The Somerset County Parks Commission retained Carter van Dyke Associates, Inc.to study the feasibility of developing a linked open space system along the Raritan River in Somerset County. The study area was approximately 10,900 acres and extended 8.1 miles from the confluence of the Millstone River to the check dam at Duke Island Park on the North Branch of the Raritan River. The entire study is located within federally recognized flood hazard areas, or in designated wetland areas, and will be used for passive recreation.
The study area is traversed by utility easements, railroad rights-of-ways and highways. The land within the study area is controlled or owned by a diverse group including state, county, township, borough, corporate and private entities. The character of the land is best described as frequently flooded woods and grasslands. Old railroad bridges and track beds were designated to be converted to trails.
The concept for recreational development of the study area includes passive uses such as walking, hiking, fishing and bird watching. Nodes within the system will provide access and parking for users. Active and organized field sport uses were outside the scope of the study.