Crossley Preserve

Proficient Plumbing & Heating, we are your best plumbing services in this neighborhood. We are glad to share with our patrons some places of interest to visit.

Crossley Preserve is a 2,948-acre hiking & nature area which provides an interpretive trail amid varied landscapes and wildlife. The preserve contains historic & cultural sites, and it is also adopted for environmental education and recreation. There are flora and fauna along the preserve trail including Pine Barren’s tree frog, laurels, scrub oak, & pitch pine.

It was established by the New Jersey Natural Land Trust along an abandoned Penn Central rail line, west of Toms River CDP.

The preserve also has signs been placed along the rail trail informing visitors about fire control, endangered plants, Pine Barrens ecology, and corn snakes. 

History of Crossley Preserve

Crossley was initially originated as a clay-mining ghost town in the late 1800s,  remained effective until the early 1900s. The clay was used to produce bricks, terracotta pottery,  & pipes.

The land at Crossley was owned by the Crossley Clay Works, which was later acquired by the George C. Crossley Company in 1914. The property was sold in the 1920s to the Cypress Land Company, who also sold it later to the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust.

Presently the town & its surrounding area has been transformed into the Crossley Preserve, a hiking & nature area.

Thomas F. Hampton Trail

This is a 1.5-mile hiking trail partly formed by the donkey railroad inside the preserve. It was named after the past executive director of the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust. The nature trail occupies the former rail bed portion of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Along the trails lie tree frogs of the Jersey Pine Barren’s breed in the old mining pits, now ponds, and habitats of upland and lowland pine, shrub oak, Atlantic white cedar, and laurel thrive among the clay works’ ruins.

The trail also marks out some features & artifacts of the ruins of Crossley.

Public access & uses

The best way to access Crossley’s Thomas F. Hampton interpretive nature hiking trail is from Crossley Road. Crossley Road (dirt) crosses Pinewald-Keswick Road at Route 530 just east of the Miller Air Park. The Crossley also has an extensive frontage on Route 530 but with limited roadside parking. 

The adjoining Whiting Wildlife Management Area is managed by the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife. The New Jersey Natural Land Trust allows registration for deer hunting at this preserve. However, just as hiking, hunting at the preserve is seasonal too.

Points of interest in the same area

Here’s the map for Crossley Preserve:

As you can see, Crossley Preserve is about 25 minutes from our head office in Brick, New Jersey!