East Brunswick

Tamarack Hollow Preserve
East Brunswick, NJ

Overview of Selected Trail

The gentle rolling terrain and variety of plants and animals make the Tamarack Hollow Preserve a top choice for outdoor nature activities such as hiking, bird watching and photography.  With two miles of hiking trails, Tamarack Hollow is a great family destination during both summer and winter. It is owned and maintained by the Middlesex County Office of Parks and Recreation.


Trail Map
Full Desc
Flora & Fauna
  • Tamarack Hollow Preserve
  • Distance:

    1.83 Miles in total.


    Forty-five minutes to walk all three trails at a leisurely pace.


    White for Tamarack Trail – .87 miles

    Blue for Fresh Ponds Spur – .36 miles

    Orange for Hidden Holly Trail – .6 miles

    Trail Usage:

    Hiking, pets on leashes, bicycles, and horseback riding.


    Mostly flat with some gradual elevation change.




    A stone parking area is available down the dirt driveway at the end of Hillcrest Ave.


    Note: This park is secluded; the chances of seeing other hikers are low.

    The trails are open from sunrise to sunset. All dogs must be on leashes. Please feel free to pick up any litter you find.

    Bicyclists must yield to all other trail users. Pedestrians must yield to equestrians.

    Trails are mostly dry after a day of rain. Some areas would be undesirable to walk during rain, because of slippery rocks and bog-walks.

    For assistance, Park Ranger Unit #732-745-3800


    A kiosk and map box are at the beginning of White trail, adjacent to the parking area.


    From New Brunswick:

    Take the exit for Rt. 130 South off Rt. 1 and follow to Adams Lane.  Turn left onto Adams Lane and then right onto Old Georges Road (CR 695 South).  Turn left onto Church Lane and at the first traffic light, turn left onto Riva Ave.  Follow approx. ½ mile and turn right onto Henry St. (across from Lakeview Day Camp)

    Make first right onto Hillcrest Ave. and follow to the end, turning left down the driveway.

    From NJ Turnpike:

    Take Exit 9 (New Brunswick) and follow Route 18 North to Route 1 South. Continue on Route 1 South to Route 130 and follow directions from Route 1/Route 130 above.

  • All trails are at least 4 feet wide with an 8-foot clearance and marked with blazes.

    Tamarack Trail (White): The white trail starts at the kiosk adjacent to the parking area. This trail is relatively sandy with several unmarked trails intersecting throughout. Be sure to follow the white trail blazes. The trail passes the junction with the Hidden Holly Trail (Orange) at 0.1 miles and continues to the left and down a gentle hill. Continue past an unmarked trail at .22 miles as the trail turns right and begins a gentle climb uphill. At .53 miles you will pass the entrance to the Fresh Ponds Spur (Blue) and shortly after, pass a connection with the Hidden Holly Trail (Orange) on the right. Continue following the white blazes and. at .78 miles connect again with the Hidden Holly Trail (Orange). The trail continues straight and ends at .87 miles. Either turn right and follow the dirt road back to the parking lot, or backtrail on white trail.

    Fresh Ponds Spur (Blue): This trail starts off sandy but can be muddy further in, so please be prepared. The Fresh Ponds Spur connects the Tamarack Trail (White) with Fresh Ponds Road.  Future connections across Fresh Ponds Road are planned.

    Hidden Holly Trail (Orange): This trail is mostly dirt with slight elevation and is an easy hike. Starting at the intersection with the Tamarack Trail (White), 0.1 miles from the parking area, the trail quickly forks at .065 miles. Turn right to head west or stay straight.  Staying straight, a connection to the Tamarack Trail (White) is reached at .14 miles. Continue following orange blazes to another fork at .32 miles. Trail to the left connects to the Tamarack Trail (White) in .11 miles to your hike.  Stay to the right and complete the loop back towards the parking area.  At .48 miles you will reach T. Turn left to follow back to Tamarack Trail and the parking area.


  • Tamarack Hollow is a lush forest with healthy understory. The sandy soils support a combination of pitch pines and oak, with American holly spread throughout.  The understory supports a wide variety of nesting bird species. Vernal pools along the Fresh Ponds Spur come alive each spring with wood frogs and spring peepers.

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  • The Tamarack Hollow Preserve was saved through the cooperative efforts of the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners and the Township of East Brunswick in August of 2007.   The 232-acre tract had been approved for 57 single family homes and a sewerage treatment facility that could have discharged up to 16,800 gallons of treated wastewater per day into local streams. Instead of this development, the land remains as a patchwork of heavily wooded forest mixed with farmland that continues to support local agriculture.

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  • Photos


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