Morris and Hunterdon counties are replete with beautiful vistas, fertile valleys and a long heritage of hosting equestrian opportunities. Many of our adjoining farms host trail rides, riding instruction, rentals, carriage rides, elegant Clydesdale horse services or simply visitation opportunities.
Willow Grove Farm is one of the premier Clydesdale breeders in New Jersey. They offer trail and carriage rides year round. Contact Heidi Schubert-Ort at (908) 391-4073.
“Just One More” Farm offers a tour of a real working farm and a vast array of four legged friends. Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through the scenic farm or take a ride to pick seasonal fruit. Contact Bonnie Terry at (908) 832-6706.
Silver Bit & Spur is a 60+ acre family-fun farm in Hunterdon County. Visitors are encouraged to stop in 365 days a year. The farm offers public unguided trail rides.
Nearby Centenary College is nationally and internationally recognized for its outstanding equine studies program. The college recently completed a new USET arena incorporating the latest features in arena design. The facility also includes an outdoor arena, multi-acre hunt course and several technologically advanced barns. Visits to the Equestrian Center can be arranged; our Innkeeper would be happy to schedule one for you.
The US Equestrian Team headquarters is located at Hamilton Farm on Pottersville Rd. in Gladstone, NJ; individual visitors and groups are encouraged to visit the USET Olympic Training Center and Headquarters. Once at USET Headquarters you will walk into a stable built in 1916 which has been described as one of the largest and most lavish in the United States.
The Inn is nestled in the midst of a 26-mile long and 6-mile wide scenic valley. Our location provides a starting or ending point to your casual biking adventures.
Abutting the long closed High Bridge Railroad extension, the rail-bed has been preserved as the Columbia Trail. Railroad grades never exceeded 2% incline, so relax and enjoy the extended ride along the South Branch of the Raritan River as it meanders from town to town. Along the river you may see active beaver, mink, waterfowl, birds, and wildflowers. Remnants of the railroading history are evident from Long Valley through Califon to High Bridge and beyond.
Tour the countryside on one of our 15-speed mountain bicycles. They are free for use by our guests, and if you plan to ride during your stay with us you might want to bring your own helmet and pads, gloves and water bottles.
Additional bike rentals are also available.
Extended rides through the rolling hills of Hunterdon and Morris counties are also possible. Our Innkeeper can help with planning, including a bagged lunch.
Guests of the Raritan Inn at Middle Valley will find a treasure trove of outdoor activities just outside our door. We have highlighted just a few of our favorite places to enjoy the scenic Skylands region of New Jersey.
The Columbia Trail
(0.3 miles from the Raritan Inn)
What is known as the Columbia Trail was formerly the Centrail RR line (High Bridge line). The trail is mostly dirt with some cinder base, and accommodates hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. This seven-mile trail runs along Lake Solitude and the South Branch of the Raritan River. It begins just beyond the rear of the pasture at the Raritan Inn at Middle Valley, passes through Califon and on to High Bridge, giving the rider some of the best scenery of any NJ rail trail. This trail is truly beautiful and great for anyone as there isn’t more than a 2.5% grade on any part of the trail.
Teetertown Ravine / Mountain Farm
(1.3 miles from the Raritan Inn)
The Teetertown Ravine Nature Preserve’s 147 acres were acquired to protect one of the most significant natural areas in Hunterdon County. This park offers the solitude of a densely wooded area, including a variety of hardwoods, shrubs, and animal life, and the contrast of a spectacular rushing stream winding its way through the Ravine’s dramatic rock outcroppings. In 1999, the adjoining property, which is now called Mountain Farm Section, was purchased, raising the total acreage to 302. The additional property adds large fields and two ponds to the diversity of the park. Rare birds, such as Bobolinks, have been seen here, and volunteers maintain a Bluebird trail. Trails on the farm, for the most part, are easily traversed and are great for cross-country skiing.
Ken Lockwood Gorge
(4 miles from the Raritan Inn)
The Raritan River’s name originates from an American Indian term meaning “forked river.” The headwaters of the south branch of the Raritan start in western Morris County and meander through Hunterdon and Somerset counties before combining with the north branch of the river on its final journey east to Raritan Bay. From just outside the Raritan Inn down to High Bridge, this glorious river passes through a natural area called Ken Lockwood Gorge. It’s primarily known as a “fly-fishing only” waterway, although it is visited often–and in all seasons–just for the spectacular wild scenery of glacial boulders strewn about the river.
Whittemore Wildlife Sanctuary
(8 miles from the Raritan Inn)
Located on Rockaway Road in Oldwick, the Sanctuary is dedicated to environmental education. The park has approximately 180 acres of trails for hiking, dog walking and horseback riding. The trails traverse mainly wooded areas with wetlands, ravines and hilly terrain. The Rockaway River flows along the southern border of the property.
Hacklebarney State Park
(8 miles from the Raritan Inn)
A favorite place for avid anglers, hikers and picnickers, yet in the 19th century the park was a mined iron ore site. The gushing river against the grey boulders and dark green hemlocks creates a majestic beauty in any season.
Hunterdon County Arboretum
(10 miles from the Raritan Inn)
This 73-acre arboretum is also the headquarters of Hunterdon County’s extensive park system. Here visitors will find collections of distinctive trees, shrubs, and native and exotic plants. An additional 32 acres, named after the former property owner, J.C. Furnas, features a mixed hardwood community that serves as a haven for a wide variety of birds and animal life. The Edmund Laport Greenhouse features a colorful assortment of house and garden plants that are grown on site and used for demonstration purposes. As well as enjoying the beautiful landscape, visitors can hike nature trails through a network of forest plantation. One of the trails includes the boardwalk of the Vincent Abraitys Wetlands Study Area, a perfect wetlands ecosystem for observing life forms ranging from insects and aquatic plants to amphibians and reptiles. Cross-Country skiing is popular here during the winter.
New Jersey has a long tradition with the golf game, as home to some of the highest-rated private and public golf courses in the country. Golfers have long been attracted to New Jersey’s superlative, pristine golf fairways, with their pick of more than 140 of the finest public courses in the nation. Nestled on miles of breathtaking, rolling greens, golfers in New Jersey find their ideal challenging course.
Guests of the Inn have several public golf courses available to them, all within easy “driving” distance of the Inn.
High Bridge Hills Golf is home to championship golf in the British-Irish tradition. The par 71, 6,700 yard course provides golfers an authentic true-links layout on spectacular terrain overlooking the beautiful Spruce Run Reservoir. Elevation changes are aplenty, including the dramatic Par 3, 8th hole with a tee-to-green drop of nearly 100 feet over a natural gorge. A darling of golfers and the press alike, High Bridge Hills has emerged as Northern New Jersey’s best true links course.
Located on 409 acres of pristine Morris County countryside, Flanders Valley Golf Course is frequently cited as one of the nation’s most outstanding public courses. This 36-hole course, equipped with challenging tees and fairways, is played each season by more than 85,000 golfers. It is one of the top golf courses in NJ.
Rated 4-Stars by Golf Digest’s “Places to Play” and ranked among the “Top 75 Public Courses” by Golf Digest, this course is Morris County’s flagship public course. According to 2005 Zagat Survey, it offers a spectacular combination of scenic and challenging holes.
Beaver Brook’s championship-quality golf course is as challenging to the golfer’s skill as it is beautiful to the eye. Picturesque views of the Hunterdon Hills and Spruce Run Reservoir are enjoyed from the clubhouse as well as several holes on both nines.
Designed by golf course architect Alex Turnei and constructed in 1966, Beaver Brook is now one of the finest layouts in the area. Stately oaks, maples and other various trees line the fairways and offer a lovely backdrop for approach shots to the large, well-contoured greens.
Featuring three sets of tees, the course is enjoyable and interesting for every level of golfer. Yardages range from 5384 yds.(silver), to 6328 yds.(black), to 6601 yds.(gold). Water comes into play on the sixth, seventh and fifteenth holes and there are 52 bunkers strategically placed around the golf course.
Available for golf outings of all sizes, Beaver Brook’s facilities are second to none in hosting corporate, charity, or private events.
Built in 1919, Minebrook Golf Club is one of New Jersey’s oldest golf courses. Originally named Muscenetcong Country Club, the course was redesigned throughout the 1960′s and an additional nine holes were added to form Hidden Hills Golf Club. Today, after many improvements, Minebrook Golf Club remains true to its original design and reputation for exceptional golf experiences.
Locals and visitors alike proclaim the South Branch of the Raritan River to be among the best stream fishing in the state, and the best part of the South Branch just happens to be on the property of the Raritan Inn.
Fishing on our section of the river is available for a fee through our arrangement with Shannon’s Fly & Tackle. This grants professionally guided access to 4300′ of stocked private waters with six identifiable fishing “beats.”
Shannon’s can also provide fly casting instruction, hosts fly tying seminars at the Inn, and maintains a fully stocked showroom on Main Street, Califon. Take advantage of free fly-tying lessons offered at Shannon’s each Sunday morning at 9:30.
The stream is fly-fishing, catch and release only.