The Allamuchy Mountain State Park is a beautiful place for families to enjoy nature. One attraction found there is the Musconetcong River. The river travels through Allamuchy Mountain State Park, providing very good trout fishing, some of the best in the state. Also several miles of trails run through the marsh areas and forests of the park. Well known for its diverse cultural programs of dance, opera and popular as well as classical music, Waterloo Village is located on the banks of the Morris Canal.
The Allamuchy Mountain State Park offers visitors more than 14 miles of trails marked for mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. Visitors are also offered many miles of unmarked trails in the park. Some examples of the excellent trails found in the park include a three mile section of the Sussex Branch Trail which starts at Waterloo Road and goes to Cranberry Lake. Reusing land that was once a railway, this trail offers the horseback riders, hikers and mountain bikers simple access from Waterloo Road through the Kittatinny Valley State Park to Branchville, New Jersey. The Highlands Trail goes from the Allamuchy Mountain State Park north boundary through Stephens State Park. Trail difficulty varies all through the park.
A unique water trail on the Musconetcong River is an option for rowboats, canoes, and kayaks. The trail head can be found at Waterloo Road and the Saxton Falls Dam. Allamuchy Mountain State Park provides excellent fishing opportunities year round. The Musconetcong River is stocked each spring with brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout by the Fish and Wildlife Division. Allamuchy Pond, Cranberry Lake, Deer Park Pond, and Jefferson Lake contain warm water species such as pickerel, perch, large mouth bass, and sunfish. Also, hunting is available in parts of Allamuchy Mountain State Park. The Allamuchy Natural Area provides small game and deer hunting.
The history of Allamuchy Mountain and the state park is quite interesting. Allamuchy Mountain was given its name from among the first inhabitants of the area which were the Delaware Indians. The chief of the settlement was known as Chief Allamuchahokkingen, whose name means, “place within the hills.” This name was given to the first settlement in 1715. Allamuchahokkingen was shortened to Mamuchahoken and then was changed once again to Allamucha.
The Allamuchy Mountain State Park is made up of 8900 acres. Most of the land that composes Allamuchy Mountain State park was part of the Rutherford and Stuyvesant estates. These families are known to be the descendants of Peter Stuyvesant who was the last governor of New Amsterdam. In the early 1970’s, the State of New Jersey purchased this property with Green Acres bond funds. An addition21-acre purchase of Mount Olive Township which was transferred to Morris Co. Park Commission also including the headwaters of Mine Brook which feeds Hackettstown Reservoir and Musconetcong River which connects the County’s Patriots Path trail system with Allamuchy Mountain State Park was funded by MLC.
To get to Allamuchy Mountain State Park, take exit 19 off I-80, taking NJ 517 south towards Hackettstown. You will travel exactly 2 miles south of I-80 to find the access road to the park which it is not marked. The road is on the left near a brick house and there is a wooden post in the ground at the corner. Turn left at this point and drive .6 mile over small hills and many potholes to the park entrance which is only a parking area and a directory. Continue for another mile, past a house and through a gate for about .5 miles after this gate is a second gate and a large field for parking on the left. Current the access to the park is unmarked and the drive to the parking area is over a rough, bumpy dirt road. Because access is a bit difficult, the park is rarely crowded, making it an ideal location for those seeking quiet and solitude to enjoy nature at its finest.
The park is located in Hackettstown, New Jersey. A mailing address for the park is c/o Stephens State Park
800 Willow Grove St. Hackettstown, NJ 07840 and a contact phone number is (908) 852-3790.