We all love Princeton, but sometimes it is nice to get out into the country for a day trip. Upper Black Eddy, PA is about an hour from Princeton, NJ and has a great park nestled in the woods called Ringing Rocks. The park is on approximately 128 acres and contains one main point of interest, a mysterious boulder field.
Have you ever seen a boulder field? Ringing Rocks is a huge boulder field in the middle of the woods and the rocks make a hollow ringing noise when you hit them with a hammer. (Fun!) How the rocks formed is a mystery and why they ring like a bell has yet to be answered. Many researchers have analyzed the rocks and oddly, when the rocks are removed from the area, they no longer ring.
Although they have unique properties, one theory of the origin of Ringing Rocks is that there is a giant hole in the Earth below them and these rocks pile up above the hole allowing for the unique metallic ringing noise to vibrate when they are struck. No one knows how deep the hole is or what caused them to end up there.
There are a few theories on how these rocks ended up like this but none have been proven. Some think that Ancient Gods left the rocks here many many years ago. Some others believe that the rocks formed from Glacial or Volcanic activity.
I ran into a local couple on the trail who shared some funny stories about people that visit Ringing Rocks. Apparently there are a slew of “believers” out there who think the Aliens created Ringing Rocks and that they use it as some sort of location station. You’ll notice who these believers are because they usually line their hat with tin foil to block transmission and prevent their location from being known. That’s a little too paranoid for me. I just think this place is very cool and so did the 4 and 6 year old we were with.
Further down the path, is a waterfall, it was dried out when we were there but worth the short walk down to check it out. For practical planning, you really don’t need to bring much here other than a hammer, some bug spray and some good supportive shoes. The boulders are a 2 minute walk from the parking lot.
My son is 4 and was able to maneuver around the rocks without a problem (part of me wished he had a helmet on.) I would recommend the rocks to anyone over 4 and let the younger ones stick to the edges of the boulder field and hike the walking trail. On the path there are a few rocky areas that a younger child can be easily assisted with getting around.
This is a great short trip on any day it is not raining. If you take Rt 29 (NJ side) 32 (PA side) back home, you can take your pick at a few places to stop and grab lunch as you will pass through Frenchtown, Stockton, New Hope and Lambertville if you follow your way back along the river.
Visit Ringing Rocks if you agree to any of the following:
A) I love nature and want to be reminded of how awesome it is
B) I enjoy mystery
C) I want to hit something hard with a hammer
D) I want to go for an easy short hike in the woods.
If you have your own theory or experiences with Ringing Rocks, I’d love to hear about it.
Buy a hammer locally here:
301 North Harrison Street
Princeton, NJ 08540-3526
Princeton Shopping Center
Lovin’ Oven – Frenchtown – GREAT Breakfast
62A Trenton Ave. (Rt 29) Frenchtown
Miele’s - Stockton – One of my faves for – Breakfast or Lunch
1 South Main Street (Rt 29)
Black Bass Hotel – Sunday Brunch $35 fixed pp
3774 River Road | Lumberville, PA
Directions from Princeton (About 1 Hr)
Take Route 518 Towards Pennington
Make a Right onto Rt 31
Merge onto 202 N S/Flemington
At the traffic circle, take the 3rd Exit to Rt 12W
At the next traffic circle. Continue on 12W Frenchtown/Flemington Rd.
LEFT on Bridge Street
RIGHT on PA-32 N/River Rd
LEFT on Bridgeton Hill Rd
RIGHT Highview Ln
RIGHT into Ringing Rocks County Park (Zip 18972)