Dismal Swamp Redux: How to Get There, What to Do There, How to Help


retention_pond.jpgNew Jersey Public Television (NJN) has begun filming the bi-weekly protests that the Edison Wetlands Association is holding at the Raritan River Basin for a documentary about their continued efforts to make corporate polluters responsible for their environmental foibles. David Wheeler, Director of Operations for EWA, told us that "we will be holding our second rally tomorrow (Tuesday, November 25) at noon, at the intersection of Meadow Road and Midvale Road" in Edison. He encourages all interested citizens to attend.   

Woodbrook Pond, photo courtesy of Metuchen Environmental Commission

The Edison Wetlands Association has its headquarters at Triple C Ranch in the Dismal swamp. Metuchen Matters will follow all stories regarding the Preservation Act as well as the continued protests. One of our intrepid reporters will even find out why such a lovely place has such a yucky name. But, in response to the queries we got about the swamp, we're going to give you all the information you need to find, contact and enjoy the Wetlands and the Dismal Swamp. The EWA offers guided tours and hikes for the public so here's how to get in on the action.

About the Triple C Ranch and Dismal Swamp
The 5.27-acre Triple C Ranch is located in the middle of the Dismal Swamp, a 650-acre environmentally sensitive wetland, and is adjacent to 275 acres of protected land owned by Edison Township. In April 2001, EWA completed the purchase of the ranch, which had fallen into considerable disrepair. EWA has since restored the Triple C Ranch as the only working farm in the Edison-Woodbridge area, and one of the few remaining farms in northern Middlesex Country.

The Dismal Swamp is the largest continuous wetlands in northern Middlesex County, spanning portions of Edison, Metuchen and South Plainfield. As the last viable ecosystem within an encroaching urban/suburban environment, the Dismal Swamp provides natural flood control and wildlife habitat, while its forests produce oxygen, and its wetlands clean and purify water.

To arrange for a guided hike or tour or for additional queries, please contact:

Edison Wetlands Association
Triple C Ranch & Nature Center
206 Tyler Road
Edison, NJ 08820
Phone: 732-321-1300
Fax: 732-372-7866

For directions on how to get to the Triple C Ranch, please click on this link.


According to “Woodbridge and Vicinity, The Story of A New Jersey Township” written in 1873 by Rev. Joseph W. Dally, the native Americans called the swamp “Maniquescake “ while the English called it “Dismal”. This History also refers to “Matochshoning” as the northern most on Woodbridge Township (which eventually became “METUCHEN”). This very interesting book also claims Sir George Carteret purchased this property from three native Americans by the name Conackamac, Capatamin and Thingorawis for the price of “one hundred fathoms of white wampum, six match coats, four blankets, three guns ,six shirts, twenty bars of lead, twenty double hands of powder, one anker of rum, twelve axes, two half vats of beer and six kettles”

The original Woodbridge Charter, granted June 1, 1669 also calls the swamp “Dismal”

Thanks so much for "Metuchen Matters". You are doing a great job.

Oh, duh! I was so focused on reading the article I did't even notice the accompanying photo was of Wood Brook Pond!

For a picture of Wood Brook Pond, check out the Metuchen Environmental Commission's Blog,


My kids were shocked to find such a spot existed in Metuchen.

Scroll down, the photo is on the right.

I commend the Edison Wetlands Association for their efforts in preserving and promoting the Dismal Swamp. But the Triple C Ranch is not the only way to experience the swamp.

Metuchen has preserved ten acres of the swamp that can be accessed from the end of Liberty Street or from Durham Ave between Weston Street and Lisa Lane. You can also access the Edison portion of the swamp by walking down the old railroad right of way behind St. Joseph's High School, also starting at Liberty Street. Once you pass under the trestle of the Port Reading line, the swamp is on your left. Walk a couple hundred yards or so and Woodbrook Pond will be on your right.

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