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Saving Land

Sourlands/Hopewell Valley

Hunterdon, Mercer and Somerset Counties

The Sourland Mountain region is a 94-square-mile area in Hunterdon, Mercer and Somerset counties noted for its water resources and mature, interior forests and wetland habitats. It contains portions of East Amwell, Hillsborough, Hopewell, Lambertville, Montgomery and West Amwell. The Sourland Mountain region and the nearby Amwell and Hopewell Valleys are facing tremendous development pressure.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation has assisted in the preservation of more than 450 acres in the Sourland Mountains in the Sourland Mountain Preserve during the past several years. Click below to read stories:


The Sourlands contain 25,000 acres of contiguous forest, 7,500 acres of wetlands and some 18,000 acres of agricultural lands in active production. Groundwater recharge and various streams in the Sourlands supply the Delaware & Raritan Canal, which provides drinking water to over 1.2 million New Jersey residents.

The Sourlands region’s forests and wetlands provide habitat to threatened and endangered animal species including the barred owl, bobcat, Cooper’s hawk, grasshopper sparrow, savannah sparrow, upland sandpiper and wood turtle. In addition, the Sourlands serves as a stopover area for migratory birds that travel between South America and the boreal forests of Canada and for breeding, migratory birds that travel from New Jersey to Central America. The area also supports a large population of forest interior birds such as scarlet tanagers, Kentucky warblers and red-shouldered hawks.

Outdoor enthusiasts, artists and those out for a pleasant country drive recognize the Sourlands is like no other place in New Jersey. Meandering trails, winding roads and deep forests offer spectacular views. Narrow country roads find their way to charming, centuries old hamlets. Biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, nature study and skiing can be enjoyed throughout the region. Just a few of the areas worth exploring are the Sourland Mountain Preserve, McBurney Woods Preserve, Amwell Lake Fish and Wildlife Management Area and Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association Reserve.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation with its partners have preserved hundreds of acres of farmland and natural areas in the Sourlands and Amwell and Hopewell Valleys over the last 20 years. We have also supported research examining the development threats facing the region. For more information on our work in the Sourlands, please contact Lisa MacCollum, Assistant Director of Acquisition, at or 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).

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