The 90-square-mile Sourland region is home to the largest contiguous forest in Central New Jersey. The sparsely populated area includes parts of Somerset, Hunterdon and Mercer counties, and encompasses a complex ecosystem of forest, wetlands and grasslands. Its mosaic of habitats is home to an incredibly rich diversity of animal and plant species, many rare or endangered. The forest is especially important as a breeding area for migratory songbirds, particularly those who nest only in large wooded areas.
The Sourlands’ breathtaking boulder fields are emblematic of the area’s unique geology; its mountain springs feed the headwaters of many streams and rivers. Still, water is a fleeting resource here, as the rocky land severely limits the recharge of groundwater, upon which many thousands of people depend for everyday use.
The secluded Sourlands are wonderfully rich in history, having served as a refuge for George Washington and, later, for escaped slaves. Today, the natural beauty of the mountain draws countless hikers and bicyclists from throughout the state. The Sourlands also offer splendid opportunities for horseback riding, fishing, picnicking, hunting, cross-country skiing, photography, bird watching…or just a lovely, restful place to get away.