On December 18, 2001, the property known today as Carson Road Woods was permanently preserved by Lawrence Township, New Jersey. Thus, 183 acres of unspoiled forest and farmland was spared imminent destruction at the hands of the latest in a long line of developers spanning the previous two decades.
December 2001 culminated a remarkable partnership between local, county, and state government, for-profit and not-for-profit corporations, and over three hundred private citizens, all of who rallied behind saving "Gordon Farm" by volunteering their time and financial resources. Today, Carson Road Woods is Lawrence Township's largest municipal parkland, dedicated to passive recreation, and held in trust for future generations to enjoy.
Shortly after the initial preservation, an informal group called the "Friends of Carson Road Woods" was formed to plan and oversee the transition of the property from an active agricultural area to a passive recreational preserve. Starting out as a small group of local residents, the Friends quickly grew in number. In July 2003, due to the growing scope of the Friends' activities, and the public's overwhelming desire to participate in the continued preservation of the property, the Friends were incorporated as a 501(c)(3) public charity.
As a formal organization, the Friends engage in numerous activities. The Friends maintain over 4 miles of marked hiking trails (see the map page for additional information). Additionally, the Friends organize public nature hikes, conduct guided tours for community groups, lead maintenance crews to keep the property clean and accessible to the public, and have produced an exhaustive historical compendium describing the 300-year history of the property.
The Friends regularly hold trail work sessions and are always looking for new volunteers to support our mission and help pay for trail maps, maintenance and the trail tractor/mower. For additional information and to sign-up, please see our membership page.