HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – Ten volunteers helped out with trail maintenance at the Sourland Mountain Preserve Saturday, including Harry Burke and Jane Staats, Democratic candidates for the Hillsborough Township Committee.

Coordinated by the Somerset County Park Commission Rangers and the Volunteer Park Control, this event was one of several trail maintenance projects at the preserve.

The volunteers first hiked straight up the mountain before reaching their destination. Using shovels, pickaxes, rakes, and their gloved hands, they then cleared a new trail for mountain biking.   

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“The scenery here is so beautiful and serene,” said Harry Burke. “It’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning, and an even better way to give back. I recommend this to everyone here in Hillsborough.”

“By being part of this effort, we’re giving others a chance to enjoy Sourland Mountain as much as we have,” Staats aid. “I really like to hike up to and around the Devil’s Half Acre in particular.” One of the mountain’s established trails meanders throughout a section popularly known as the Devil’s Half Acre, which consists of large boulders strewn across an area of the mountain. Some visitors challenge themselves to climb these boulders.

The Sourland Mountain Preserve is 4000 acres of natural resources, consisting of a diverse number of plants and animals. Visitors can hike, bike, or ride horses along a selection of trails, with varying difficulty levels, and they can enjoy many interesting sights along the trails.

The next date for trail maintenance at the Sourland Mountain Preserve is Saturday, Sept.16 at 9  a.m.

Staats has lived for over 30 years in Hillsborough, where she and her husband raised their son. She taught mathematics for 18 years at Hillsborough High School. She also volunteers at Mary Mother of God Parish, Hillsborough High School Theatre, and Somerset Valley Players. Harrison “Harry” Burke was born and raised in Hillsborough. He received his bachelor’s degree in government and politics from St. John’s University. He works as an employment specialist at a local nonprofit in Somerset county.