Parks and Recreation
Old Stuyvesant Road
DIRECTIONS: CR 517 North, go over I 80 and as you pass Old Allamuchy Rd. on your left, look right for a gate blocking an access lane going into the woods. There is room for several cars to park. This land is now part of Allamuchy Mountain State Park.
TRAIL INFO: The trail is actually part of the old original road, which makes for very easy walking. The path is nice and wide, clear of obstructions and has very little grade. You gently veer into the woods away from CR 517 until you are now walking just inside the tree line behind Tranquility Farm’s fields. This creates a scenic panorama as you look from the woods across the fields amid the rolling hills in the distance. Stay on this road North, and you will approach the back of the ‘Still Restaurant’ and then be back on CR 517 by the old church and cemetery.
What I just described is a nice walk in its own right and you could even ride a bike, ‘mountain bike’! I am going to recommend you venture off this road when you come to the remains of a stone gate just off to your right and venture deeper into the woods along the carriage path that led to the old Stuyvesant Mansion. I will give you a short history at the end of this article. You will be entering from the southern gate and following the path into the woods, notice some of the stone walls used to shore up the road as it meanders up hill (not a steep grade).
NOTE: This road in days gone by continued on past the mansion and dropped back onto the same road you were walking on and at that point there is another gate, with the steel gate still in place. Having said that you will not be able to go from South gate to North gate on this carriage path you will see signs that the path and area behind it is closed by order of the Park Service. This is not a problem as there is a short road downhill at the same location, which places you back on your original hiking road. (For your info as to your location you are opposite the main entrance to Tranquility Farms on CR 517 and there is another road that takes you to that entrance).
At this point, you have two options: go left and return to your car passing by the South gate after a short distance or go right and in a short distance see the North gate. You have a lot of flexibility in creating your walks in this area it just depends how much ground you wish to cover. The mansion burned to the ground in 1959 and was bulldozed under and the remaining farm buildings are completely covered with trees, brush, etc. and the area is definitely not safe or pleasant to roam around.
MANSION HISTORY: The original part of the mansion was built in late 1700’s and had several additions over the years until it reached 65 rooms. Stuyvesant Rutherford was the mansions owner and had added many rooms. He changed his name to Rutherford Stuyvesant so that the Stuyvesant name would not die out as per the wishes of his great uncle. His interests were in the agricultural and game fields. He brought English pheasants to America and planted many evergreen trees to protect the birds. You can still see many of these trees on this walk and in other parts of our town. Did you know that in 1952 an 85-foot Norway Spruce from Tranquility Farms was the center of the Christmas Decorations at Rockefeller Center in NYC?!
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