Total of about 11 miles of trail.
Allow at least an hour for shorter walks, and up to 3-4 hours for a long hike.
Trails are marked with square plastic blazes on trees (blue, white, red, orange, or yellow). At trail entrances, intersections, and places where there are no trees and the trail might be unclear, there are brown posts with trail markers in the same colors. Arrows on the posts, and sometimes on tree blazes, are used to emphasize direction at sharp turns.
|Walking/Hiking, Horseback riding, Dogs permitted on leash|
Rugged. From the lowest point of the preserve to the highest is about a 400-foot climb, and some trails are quite steep. Walking the Ridge Trail, however, involves only moderate ups and downs.
Most trails involve climbing or descending, sometimes steeply. Some sections of trail may be wet and muddy. Some trails include steep stone steps, which require a moderate degree of balance and caution. None of the trails are paved.
Entrance to the Baldpate trail network can be gained at five places. There is formal parking at three of these locations, and limited parking in two other places:
1. Honey Hollow Entrance from Church Road: There is a parking area at the Brick Road entrance to Washington Crossing State Park, off Church Road just opposite Fiddler’s Creek Road, with space for 8-10 cars along the edges of Brick Road.
2. Fiddler’s Creek Road Parking Lot: The entrance to the parking lot is approximately 0.3 mile east of Route 29 on Fiddler's Creek Road. The entrance to the parking lot is a few hundred feet east of the driveway that leads up to the Baldpate visitor center. This lot is large enough to accommodate dozens of cars. Horse trailers are not allowed here.
3. Pleasant Valley Road Parking Lot: The well-marked entrance driveway is on the south side of Pleasant Valley Road, 1.2 miles west of Bear Tavern Road. This large lot can accommodate cars and horse trailers. This point allows access to the east end of the Ridge Trail, the Copper Hill Trail, and the Power Line Trail.
4. Fiddler’s Creek Bridge Roadside Parking: On Fiddler’s Creek Road, .5 mile from Church Road, and 1.1 miles from Route 29, it is possible to pull off on the grassy shoulder on the north side of Fiddler’s Creek Road, where the Creek Spur trail begins. A wooden post with a blue trail blaze marks the spot.
5. From Howell Living History Farm: There is also access to the Baldpate trail network off Pleasant Valley Road, about 100 yards east of Valley Road, just opposite Hunter Road (closed to vehicle traffic). From here, there is access to the Pleasant Valley Trail. However, there is no formally designated parking at this location. Users interested in entering the preserve here can park at the Howell Living History Farm and walk down Hunter Road to Pleasant Valley Road. Be sure not to leave your car past the Farm’s closing hours, which are posted, since the parking lot gate is then closed.
Deer hunting, organized by Mercer County, is allowed on Baldpate Mountain in January and early February each year. Hunting generally is allowed Wednesday through Saturday, and on hunting days there is no public access except for hunters registered with Mercer County. There is no hunting on Sundays. To confirm the hunting days, check Mercer County's website or the signs that are posted at all preserve entrances during hunting season. The eastern part of the preserve, known as Honey Hollow and accessed from Church Road, is private property on which an easement allows public use; on this part of the preserve more extensive hunting from October through early February is allowed by the owner by private permission. On hunting days there is no public access; signs are posted and should be respected.
There are public restrooms in the old lodge just west of the main visitor center near the top of the mountain.
The Ted Stiles preserve stretches across almost 1800 acres of a ridge running roughly east-west, between Fiddlers Creek Road to the south and Pleasant Valley Road to the north. Most of the land was preserved as open space in 1998 by a consortium of Mercer County, the State of New Jersey, Hopewell Township, and the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space. Other acquisitions of land and easements have expanded the preserve, which is managed by Mercer County. In 2007, the preserve’s original name of Baldpate Preserve was changed to honor the life of Edmund “Ted” Stiles, one of New Jersey’s most accomplished and tireless activists for protection of natural lands, who passed away that year.
Baldpate Mountain offers some of the most extensive and rugged walking in Mercer County. An extensive network of trails, some old logging roads and some specially built trails, lace the southern and northern flanks of the ridge, and a 2-mile trail runs along its spine. There are great views of the Delaware River to the south, historic farmland to the north, and on clear days the Philadelphia skyline to the southwest. Ruins of a 19th century settlement and scattered farms can be found on or near some of the Baldpate trails. There are five entrance points to the preserve—two from Fiddlers Creek Road, two from Pleasant Valley Road , and one from Church Road.
Take Exit 1 onto Route 29 north. Go 4.7 miles and turn right on Fiddlers Creek Road. Go about three-tenths of a mile to the parking lot entrance. For the Church Road entrance, continue another 1.4 miles up Fiddlers Creek Road to the intersection with Church Road; continue straight across Church Road into the Brick Road entrance to Washington Crossing State Park, where there is ample parking room along the margins of the gravel road. Alternatively, go 1.4 miles further north on Route 29, beyond Fiddler’s Creek Road, and turn right on Pleasant Valley Road. Make a left turn onto Valley Road at about 2.75 miles up Pleasant Valley Road, and then go right (almost straight ahead) on Wooden's Lane to the Howell Living History Farm and its parking. For access to the Ridge Trail, continue up Pleasant Valley Road 4.5 miles from Route 29, to the entrance to a large parking lot on the right.From Pennington:
Go west on Delaware Avenue (from Route 31 at the light at the Pennington Market). Continue for 3.0 miles, first straight, then through several twisting sections. At the stop sign on Bear Tavern Road (Route 579), turn right. For the Church Road entrance, take the first left after .4 mile onto Church Road. For access to the Honey Hollow area, turn hard left into Brick Road about .75 mile in on Church Road, just opposite the intersection of Church Road with Fiddler's Creek Road. From that point you can turn right and follow Fiddler’s Creek Road 1.3 miles to the parking lot entrance on your right. For the Pleasant Valley Road entrances, continue a total of 1.5 miles north on Route 579, and turn left on Pleasant Valley Road. Access to the Ridge Trail parking lot is on the left at 1.2 miles from Route 579. For access to the Pleasant Valley Trail, turn right on Valley Road about 2.9 miles from Route 579, and then right on Wooden's Lane and park at Howell Living History Farm (during its operating hours--see Howell Living History Farm)
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