Holland Township, Hunterdon County
Overlooking the Delaware River from the top of a high cliff is
the Thomas F. Breden Preserve at Milford Bluffs. The preserve
is named in memory of Thomas F. Breden, former Administrator of
the Office of Natural Lands Management and Executive Director
of the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust.
The preserve, famous for its breath-taking views of the Delaware
River and beyond, is where the Trust has joined stewardship forces
with the New Jersey Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Under ownership
of The Nature Conservancy is approximately 13 acres including
the hot, dry microclimates on the high westward facing red shale
bluff. This feature is specialized habitat for some of New Jersey’s
rarest plants. A curiosity for Hunterdon County, but not rare
within the state, are the prickly pear cactus found growing roadside
at the base of the cliff. The Trust is responsible for the management
of the preserve, which sits atop this plateau and includes woodlots,
old fields and a hemlock-shaded trout stream. The Trust, with
the help of a local Eagle Scout, has provided for parking and
mowed paths to enjoy walks through the preserve. Using grant funding
from the USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Wildlife
Habitat Incentive Program, the Trust works to manage old fields
to benefit grassland songbirds such as the bluebird, meadowlark
and bobolink. Periodic brush hog mowing and incorporating prescribed
fire for management on over 30 acres of old fields helps keep
the openings in various stages of succession.
Public Access and Uses:
Driving north on Route 519 from the town of Milford, visitors
must look carefully for the left-hand turn up a narrow dirt drive.
Once on the drive, parking and a trailhead are found on the left.
Trails are present and obvious but are not marked. Many enjoy
day hikes, birding or cross-country skiing. The Trust allows registration
for deer hunting at this preserve. Please note that this preserve is limited
to 10 registrants. Once the limit is met, this preserve will no
longer be available to choose on the registration form.