Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!
Lord Stirling Park is a Somerset County Park in central New Jersey. It’s just a mile down the road from the Raptor Trust, so I decided to check it out after my tour there with Take A Hike NJ.
Lord Stirling Park occupies 950 acres of the former Lord Stirling’s estate. William Alexander (Stirling) served as a general in George Washington’s army. Washington stayed at the estate as a guest and gave away Alexander’s daughter at her wedding. The manor is gone and another structure stands on its foundation. That site opens only for special events.
The Environmental Education Center uses solar power and was the first public building in the United States with solar heat when it opened in 1977. A network of hiking trails begins at the Education Center. They wind through different habitats: swamps, meadows, woodlands and thickets.
I took the 1.2 mile blue trail. It begins on a boardwalk along the shore of Branta Pond. It runs past the education center garden, a maple sugaring area and more. Some other trails run along the Passaic River which is the border between Lord Stirling Park and Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
A separate section of the park contains the Lord Stirling Stables and exclusive equestrian trails.
Location: 190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Designation: County Park
Date designated/established: 1977
Date of my visit: April 17, 2021