Kingwood Township

Kugler Falls Trail
Kingwood Township, NJ 08559

Overview of Selected Trail

The Kugler Falls Trail climbs high above the Delaware River in the Kugler Woods Preserve, which is part of the D&R Canal State Park and is managed by the State Division of Parks and Forestry. Set on the bluffs overlooking the Delaware River in Kingwood Township, Hunterdon County, the 220-acre property lies along the east side of Route 29 just north of the Bulls Island Recreation Area. This is a short but very scenic trail with views of a deep ravine on the way to Kugler Falls, a ten-foot high seasonal waterfall.

Trail Map
Full Desc
Flora & Fauna
  • Kugler Falls Trail
  • Distance:

    One-quarter mile, one-way


    30 minutes round trip



    Trail Usage:

    Hikers only.

    No motorized vehicles permitted.


    The entire trail ascends a fairly steep grade.


    Moderately strenuous due to the steep grade, but the distance is short. The trail in some sections is narrow, with steep drop-offs to the side.


    There is a large parking lot on the west side of Route 29 just north of the trailhead across the road on the east side of Route 29. From the parking lot, hikers need to walk along the wide shoulder of Route 29 to the trailhead, about 300 feet south of the lot and just beyond the guardrail on the east side.


    The volume of water flowing over the falls depends on how much recent rain has fallen. To determine if water is going over the falls, hikers should stop at the trailhead and look for a small waterfall nearby. If there is no visible and audible waterfall, there will be no water going over Kugler Falls. Afternoon sun is best for viewing the falls.


    There is a kiosk at the trailhead with information on numerous bird species.


    From the South: Taking Route 29, the trail is approximately 10 miles north of Lambertville and 5 miles north of Stockton. The trail entrance is approximately one mile north of the Bulls Island Boat Launch and two miles north of the Bulls Island Recreation Area entrance.

    From the North: Taking Route 29, the trail is approximately 7 miles south of Frenchtown.

  • As the trail climbs up along the side of a deep ravine, hikers have a constant view of the stream far below. The trail is easy to follow as it ascends along a narrow ledge on the side of the ravine. There are no trail markers. The trail ends at the falls, which can be seen on the far side of the ravine assuming there is water flow. There is a large boulder field at the end of the trail opposite the falls. More ambitious hikers can scramble down the boulders just past a large fallen tree trunk for a close-up view of the falls.   The trail offers interesting views of a water basin and large boulders at the base of the ravine.

  • Together with adjoining preserved lands, Kugler Woods is part of a large and healthy woodland ecosystem with critical habitat for neo-tropical songbirds that need deep forest areas to breed. Vernal ponds on the property provide habitat for numerous rare plants including wild comfrey, Missouri gooseberry, and hairy lip fern. The woodlands are also habitat for the long-tailed salamander and other wildlife, including turkeys, hawks, owls, and coyotes.

    The area is entirely wooded with mature specimen hardwoods, including numerous large sugar maples.

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  • Named after its 18th-century owner, Kugler Woods provided timber for the famous Rodham Boat Works at the edge of the property. Here the flat-bottomed cargo vessels known as Durham boats were built to haul lime, pig iron and other goods from the Lehigh Valley to Trenton and Philadelphia. The boats were most famously deployed by General George Washington in 1776 during the historic Christmas crossing of the Delaware downstream at Washington’s Crossing.

    The most recent owner before the land was preserved once ran a gravity-assisted maple syrup operation on the property. The Hunterdon Land Trust facilitated the preservation of Kugler Woods in 2004 with funding provided by the State Green Acres Program and Hunterdon County.

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  • Photos


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