Goat Hill Overlook – A deviation from the normal to a plein air hike

Goat Hill overlook is on George Washington Rd in West Amwell

Link to more information about Hiking Goat Hill

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My Littlest came today for the Plein Air hike to assist in all Sourland Conservancy Ambassador duties.  Unfortunately with all of his assistance, I was not able to take as many photos as I usually do.  The lack of photos should motivate you to get out to the lovely place and take some of your own!  It was an easy 10 minute hike to the summit that ended in a picnic area with an overlook to New Hope, PA.

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Burning Bush/Winged Euonymus, Euonymus alatus, an ornamental species gone rogue.    At my childhood home I remember having a burning bush in the backyard.  I always loved the red color of the fall leaves and it was one of my best hiding spots when I’d play hide and go seek with my siblings.

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Oriental bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus, another escaped ornamental.  It is a thornless vine that I often find invading forests.  I cannot recall finding this in open areas but I often find it in the forests.  I am frankly surprised that this was used as an ornamental because it does not have interesting foliage or fruits, but here it is taking over!  Another common invasive vine, Porcelain berry, Ampelopsis brevipedunculata, has both interesting leaves and beautifully colored berries.  I cannot lie, there are some non-native and invasive plants that I love and can understand why someone would plant them in their yard.  However, oriental bittersweet?  I just don’t understand what about this plant would make someone purchase it.  Inconspicuous flowers, boring leaves…. maybe the red berries?

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Right after we got to the top of Goat Hill it started to rain.  It was a short rain and the air was warm so it was a pleasant sprinkle.  Littlest didn’t seem to mind it at all!

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While the artists were at work, Littlest and I hung out and had a picnic looking out at the beautiful view!

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A cookie larger than his head!

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Another beautiful view.  When I hiked up this trail I saw there was a smaller trail to the left, maybe 100yrds from the trail head.  I did not take the trail because I was pulling Littlest in the cart, but I am interested in what is along that path or any other views you can see from it.

Tom Ogren wrote a wonderful article titled  “The story of Goat Hill” and the historical significance going back as far as the revolutionary war to the efforts to preserve the area.  If you would like more information about how to obtain the article, contact us through the Sourland.org website!

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Such a fun day that Littlest fell asleep while I hiked back down to the car 🙂

 

 

 

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