Friday afternoon Bhavna and I returned to Mount Rose to walk, not hike, the section of the Lawrence Hopewell that runs parallel to Pennington-Rocky Hill Road. We started near the bicycle entrance and walked along down the Mount Rose Distillery before turning around.
The LHT is about connections—with people, and places. There are a few short connector trails to other communities and trail systems, with more being planned. A short trail leads from the LHT to Pennington. Princeton also has a trail network that currently leads close to the LHT. At the Brearley House, a short connector trail leads to the D & R Canal, a 70-mile pathway along the Delaware River and canal system through Hunterdon, Mercer, and Somerset counties. Additional connections to Hopewell Borough, Ewing, and Princeton are under consideration.
The trail is paved making it safe, family-friendly and available for walking and bicycling. Walking and talking is all we wanted today with access to open space for relaxation. We did not explore the connections to other area trails.
Just east of the LHT, at a high point in the topography at the intersection of Pennington-Rocky Hill Road and Carter Road, was the village of Mount Rose. The village sat on this elevated ridgeline of New Jersey’s central plateau and was known for growing fine roses, hence the name. Mount Rose was important in the rural farm economy and catered to the needs of local farmers with storekeepers, shoemakers, a blacksmith, and a wheelwright.
Bordering Hopewell and Princeton Townships, and known initially as Stout’s Corner, Mount Rose developed as a village in the 1820s. By 1880 there was a school, post office, sawmill, and several shops. Still, it soon became known as a centre of peach brandy, apple cider and whiskey production with two distilleries operating into the early part of the 20th century. One of these distilleries was the Mount Rose Distillery. The office building of the former distillery still stands and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
Regular readers will know that I am a fan of the Sourland Mountain Spirits, which was established in 2015 by local serial entrepreneur Ray Disch in 2015. Sourland Mountain Spirits, the first farm distillery in New Jersey since prohibition, are located on the same farm property as my town other favourite local watering holes, the Brick Farm Tavern and Troon Brewing. Shortly after Sourland Mountain Spirits made their announcement, the former mayor of Princeton Township, Chad Goerner, announced plans to open a second distillery in Hopewell, called Mount Rose Distillery in honour of the old distillery.
Submitted as part of the 100DaysToOffload project.