- All Middlesex County Parks and Open Spaces are open from sunrise to sunset with strict social distancing requirements. Pursuant to Executive Order 204, effective Monday, December 7, 2020 until further notice, the gathering limit for all outdoor activities is limited to 25 individuals. The Parks Administration Building is closed to the public until further notice. Park visitors are to practice social distancing and are strongly encouraged to wear a mask while enjoying our parks and open spaces.
***2021 PICNIC RESERVATIONS***
Due to Covid-19 concerns, picnic reservations for 2021 will not take place in person or by phone on January 4, 2021. Opening day of reservations is tentatively scheduled for Monday, March 1, 2021. Information regarding the 2021 reservations process will be on our website in mid-February. If you have any questions, please visit the picnic reservation page
or call our reservation office at 732-745-3900.
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.