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Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve
 

Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve, part of the Ten Mile Run Greenway

The Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve is in the Stonybrook-Millstone watershed.  The trail system in the Griggstown area covers 376 acres, but these trails connect to other trails that transverse the entire length of the  685 acre Ten Mile Run Greenway.  The northern border of much of the property is bounded by Simonson Brook, with Coppermine Road as the southern boundary.  The site contains both 102 acres of open fields and 583 acres of woodland.  Historically the fields were row crops but more recently the property was used as a horse farm. 

Unique Wildlife and Landscape Features

Sensitive species found on this site include the Grasshopper Sparrow and Bobolink (both New Jersey state threatened species), the American Kestrel and eastern box turtle (both New Jersey special concern species), and the Short-eared Owl (New Jersey special concern species - non-breeding).  The uncommon Northern Bobwhite may also be found at this location.  Bluebird nest boxes and the Barn Swallow structure offer an opportunity to view these bird species.  A checklist of birds and butterflies of Ten Mile Run may be downloaded as PDF files by clicking here:  Birds  Butterflies  For a brochure about the life history and nestbox use of Bluebirds, click here.

Standing at the southeastern most corner of the Sourland View Trail offers an exceptional view of the Sourland Mountain Ridge.  Although 7.2 miles from the park, visitors can easily view the Sourland Mountain Ridge which is 568 feet at its highest point.  The ridge spans roughly 20 miles across corners of Hunterdon, Mercer, and Somerset Counties.  Although the underlying geology of this region makes it undesirable for farming, this same geology makes the Sourland Ridge an important source of freshwater in the region.  The traprock deposits of New Jersey are of late Triassic, early Jurassic age. 

Habitat Restoration at Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve

Habitat restoration activities included the removal of 5,800 feet of fence and hedgerow.  Removal of this barrier was an important step in creating 102 acres of open fields.  In 2005, roughly ? of the 102 acres (viewed via the Bluebird Loop) was restored with a mixed planting of native grasses such as big bluestem, Indiangrass, sideoats grama, Virginia wild rye, and eastern gama grass, and wildflowers such as purple cornflower, common sneezeweed, blue vervain, and black-eyed Susan.

Passive Recreation Activities

Franklin Township has six trails at Ten Mile Run.  These trails take visitors through pasture, restored grasslands, and mature forests.  Interpretive signs at select locations provide a brief background of the surrounding area.  NJAS has also helped develop, organize and coordinate Eagle Scout projects.  Completed projects at this site include a kiosk, trail construction and marking, the Barn Swallow structure and the placement of Bluebird nest boxes.  A map and rules and regulations of the 5.4 mile trail system may be downloaded as a PDF file by clicking here.

Directions

From 206 just south of Belle Mead take 630 East (Bellemead-Griggstown Road).  Turn left on 533 North and take first right across the Delaware & Raritan Canal (Griggstown Causeway).  Take 632 South (Canal Road). Entrance is roughly 811 feet down on the left-hand side -- address is 1091 Canal Road.

This is a carry-in/carry-out facility.  There are no restrooms on site.

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