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Mountaintop mining – Jersey style

Looks at Mines in Hopewell, Lambertville, Pennington, Kingston

Entrance to Trap Rock Quarry – Rt. 29, on Delaware River. Hopewell, NJ

Hopewell – If folks ever think about mining, I bet you probably think of West Virginia coal mines or strip mines out west in Wyoming. But NJ has many mines – although they are generally kept fairly well out of sight – that have devastating impacts on the landscape and water resources. The pictures below really can’t convey the huge scale of the destruction occurring right here in our own back yards (central Jersey) – Warning: don’t try this at home. The photographer makes no representations regarding trespassing – which is strictly prohibited: READ THE SIGNS – And THINK SAFETY!!

Access from Baldpate Mountain. View from rim looking north. Bowman’s Tower and Bucks County Pa in background.
Delaware River & Mercer County jail in background
Lagoon is a brilliant turquoise in afternoon sunlight – unfortunately this photo was taken early in the morning.

Lambertville – A couple of miles north on Route 29, you come to the Trap Rock Lambertville mine. The lagoon visible from the road was a bright green – the DEP NJPDES permit for water pollution discharge is posted on the fence – perhaps some intrepid reporter or environmental activist can file an OPRA records request with DEP and research whether the permit protects water quality and the mine is in compliance with all terms of the permit.

what is that green color caused by? Is it safe?
Front gate view, just off Route 29.

Kingston – By this time, the coffee was kicking in and I had a jones for Trap Rock. So I headed northeast up Route 518, across Rt. 206 over to Kingston to check out that Trap Rock pit. Company has been in business since 1860 – says so right on the sign. Kingston folks win the prize for the coolest sign – really. But they also win the creepiest award – reminded me of Deliverance. Walking to the rim of the mine took me along an old state road (Rt. 603, still posted) that must have been purchased by Traprock, as it was surrounded and ended at the rim of the mine. How was Traprock able to purchase a state road? Anyone know that story?

You can’t read it in this picture, but that green signs says Trap Rock is a drug free company – so what if they use 19th century buildings – they’re in the 20th Century war on drugs.
This site had that green water too. What’s up with that? Any chemists, mining engineers, or environmental activists out there can tell us what makes that water green?

Pennington! Imagine that – quaint Pennington Borough has a mine! I bet the folks in Pennington didn’t even know that. This site was the most fun – it was a good hike in. Saw several red tail hawks up top. Got harassed by turkey vultures. Access is via Trap Rock ball field just off Route 31 across from the gas station. Head under the fence and up the hill – fast! – but DO NOT TRESPASS.

  1. mullarkey
    March 10th, 2008 at 00:02 | #1

    The turkey vultures claimed you harrassed them, and they’re sticking to their story.
    Great pictures, nice reporting. Very Interesting. Thank You.

  2. jerseyswamp2
    March 11th, 2008 at 10:50 | #2

    To complete the picture do a little tour of the massive sand pits in south Jersey. Their turning the Pines into the Land o Lakes.

  3. nohesitation
    March 11th, 2008 at 13:45 | #3

    hey jswamp – email me and you can lead me on the South Jersey tour – I’ll bring the camera and post the shots!
    I will accommodate my schedule to fit yours.

  1. February 5th, 2011 at 21:46 | #1
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