Musconetcong River, New Jersey
National Park Service, Philadelphia Office
December 22, 2006. The 3.5-mile segment from Saxton Falls to the Route 46 Bridge and the 20.7-mile from the King's Highway Bridge to the railroad tunnels at Musconetcong Gorge.
Scenic — 3.5 miles; Recreational — 20.7 miles; Total — 24.2 miles.
On December 22, 2006, the President signed into law bill S1096, the "Musconetcong Wild and Scenic Rivers Act," which designates portions of the Musconetcong River as the newest component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The Musconetcong is a "Partnership River" whereby a number of municipalities coordinate on its management with the National Park Service.
The Musconetcong River drains a 157.6-square-mile watershed area in northern New Jersey, and, as a major tributary to the Delaware River, is part of the larger (12,755-square-miles) Delaware River watershed. The 42.5-mile river in a general southwest direction to the Delaware River and ultimately to the Delaware Bay.
The Musconetcong River, nestled in the heart of the distinctive New Jersey Highlands region, features a remarkably diverse array of natural and cultural resources. The limestone geologic features present in the river corridor are unique in the region, and the steep slopes and forested ridges in the upper segments of the river corridor stand in stark contrast with the historic hamlets, pastures and rolling agricultural lands at the middle and lower end of the river valley.
Because the Musconetcong River corridor is located in a more remote part of New Jersey, much of the corridor's historical and archeological resources remain intact. Dozens of culturally significant historic and archeological resources—many of which are registered in the State and National Registers of Historic places—can be found along the 24.2 miles of the river's federal designation. Waterloo Village, Stanhope, Asbury and Finesville are places that bring visitors back to earlier times and underscore the importance of the Musconetcong River as the sustaining resource that established them.
The Musconetcong River also offers exemplary natural resources, often referred to as the best trout fishery in New Jersey. Brown trout can be found in the designated river's seven main tributaries, and anglers in the region have access to the river from hundreds of acres of publicly owned lands along the river's banks. Paddlers enjoy the river's rapid flows, and hikers trek the miles of hilly trails that flank the river, affording stunning views of the river corridor.