Fall Colors · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
The trail can be done from either end, but the western trailhead in Lambertville, NJ, is directly adjacent to what at first glance appears to be a private driveway with no available parking. There is parking in Lambertville itself, which would require a walk of about a mile from the center of Lambertville to the trailhead.
The eastern trailhead, located right on NJ Route 518, is directly across the street from the Dry Run Creek northern trailhead, which has a small parking lot.
The Rockhopper Blue trail is part of a network of "Rockhopper" trails that were cut by local mountain bikers with the permission of the then private owners. The property is now preserved and public space and still a favorite for mountain bikers and runners.
The eastern end of the trail starts with a private property easement, so please make sure to stay along the left edge of the property. Pass to the left of the gray barn. The trail turns to packed gravel then a more primitive trail. It is well marked with blue trail markers. Several simple plank bridges cross wet sections of trail. A short distance up the trail, you'll come across several small abandoned primitive quarries used as a source of building stone -- really just holes where rocks were removed. The trail truly lives up to its name "Rockhopper."
Continuing on, you'll descend down through more open, mature woods. An unmarked but clearly visible trail branches off to the left about 0.5 miles in. Stay to the right. Another 0.5 miles further will bring you to a small creek crossed via a stone "bridge," nothing more than rocks in the stream bed. Markers for the Rockhopper "red" trail are visible to the right immediately after crossing the creek. Continuing on, the blue trail merges with the remnants of the Old Rock Road, which historians have identified as a road used by George Washington's army en route to the Monmouth battlefields. It is now lost in the woods.
The trail changes markedly after this, entering an area of dense undergrowth and becoming very narrow. In many place my trekking poles were a bit of a hindrance, repeatedly getting hung up. For awhile, the best use I could find for them was to clear the numerous spider webs spread across the trail. Around 0.4 miles past the "bridge" the trail splits, with the "blue" trail bearing left and an orange-marked cutoff trail to the right. The cutoff is slightly shorter, but significantly wetter.
About 0.25 miles later, the trail breaks out onto a power line right-of-way. Follow the access road north (right) for 0.25 miles before picking up the trail heading west to the left and the intersection with the cutoff trail, marked with a white arrow. Another 0.25 miles brings you to the end of trail in what appears to be someone's front yard. There are several downed trees right at this end, making it all but invisible from the road. A mile downhill run from here will take you to the heart of Lambertville.
Shared By: Paul Gray