Mill Pond Park
Montgomery, NJ 08502
Overview of Selected Trail
Mill Pond Park is a combination of active and passive recreation open space owned and managed by Montgomery Township. The trail around the soccer fields is paved and provides a smooth, level walking surface. This paved section offers a connection to Montgomery Park for a longer walk or access to picnic tables and benches next to Pike Run and the historic Mill Pond Bridge. The natural section of the trail leaves the paved section at the eastern end of the park and provides the walker with a wonderful combination of forest and field landscapes, with access to Dead Tree Run and the historic Beekman Cemetery.
For more information on Montgomery Township open space,visit Montgomery Township.
Paved Trail is 1.25 miles; Natural path to Beekman Cemetery is .85 miles.
30–90 minutes, depending on pace
Trail Markers: “Montgomery Pathways” signs; some sections of trail are paved and trails through the fields are mowed.
Walking/Hiking, Accessible by wheelchair and baby stroller, Dogs permitted on leash
Minimal elevation changes
Easy – A portion of the trails are paved. The unpaved sections can be muddy, so boots are recommended.
Available in the parking area off Mill Pond Road. Park near soccer fields and walk across street. Ample room there for 25+ vehicles.
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.
Hunting is permitted by township permit along the unpaved section of the trail. Hunting season extends from mid-September to mid-February. No hunting is conducted on Sundays.
Portable restroom facilities are available in the summer season at Mill Pond Soccer Fields.
Follow Route 31 South past Ringoes. When you approach a large down hill grade look for the West Amwell Diner and Pine Creek Miniature Golf on your right. At the next traffic intersection make a left on Route 518 East. Follow through Hopewell Township and Borough. Route 518 will take you to a “T” intersection with a traffic light. Turn left and follow through the borough of Hopewell. The road remains Route 518 East. Travel into the township of Montgomery and remain on Route 518 until you come to the intersection with Route 206. There will be a WaWa convenience store on one corner and a Shell Gas Station on another. Turn left and follow Route 206 North past Montgomery Shopping Center which you see shortly on your right. Turn right onto Bridgepoint Road/CR-609. Make first right onto River Road/CR-533. Follow River Road for approximately 1.3 miles and turn left onto Dead Tree Run Road. Follow Dead Tree Run Road to the one-way bridge and bear right onto Mill Pond Road. Park entrance is on your right.
Take Route 206 North out of Princeton. Once you pass the Princeton Airport on your left, you will soon cross Route 518 and the Montgomery Shopping Center. Bear right onto Bridgepoint Road/CR-609. Come to four way stop and turn right onto River Road/CR-533. Follow River Road for approximately 1.3 miles and turn left onto Dead Tree Run Road. Follow Dead Tree Run Road to the one-way bridge and bear right onto Mill Pond Road. Park entrance is on your right.
Follow Route 518 East out of Hopewell Borough. Travel into the township of Montgomery and remain on Route 518 until you come to the intersection with Route 206. There will be a WaWa convenience store on one corner and a Shell Gas Station on another. Turn left and follow Route 206 North past Montgomery Shopping Center which you see shortly on your right. Bear right onto Bridgepoint Road/CR-609. Come to four way stop and turn right onto River Road/CR-533. Follow River Road for approximately 1.3 miles and turn left onto Dead Tree Run Road. Follow Dead Tree Run Road to the one-way bridge and bear right onto Mill Pond Road. Park entrance is on your right.
Begin your walk along the paved path that can be reached from any of the parking areas. This path cuts around the edge of the park and its many soccer fields. Follow this path in any direction and you will complete a large loop of approximately 1.10 miles.
Heading east from any parking area, follow the paved path past several soccer fields on your left and a storage building and play ground on your right. Continue past the final soccer field and as the paved trail turns left, follow the natural section into the woods. The trail winds through forest, crosses an intermittent stream and then a bit further crosses Dead Tree Run. Climbing a small embankment, the trail passes through a stand of Eastern red cedar and emerges into a large field. Turn right and follow the wood-line, turning left after approximately 50 yards. The trail now follows the left hand side of a hedgerow separating two fields. In the distance stands a lone windmill serving as a tribute to Montgomery Township’s agricultural heritage. Follow the hedgerow past the windmill, over a gravel driveway and continue on the left side of the hedgerow. At the end of the hedgerow, the trail will turn left and parallel River Road, pass the Beekman Cemetery and end just beyond the next hedge. Return to parking area following the same trail.
Montgomery Park can be reached by following the paved path across Mill Pond Road at the north end of the park. A future trail link is planned from Mill Pond Bridge along Pike Run to the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park.
To learn more about preservation of natural lands in Montgomery Township you may also visit Montgomery Friends of Open Space.
The still rural nature of Montgomery Township and Mill Pond Park offers a variety of wildlife viewing opportunities. The area around the soccer fields supports a variety of common birds including mourning doves and Northern flickers. It is not uncommon to see a red-tail hawk perched in a dead tree along the hedgerow or white tailed deer coming to the forest edge to feed.
The natural section of trail passes through still somewhat young forest of white ash and red maple. Spring produces a blanket of mayapples and spring beauties along the forest floor, while in the autumn, the Virginia creeper blazes a scarlet red. Dead Tree Run is home to a variety of aquatic creatures. Approach the brook quietly and you will probably observe several green frogs sitting along the edges waiting patiently for their next meal. As the trail winds out of the forest, you are treated to wide open views of the old farm fields, now covered with broom sedge and fox tail grasses. Eastern bluebirds are abundant here and keep your eyes open during the winter months for Northern harriers cruising low over the grasses in search of a meadow vole for their next meal.
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Mill Pond Park was preserved by Montgomery Township in 1998. Planned as a combination of passive and active recreation, soccer fields, a field house and playground were added in 2001. Local Scouting groups built the natural pathway.
The Mill Pond Bridge is located in the National and State designated Bridgepoint Historic District. This triple arched bridge was originally constructed in 1820. The Beekman Cemetery hosts numerous gravestones including monuments dating back to 1773. The cemetery is still in use today. Part of the trail parallels River Road, the oldest road in the township, dating back to the mid-1700’s. It is the spine of the River Road Historic District, listed in the State’s Register of Historic Places.
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