable day. In these challenging times of COVID-19, getting out into nature is the perfect way to safely get active and have fun. And if you’re local in this county, you’ve got plenty of destinations to choose from. No matter where you live in Hunterdon County, your next adventure is always just minutes away.