Hardwick Township, Sussex County and Stillwater Township, Warren County
Why You Should Visit
Adjacent to northwestern New Jersey’s Delaware Water Gap national recreation area, the Blair Creek Nature Preserve sits nestled at the base of the Kittatinny Ridge, only miles from the Delaware River. A series of trails lead from a gravel parking lot through deciduous forest to beaver ponds, rocky streams, and expansive wetland meadows. The nature preserve’s forests are home to breeding Cerulean Warblers and many of the nesting warblers that make the Kittatinny Ridge a well-known birding location. Signs of black bears and coyotes dot the trails throughout the preserve.
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
This part of northwestern New Jersey is still home to extensive forests, clean cold-water streams, and species that need room to roam like bobcats and fishers. The Blair Creek Nature Preserve helps form an uninterrupted greenway with the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and other protected forested lands. The preserve protects the headwaters of Blair Creek which, in turn, helps provide the clean waters needed for trout fishing and drinking water downstream.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The original 480 acre purchase was completed by a partnership of the Ridge and Valley Conservancy, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the Conservancy. The Conservancy continues to actively purchase nearby lands to add to the preserve.
To help protect the forest, the Conservancy works with a local hunting club to reduce deer numbers to sustainable levels. Conservancy staff is conducting studies using small deer exclosures to better understand forest and deer interactions.