"When the path ignites a soul, there's no remaining in place. The foot touches ground, but not for long." — Hakim Sanai, 12th Century Persian Poet
By Barbara A. Preston - Feb 1, 2018 (Updated Dec 3, 2020)
From Montgomery Township, a person could walk just about anywhere.
Miles and miles of pathways traverse the township, some leading to the East Coast Greenway — which stretches from Maine to Florida. Another path leads up into the Sourlands and lends a view of New York City’s Freedom Tower.
Make a goal to hike or bike them all. These scenic byways are often quiet, and downright secluded in winter. If dressed properly, there is no reason to fear the cold. An advantage to winter walking: Frost kills mosquitoes and deer ticks, and bare trees often reveal various sorts of hawks, woodpeckers, and even eagles.
Bring a loved one, or spend some solitary time with a camera or dog for company. Just be careful not to get stranded on the 70-mile D&R Canal Path or up in the 4,000-acre Sourland Mountain Preserve after dark. Leave plenty of time to get back in daylight hours. This can be easier said than done during the winter months, when sundown is as early as 4:30 pm.
One of the benefits of living in a place like Montgomery, Hopewell, or Rocky Hill is the ability to walk out the door and enjoy the open space. Witnessing the ongoing large-scale building of row homes and multi-story buildings on large tracts of land, it is good to know organizations such as the Montgomery Friends of Open Space are in place working to preserve natural resources for generations to come.
Montgomery Township's population has more than doubled in the past 15 years,” according to the Friends. “By working hard to protect the remaining open land, we hope to achieve a better balance between growth and preservation.”
At least 7,000 acres of land has been preserved in Montgomery. Partnerships with the NJ Agricultural Development Committee, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Acres Division, Somerset County, and the Delaware & Raritan Greenway have brought about creative funding strategies to protect our land and farms.
Pictured on these pages are just some examples of places to visit in our township — even in the winter.