The Fox Hill has been enhanced recently through restoration projects and the efforts of local Eagle Scouts. The parking lot was built by an Eagle Scout in 2018, leading visitors to two loop trails – improved and marked by another Eagle Scout – that meander through the forest. Follow these trails to a 10-acre warm season grass meadow established in 2009 with the support of the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Along Fox Hill Road is a dense population of native wildflowers, established in 2011 as a native pollinator habitat project. RHA is actively restoring forests at the preserve through native tree planting and invasive species removal.
Plan Your Visit
Physical Address: 40.696011, -74.755957
Operating Hours and Seasons: Open Dawn till Dusk.
Fees: Raritan Headwaters does not charge a fee to visit our properties. But maintaining and improving nature preserves is expensive, so we welcome donations to help defray our stewardship costs. Thank you for helping our preserves!
Learn About Fox Hill Preserve
The Fox Hill Preserve was established in 1974 when Mrs. Esther U. Johnson deeded a 45 acre parcel of land between Palatine and Fox Hill Roads in Tewksbury Township to the Upper Raritan Watershed Association (now RHA). It was Mrs. Johnson’s wish that the tract be used exclusively for conservation, open space preservation and the protection of a primary tributary of Cold Brook. Mrs. Johnson was a dedicated conservationist who served as a Trustee of URWA in its early years. She believed strongly in the principles of preservation, stewardship and education which were then, and still are today, among the prime objectives of RHA. She believed that donating the land to us was the best way to ensure that the property would remain in a natural condition and provide benefits to both our organization and the community as a whole.
A second parcel was added in 1985 when Mrs. Marguerite N. Winning deeded almost 14 acres, stipulating that this land would be subject to the same conditions that Mrs. Johnson had established when she made her gift, thereby expanding the preserve to 58 acres. In 2009, RHA and the Tewksbury Land Trust partnered to preserve an additional 6 acres at the top of the Fox Hill Preserve that provides the bucolic views of the Oldwick Valley and beyond to the Somerset Hills. The property today totals 65 acres.
When we acquired the land that comprises Fox Hill Preserve, most of it was forested, although a small portion was being farmed. In the years that ensued, farming operations ceased and the land was largely managed according to the now-obsolete theory that the best way to care for preserved open space was to simply let it be. In recent years we have developed and begun implementation of a management plan that is improving the conservation value of the preserve.
Two loop trails meander through the forest and bring you to a ten-acre Warm Season Grass meadow established in 2009 with the support of the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Along Fox Hill Road you will see a dense population of native wildflowers. This is a one acre native pollinator habitat established in 2011.
Please note that we conduct a deer management program on this property in accordance with State regulations. Our Deer Management Program is active annually September to February during the dates described by the regulations. There is no hunting on Sundays. Visitors should wear blaze orange when hiking on the trails during hunting season.
Stewardship projects at Fox Hill include invasive plant surveying and eradication, trail maintenance, monitoring two kestrel and two eastern bluebird nest boxes, and a mowing plan for the warm season grass meadows that delays mowing until the nesting season for ground-nesting birds is finished. A wetland enhancement project is underway, supported in part by the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program through NRCS. Annual surveys are also performed.
Ways to get involved!