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Thompson Park Conservation Area

 

Location: Prospect Plains Road, Monroe Township
   

Trailhead and Parking:

Thompson Park – Off Leash Dog Area, Monroe Township
GPS Coordinates: 40° 20’ 3.75’’ N; 74° 26’ 8.55’’ W

Monroe Township Soccer Complex, Monroe Township
GPS Coordinates: 40° 18’ 59.26’’ N; 74° 25’ 59.71’’ W

   
Size: 925 Acres
   
Facilities:

Parking Area, Hiking Trails

Thompson Park Conservation Area Trail Map (Adobe PDF)


 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.

 

 

 

DIRECTIONS:

Thompson Park Trailhead; Near Off leash Dog Area on Fir Drive:

From Route 1:

  1. Take 130 South
  2. Take 32 East
  3. 32 East turns into Forsgate Dr.  (Route 612)
  4. Follow to the traffic light intersection with Perrineville Rd (Route 625)
  5. Turn right onto Perrineville Rd and follow approx. 1 mile
  6. Turn left into Thompson Park on Fir Drive
  7. Off-leash Dog Area will be ¼ mile down on your right

From Route 18

  1. Take Main St. (Route 615 South – Spotswood)
  2. This turns into Manalapan Rd. (Route 615)
  3. Follow Route 615 into Jamesburg
  4. At the intersection of Route 615 & Route 522, turn left onto Gatzmer Ave.  Follow to the traffic light. 
  5. Continue through the traffic light onto Perrineville Rd. (Route 625) for approx 1 mile
  6. Turn left into Thompson Park on Fir Drive
  7. Off-leash Dog Area will be ¼ mile down on your right

From Route 9

  1. Turn off at Texas Rd. (Route 520 West)
  2. The road name will change to Matchaponix Ave (Route 612 West)
  3. Continue on Matchaponix Ave (Route 612 West), past Route 613, all the way to the end
  4. Make right at end of road onto Buckelew Ave
  5. Make first left at traffic light onto Forsgate Dr.
  6. At next traffic light, turn left onto Perrineville Road (Route 625)
  7. Follow Perrineville Road for approx. 1 mile
  8. Turn left into Thompson Park on Fir Drive
  9. Off-leash Dog Area will be ¼ mile down on your right

 
NJ Turnpike

  1. Take Exit 8A
  2. Take Route 612 East (Forsgate Dr.) towards Jamesburg
  3. Follow to the traffic light intersection with Perrineville Rd (Route 625)
  4. Turn right onto Perrineville Rd and follow for approx. 1 mile
  5. Turn left into Thompson Park on Fir Drive
  6. Off-leash Dog Area will be ¼ mile down on your right

Gravel Hill Trailhead at the Monroe Township Soccer Complex:

From the Off-leash Dog Area in Thompson Park

    • Exit the Off-leash Dog Area onto Fir Drive
    • Follow out of park to Perrineville Road
    • Turn left onto Perrineville Road and follow to the second traffic light
    • Turn left onto Prospect Plains Road (Post Office on the corner)
    • Monroe Township Soccer Complex on the left