Fiddlers Creek Preserve

Fiddlers Creek Preserve

Mercer County Parks Commission
Fiddlers Creek Rd, Titusville, NJ
Open daily, sunrise to sunset. The preserve may close seasonally for hunting
(609) 989-6559   Website    Google Maps     Trail Map GeoPDF

Gravitas:   Challenge:     Proximity:

Special notes for parents
This preserve is across Fiddlers Creek Rd from Baldpate. You can park in that parking lot, or use the Ravines’ own trailhead parking, a few hundred yards up the road, on the right. There’s an old stone ruin at one end of the ravine: it’s actually not within the preserve boundaries so you’re not supposed to walk there. You’ve been warned. As noted below, the other highlight is clearly the stoneface trail, which wends its way up one of the steepest parts of the ravine (not that it’s all that steep or exposed). Just enough to make it fun.

Note:  We love Baldpate Mountain so much, we’ve written four reviews about different aspects of the park on the other side of Fiddler’s Creek Road: 1) Overview,  2) Switchback Trail,  3) Eastern Trails, 4) Pine Grove Hike

Fiddle Dee Dee

Fiddler’s Creek Preserve is a 120 acre parcel directly south of the Baldpate Preserve, on the opposite side of Fiddler’s Creek Road.  It provides two miles of Beginner to Intermediate trails, none with more than 80 feet of vertical elevation change, through fields, woods, and (most interestingly) Fiddler’s Creek Ravine.  These trails offer about 45 minutes of easy walking, and can be combined with the Summit Trail of Baldpate Mountain via a connector trail for a longer hike.  Hidden Trenton has created an integrated hiking map which shows both trail systems on one letter sized sheet: Baldpate-Fiddler’s Preserve Hiking Map

If you intend to walk only within the FC Preserve, you can park on-site, about 1/10 of a mile past the entrance to the Baldpate Preserve parking lot (2/10 from the park drive), as you head east from Rt. 29.  The preserve hadn’t officially opened in mid October, 2013, and there is currently no signage visible from the road (though this is likely to change).   Just look for a narrow, gravel road on your right.   Though not officially open, the trails are fully blazed.  Note that the preserve is open ONLY to walkers and NOT to cyclists or horseback riders.

The white blazed, Stoneface trail climbs about 80 feet along an entertaining, switchbacked trail

The highlight of the walk is the red blazed trail that runs the length of the ravine, and connects to a short, entertaining little white-blazed side trail up one of the steeper walls of the ravine.  Stone and wooden steps help you climb the steeper bits.

As late as the early 20th century, Fiddler’s Creek was dammed, filling the Ravine with a millpond which powered a grist mill and a saw mill, operated by the Titus and Agnew families.  You can still see a large stone arch a few hundred yards past the southern end of the ravine trail.  These are the remains of Titusville Mills, a milling complex that operated for 150 years.

Many of the trails run through fields, some of which are intended to be reforested.  Currently they depend on the County Parks department mowing them short.  If they’re allowed to grow long, especially in the spring and early summer, they will likely harbor a large number of ticks.

If you show up for a walk and the grass isn’t mowed, I suggest you call the Mercer County Parks Commission to complain, and walk somewhere else.  When we showed up, the paths were cropped beautifully short.  I found the open views of the Baldpate ridge beautiful, and a nice contrast to unbroken woodlands.

Young kids are likely to find the ravine, the ruins of the old mill, and the Stoneface trail particularly interesting.

2 Responses

  1. Arline Zatz
    | Reply

    I wrote Best Hikes With Children in NJ – and never heard of this area until, thankfully, saw it mentioned on-line. I intend to explore it this summer and thank you for the write-up. Sincerely, Arline Zatz E-mail:
    Question: Are sneakers okay for the easy hike?

    • Admin
      | Reply

      Sneakers would be fine, and water shoes even better as kids will want to splash around during the summer and the stream is generally shallow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *