Mercer
Hopewell

Hopewell Borough Park
Hopewell, NJ 08525

Overview of Selected Trail

Hopewell Borough Park is owned and managed by Hopewell Borough. In some literature this park is also called Gazebo Park. The park contains several walking trails that wind along Bedens Brook and into old farm pasture. There is a small playground at the north end of the park by Columbia Avenue, as well as a gazebo that hosts music during the summer months.

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  • Hopewell Borough Park
  • Distance:

    Time:

    A combination of walks can be put together from 10 – 60 minutes in length

    Markings:

    Gravel paths in park area and mowed paths in the field

    Trail Usage:

    Walking/Hiking

    Elevation:

    Flat

    Difficulty:

    Easy – The trails can be muddy, so boots are recommended

    Parking:

    Parking is available either along Columbia Avenue by the Gazebo, East Prospect Street or behind Hopewell Elementary School in Hopewell Borough when school is not in session. The parking lot behind the elementary school can be reached off of Hopewell-Princeton Road.

    Tips:

    Amenities:

    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 on a leash and cleaned up after.

    Directions:

    From Trenton: Take Route 31 North. Turn right onto route 654 to Hopewell. In Hopewell turn right at the third light onto Hopewell-Princeton Road. Columbia Avenue is your first right, East Prospect Street is your 2nd right and the parking lot behind the Hopewell Elementary School is your 3rd right.

    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 to the 2nd traffic light. Turn right onto Hopewell-Princeton Road. Columbia Avenue is your first right, East Prospect Street is your 2nd right and the parking lot behind the Hopewell Elementary School is your 3rd right.

    From Princeton: From Nassau Street, follow Route 206 South to Elm Road. Turn right onto Elm Road. At the first traffic light, turn left onto Rosedale Road and follow to the end. Turn right onto Carter Road (CR 569). When you pass through the traffic light at Cherry Valley Road, the name will change to Hopewell-Princeton Road. Continue through this traffic light. The entrance to the parking lot behind Hopewell Elementary School will be approximately 2 miles down on your left. East Prospect Street is the first left after the Hopewell Elementary School and Columbia Avenue is the second left after the school.

  • Trails can be accessed from Columbia Avenue, East Prospect Street or the parking lot behind Hopewell Elementary School. If parking behind the school, walk west across the athletic fields to gain access to the trails.

    From the gazebo at Columbia Avenue, follow the gravel path west. Cross the bridge over Bedens Brook. From atop the first bridge by the gazebo, one may observe fish such as the Creek Chub and other smaller fish in the creek. Look closely for raccoon tracks at the edge of the stream or watch for aquatic insects like mayflies, dancing above the water. The trail turns from gravel to dirt and climbs a small hill. At the top of the hill, the trail to the right follows the edge of the field and ends at West Prospect Street and Lawyers Lane. Turn left on Lawyers Lane to pick up a return trail by the hedgerow on the left. The trail to the left follows the edge of the field passing a group of Norway Spruce and passing through hedgerows of multi-flora rose scattered with a few old Osage orange trees. Several trails branch off to the right offering different walks out into the old farm pasture. Eventually the trail comes to another bridge that crosses Bedens Brook on the left. The trail in front of you makes a small loop in the old farm pasture. Turning left and crossing Bedens Brook, the trail returns to a gravel path. Turning right, this path crosses through young forest and then along the athletic fields behind the Hopewell Elementary School and back to the gazebo at Columbia Avenue.

  • The combination of young forest and old farm pasture makes the park a fun birding destination. Watch for a variety of song birds including Northern mockingbird, Eastern goldfinch, Eastern bluebirds and field sparrows just to name a few. Scan the edges of the field for Red-tail hawks and keep your eyes on the horizon for soaring turkey vultures.

    Given the suburban setting, the wildlife is abundant, but not always apparent in the park. Winter trips have yielded tracks of whitetail deer, red fox, gray squirrel, raccoon, opossum and white footed mice. Gray squirrels can be seen year round and watch for the furry woodchuck along the hedgerows in the fields.

    Beduins Brook is a wonderful site for exploration. River birch line the edges and watch for great blue herons and kingfishers, look for the cup-like nest of the Baltimore oriole hanging precariously from the end of tree branches, and search for tracks and piles of freshwater mollusk shells left by raccoons wandering the shoreline. Close inspection of Bedens Brook itself will yield a great many discoveries as well, including green frog tadpoles, fish like creek chubs and shiners, and crayfish crawling along the bottom in search of food and shelter.

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  • Hopewell Borough Park is a critical piece in the Hopewell Borough Greenbelt. Conserving the Hopewell Valley’s natural resources, such as water and threatened and endangered species has been a goal of organizations such as Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space and Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association.

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  • Photos

    Hopewell Borough Park
    Hopewell Borough Park

    Videos

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