HELPFUL TIPS: Use the Great Outdoors to Unwind – It is Close to Home . . . and Free!

By Tom Makowski
The weather is finally beginning to cool down and you decide to get out of the house to unwind. How about mountain biking, hiking, bouldering, bird watching or photography? If so, the Sourland Mountain Preserve in Hillsboro Township/Montgomery Township, located in Somerset County, offers all of this and more including watchable wildlife such as red and gray foxes, coyote and deer etc.
The Preserve is located in Belle Mead -just a short distance off Rt. 206 toward Blawenberg Road (Rt. 601) to East Mountain Road.
The park has many beautiful nature trails to explore. One trail leads to a large grouping of huge boulders located at the top of the mountain. All of these formations are Triassic Age sedimentary and igneous rock deposited (or formed) between 150 and 180 million years ago, when the sea covered this land.
Whether you are seeking solitude or having fun with your family or friends, this is a great place to visit. Just wear appropriate shoes, bring water, a trail map and be sure to get back 1/2 hour before dusk.
These trying times bring me to the reason for this article. A day outing such as this, except for transportation, cost next to nothing to experience. By comparison, take a family of four to the movie theater that lasts only 90 minutes and you’ll see what I mean. Spending time bonding with your family and/or friends while taking in the great outdoors will make memories that will last a lifetime.

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