Photographing the pipeline route, Part 11: Kingwood into Frenchtown

This section of the pipeline route has the pipeline going through incredible scenic views, state parks, and extraordinarily steep slopes. Clearly you can see this part of Hunterdon County is really hilly with many streams, brooks, and creeks.

Spring Hill Road Scenic View
A view from Spring Hill Road to the North West. I included these shots as a far reaching view of the country the pipeline is going through.

Spring Hill Road Scenic view closeup
A closeup view of the previous shot.

Spring Hill Road Scenic Rolling Mountains
A closeup on the mountains in the distance.

Spring Hill Road View to the North
A view more to the North rom Spring Hill Road.

Spring Hill Road Copper Creek Preserve
Down the road from the scenic view is an entry way into the Copper Creek Preserve. This preserve is part of the larger Horseshoe Bend Preserve, 477 acres of preserved land in the bluffs overlooking the Delaware River. The preserve took 10 years of negotiation to put together and is owned by Kingwood Township and is a true treasure in Hunterdon County. My wife and I regularly take our dogs to a dog run they’ve created on Horseshoe Bend road; it’s a 6 acre completely fenced in field where dogs can run free off of leases without worrying they’ll run away or get into trouble.

The pipeline is slated to go through the middle of the entire length of the preserve and cross all of its major streams, including Copper Creek.

Spring Hill Road Copper Creek Preserve sign
Here’s the electric company easement and a Copper Creek Preserve sign next to it. In a cruel twist of irony the pipeline route is probably going right through where the sign is today.

Spring Hill Road Copper Creek Preserve looking north
Looking north along the cut. Another narrow zone that will most likely need to be widened by PennEast.

Spring Hill Road looking north closeup
A closeup of the previous shot.

Spring Hill Road looking South
Looking south from Spring Hill Road. The cut looks even narrower on this side.

Spring Hill Road looking South widen angle
A wider angle of the previous shot.

Spring Hill Road Green acres sign
A green acres sign just west of the pipeline route. I guess we’ll have to change the text from:

“This privately owned land is dedicated to public recreation and/or conservation purposes”

to:

“This privately owned land is dedicated to public recreation and/or conservation purposes and/or energy company profits”.

Horseshoe Bend Road, The Farm
On Horsehoe Bend Road is a site labelled simply “The Farm”. I googled this a year ago and I forgot the story behind it, and I can’t seem to find it now. I feel like it might’ve been a religious organization or something that owns the land. The pipeline will be running right through their property and is where it will cross Copper Creek.

Horseshoe Bend Road, The Farm and Copper Creek
Picture of Copper Creek running along The Farm’s driveway. The Pipeline will cut across both the driveway and the creek.

Horseshoe Bend Road, Copper River bridge
Stone bridge over the Copper Creek. This shows how strong the current can be during times of snow melt and heavy rain.

Ridge Road clearing
Over on Ridge Road in Frenchtown, NJ the pipeline veers away from existing easements and beats a virgin path through the land. Here we’re looking South East from the road.

Ridge Road clearning, Ridge Road Farmer’s Club
Apparently the Ridge Road Farmer’s Club owns this land. Let’s hope they keep PennEast out.

Creek Road, no dumping!
Creek Road in Frenchtown is, frankly, a terror. It’s dirt at the best times, and pure mud when I went over it. It’s barely wide enough for my pickup truck. To the left is a steep drop of at least 20 feet down into Nishisakawick Creek. To the right is a steep hill going up the mountain. The road curves constantly and is simply scary as hell to drive on. Apparently it serves only two houses, then turns into a state park following the Creek. I’m guessing it’s mostly for fishermen but not sure. The DEP says the creek is home to 20 different species of fish. As you can see the town is worried about illegal dumpers polluting the creek. Let’s hope they arrest and fine PennEast when they try to bring their pipeline through!

Creek Road, no dumping really!
They really, really want to remind you that dumping is illegal here.

Creek Road, diabase at surface
This was right up to and next to the road. It’s diabase bedrock, as you can see it’s bare on the surface here. It’s very tough and PennEast will have to blast to get down to 8′. And they’ll be blasting right next to a protected creek.

Creek Road, creek crossing point looking North West
This is where the pipeline route goes across the creek. The steep on the far end is incredibly steep.

Creek Road Creek Crossing Point Looking South East
Holy crap, look South East and the slope is even steeper! PennEast is gonna dig an 8′ trench in that!? And this is all virgin clear cut, bisecting the creek park land.

Creek Road wide view to north west
A wider angle view of crossing to the north west.

Creek Road trout stocking sign
A standard trout stocking sign from the Dept of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Creek Road state park sign
State park warning sign. They need to add “no massive heavy construction and blasting” to the list.

Creek Road tributary
A small stream that feeds into the creek. You can see how close to the surface the diabase rock is here, that’s what forms the stream bed.

Creek Road Creek view
A view of the creek from inside my truck. The road was so narrow I didn’t want to get out here!

Published by

Mike Spille

I'm a thinker, an analyzer, a synthesizer. Maybe not in that order. I live in West Amwell NJ with my wife Kristina, our two kids Day and Z, our two dogs Fern and Cinna, and two cats Ponce de Leon and Xavier.

One thought on “Photographing the pipeline route, Part 11: Kingwood into Frenchtown

  1. A few comments regarding the route through Kingwood: Starting at Creek Road where the pipeline will cross the Nishisakawick Creek there is a pretty big grove of Hemlock trees as well as other unbelievable native plant with almost no invasive plants or deer damage. NJ Department of Agriculture has spent probably 1 million??or so on developing a beneficial insect program to find an insect that would eat the Woolly Adelgid which had killed off many of the Hemlocks in NJ. Over the years NJ Ag commission did several planned bug releases in West and North West NJ to save the remaining Hemlock trees. The pipeline path will clear cut almost the entire stand of these hemlocks that NJ paid to save.
    Further along the pipeline route at the Farm – The driveway into the Farm is a very narrow dirt driveway that runs along the Copper creek which you photographed. This is one of PennEasts planned access roads. The one side of the road is the creek; the other side of the road is rock outcroppings. They plan on developing this very narrow road to bring in equipment and trucks. Totally inappropriate to do any type of road improvement being so close to the creek. To even get into the farm driveway there are 90 turns and very narrow tree lined township roads that are so tight school bus’ cannot drive trough. To get any equipment or trucks back to the Farm, Penn East will have to “improve” these beautiful roads by clear cutting the trees and building up the roads and small bridges somehow. The runoff is going to create major problems along these roads.
    At Copper Creek Preserve, which you photographed, the 36” diameter PennEast pipeline will intersect a 30” jet fuel pipeline, a 20” fuel oil pipeline, right under the power lines – all up a steep slope from the Copper Creek.
    There are very shallow soils for almost the entire route through Kingwood township, and there is a sole source aquifer that PennEast will have to blast through the entire way. Beside releasing Arsenic from Blasting and drilling the Argillite bedrock into the aquifer, they risk damaging the drinking water for the entire township.
    What you cannot see from the road is where PennEast will cross the C1 Lockatong creek 5 times in just one contiguous 1.5 mile long section, clear cutting the entire 300 foot riparian buffer for the whole 1.5 miles. The creek does several “S” turns in this one section. The power lines run through a Solar Farm which JCP&L told PennEast “Not though our Solar Farm”. So PennEast moved the route to where it now clear cuts this 1.5 mile section of our major C1 stream. Much of this section that will be clear cut has Old Growth Forest that has been manages through the New Jersey Forest Stewardship Program to protect the forests.

    Like

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