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LHT Historic Site – Mount Rose – The Landform

Mount Rose

The Story

Perhaps you noticed, the going has been a little tougher and hillier along this section of the LHT. From this point, winding eastward to the Province Line, the trail traverses the rocky southern flank of an upland landform known as the Mount Rose ridge. Named for the crossroads hamlet just up the road from here, the ridge runs east-west from Rocky Hill and Kingston, passing north of Princeton and terminating just west of Hopewell Borough. The settlement of Mount Rose took root in the 1820s with the establishment of a pair of stores and a schoolhouse, soon after acquiring its name from the fine roses grown by a local gardener.
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LHT Historic Site Mt Rose

The Landform

Geologically, the Mount Rose ridge is a diabase sill, formed underground as a volcanic intrusion forcing its way up, through and between older layers of sedimentary rock, but never actually reaching the earth’s surface.

Geological Survey of New Jersey, Triassic Formation, 1867.
The hard, durable diabase, shown in red here (left), has since been exposed as the softer surrounding shale has been worn down and washed away. The ridge is one of several related intrusive volcanic landforms in New Jersey, including the nearby Pennington, Baldpate and Sourland Mountains and the soaring cliffs of the Palisades Sill along the west side of the Hudson River across from Manhattan. All were formed in the Early Jurassic period some 175 million to 195 million years ago, a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth’s surface.

Photo op at Cradle Rock: a massive diabase boulder along the Mount Rose ridge a mile or so from here provides a perfect perch for a picnic and a fetching photograph, circa 1890.

George H. Frisbie Photograph Collection,
Hopewell Valley Historical Society
LHT Mt Rose Cradle Rock

Cradle Rock

LHT Mt Rose Traprock Quarry

The Quarry

The Name

Up until the 1930s, diabase used to be mined just a couple of miles west of here on Crusher Road at the Cope Quarry, until recently a treasured swimming hole. The road is named for the quarry’s stone crusher.

Diabase, also known as traprock, is no longer mined along the Mount Rose ridge and will soon cease at the one remaining active quarry in the Hopewell area, at the western end of Baldpate Mountain adjacent to the Delaware River. Crushed traprock is well suited for road building and for the jetties and retaining walls protecting the Atlantic shoreline.

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