Omick Woods at Rocktown Preserve

Omick Woods at Rocktown Preserve

D&R Greenway Land Trust
155-168 Rocktown Rd, Ringoes, NJ 08551
Dawn to Dusk; Open during hunting season
(609) 924-4646   Website    Google Maps     Trail Map GeoPDF

Gravitas:   Challenge:    Proximity:

Special notes for parents
This is a charming woods hike with two features of special interest. 1) A great view of Amwell Valley and 2) the remains of an old mill dam. The hike is only 1.5 miles, and never terribly steep. There are several small stream crossings including two well designed stepping-stone pathways. Probably best when kids can splash in the streams.
The first of two well-crafted stepping-stone crossings. The trail is undulating and beautifully built.

Small is Beautiful

Climb towards the viewpoint

Omick Woods, which opened in 2014, is yet another lovely, small hiking preserve created by recent, private preservation activity, in this case by D&R Greenway Land Trust. One of D&R’s crack trail construction crews laid out a perfect hiking loop of 1.5 miles which uses virtually all of the 97 acre parcel to its fullest extent.

From the trailhead on Rocktown Rd, the trail descends gently about 60 vertical feet, crossing a small stream three times in the process, twice on beautifully executed stepping stones. Then it ascends a ridge to a panoramic view of the Amwell Valley. You’re at essentially the elevation you started, but now at the other end of the preserve.

A couple of hundred yards later, you descend to an unmarked (but distinct) spur trail that traverses an old earthen dam, now breached, which is well worth exploring (particularly with kids). Ultimately you return to the orange-blazed main loop and, having descended 60 feet from the viewpoint, climb back another 60 feet or so to return to the trailhead.

The slopes are never terribly step, and wherever it’s useful, the trail crew has crafted rock steps. If you’re a beginning hiker who’s only ventured onto flat trails, this is a perfect introduction to the charms of undulating trails.

Footing is decent throughout. We experienced a few muddy spots on the spur trail from the parking lot to the main loop, but none thereafter. Despite visiting the park in late November, with a full blanket of freshly fallen leaves, the trail is easy to follow. Blazing is generally excellent, presenting a marker whenever it is really needed (and avoiding the ridiculously over-blazed markings that less-expert trail builders will resort to).

If you’re interested in local geology, the preserve is located on the same Jurassic diabase ridge that starts (within NJ) at Goat Hill, supports the Rockhopper trail and the Lambertville Reservoir, and ends at the Sourlands Mountain Preserve in Skillman.

The view from the north ridge.

Leave a Reply

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