Location: Prospect Plains Road, Monroe Township
Size: 983 Acres
Facilities: Parking Area, Hiking Trails
The Thompson Park Conservation Area was saved through the cooperative efforts of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Township of Monroe and the State of NJ, Green Acres Program. The initial purchase of land from the Bank of China was in July of 2000 and additional properties are continually added to this remarkable area. The series of County land parcels total 925-acres. Combined with the existing 675-acre Thompson Park and 335-acres of adjacent State owned land, the total preserved open space in this part of Monroe Township is nearly 2000 acres.
The conservation area stretches south from Thompson Park and Schoolhouse Road along the Gravel Hill. It is dominated by heavily wooded forests and lowland swamps along the Manalapan Brook. Parts of the area also continue to support local agriculture, with farmers growing corn and soybeans.
The Thompson Park Conservation Area offers passive activities such as hiking, walking, bird watching and photography. With nearly 9 miles of trails in the area, hikers can enjoy a short stroll or string together a longer hike. The Gravel Hill Trail is accessed from the parking area at the Monroe Township Soccer Complex on Prospect Plains Road. Alternatively, hikers can park in Thompson Park and connect to the Gravel Hill Trail just south of Schoolhouse Road. Parking and portable restrooms are available at both trailheads.