Somerset
Montgomery

Hobler Park
Montgomery, NJ 08558

Overview of Selected Trail

Hobler Park is owned and managed by Montgomery Township for passive recreation. It offers a wonderful, flat walking surface with good views of the Princeton Ridge, Gallup Farm and historic Blawenburg. The park consists of large expanses of open fields in various stages of succession. Fields are mowed periodically to halt the successional process and keep them from turning into forest. The park is home to a native butterfly garden and a reforestation project done in partnership with the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association and local scout groups. For more information on Montgomery Township open space and Montgomery Pathways, go toMontgomery Township.

Trail Map
Summary
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  • Hobler Park
  • Distance:

    Perimeter Loop – approximately 2.28 miles.

    Perimeter Loop my be shortened by using one of the many trails that cut through the middle of the fields.

    Time:

    20-30 minutes depending on pace

    Markings:

    “Montgomery Pathways” signs; a small section of trail is paved and trails through the fields are mowed.

    Trail Usage:

    Walking/Hiking, Accessible by wheelchair and baby stroller, Dogs permitted on leash

    Elevation:

    Terrain is flat with no elevation change

    Difficulty:

    Easy

    Parking:

    Large parking area available off Great Road/Route 601 in Montgomery Township

    Tips:

    Trails are open for use from dawn to dusk.

    Littering, dumping, discharge of firearms, archery and use of motorized vehicles are all prohibited.

    Pets are welcome, but must be leashed and cleaned up after.

    Amenities:

    Large play area for children and gazebo nearby. The gazebo was custom-made by David Robinson of Natural Edge and offers sweeping views of the park. A portable toilet is located near the trailhead and parking area.

    Directions:

    From Flemington:

    Take Route 202/31 South. Continue on Route 31 South when the roads split off. Follow Route 31 South to Route 518. Take Route 518 East towards Hopewell. Follow 518 East to the traffic light at the intersection with Route 654. Turn left and continue on Route 518 East out of Hopewell Borough. You will soon enter Montgomery Township while driving on Route 518. Proceed to the traffic light at Great Road/Route 601. This is the historic village of Blawenburg. Turn right onto Great Road/Route 601. Hobler Park is 1/4 mile down on the left just opposite an entrance to the Cherry Valley neighborhood.

    From Princeton:

    From Nassau Street (Route 27), take Route 206 South to the 2nd traffic light at Elm Road. Turn right and follow Elm Road, through a light at Rosedale Road – the road name will change to Great Road (CR 601). Follow Great Road to a 4 way stop sign. After passing the 4 way stop sign, continue approximately 2.5 miles further. The Hobler Park entrance will be on your right, just prior to the traffic light at Route 518.

  • Begin your walk along the paved path next to the parking area. Follow the path back towards Route 601. Turn right just prior to Route 601. You will leave the paved path and now follow a mowed path that parallels the road. Continue on the path past two connecting trails on the right until the path reaches the edge of the park and turns away from the road. As you walk along the property edge near the adjacent houses, take time to stop and admire the natural sculpture provided by local artist, Clem Fiori. The path will turn right and head back towards the parking area, but stay left and continue to follow the property edge. After a short way, the trail will again turn right and follow the eastern edge of the park, along the Gallup Farm. Continue on the trail – there are several trails that branch off to the right and head back towards the parking area – until the trail turns right again and follows a small stream. The trail will loop around and end at the parking area by the butterfly garden. For an extended walk, continue past the butterfly garden on your right and take the first trail on the left. This trail will cross the small stream and make a loop around the reforestation area, returning to the bridge..

    Trail Links:

    The paved path can be followed across Great Road/Route 601 and continues into the Cherry Valley neighborhood area.

  • Hobler Park provides a great opportunity for the hiker to witness all levels of the food chain in action. The open field is prime habitat for a wide variety of wildflowers and grasses including teasel, small white and New England asters, evening primrose, goldenrod, dogbane, broomsedge and foxtail grass. These flowers and grasses in turn attract a great number of insects like praying mantis, ladybird beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, and butterflies such as monarchs, black and tiger swallowtails and several species of skippers.

    The plants also provide food for white-tailed deer and nesting cover for goldfinches, field sparrows and song sparrows. The insects attract an array of birds like Eastern bluebirds, tree swallows, barn swallows and kingbirds. Kestrels, who feed on small songbirds, have been successful in nesting at the park, in part because of the abundant food source and also because of the dedicated volunteers who erect and maintain several kestrel boxes located along the driveway to the park.

    Hobler Park is a great spot to walk in all seasons; especially late summer and early fall. You may even catch a glimpse of a Grasshopper Sparrow in the fields.

    The fields also provide prime habitat for the meadow vole, a small rodent that is hunted by many animals including red fox, striped skunk, red-tailed hawks and great horned owls. During the winter, watch for Northern harriers as they cruise low over the field in search of their next meal. Turkey vultures are a common sight as they soar overhead on rising thermals scanning the area for carcasses on which to feed.

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  • The state of New Jersey has more than 2,100 kinds of native plants. This is remarkable for a state as densely populated as New Jersey. However, the natural fields and woodlands are suffering from the presence of nonindigenous plant species that crowd out native plants species that many types of birds, insects and wildlife depend on for survival. Montgomery Township’s Open Space Committee is working on an ongoing basis to remove invasive species from Hobler Park. Invasive species that have crept into the preserved lands at Hobler Park include multiflora rose and spotted knapweed. As you walk through Hobler Park you will see evidence of native grasses and tree plantings. This type of stewardship is essential to maintain and enhance the biodiversity found within this park.

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  • Photos

    Hobler Park
    Hobler Park
    Hobler Park

    Videos

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