Big Brook Nature Preserve Hillsdale Rd Colts Neck NJ

Big Brook is a classic East Coast fossil-collecting locality. It’s the place where both amateur and professional paleontologists, geologists, scout troops, and fossil clubs go looking for their prized specimens.

It’s also the place where water erosion cuts through “younger” layers of earth and ebbs away at the ancient Cretaceous deposits that form its banks. See More Information.


There is one official parking lot on Hillsdale Rd and another less formal one along Laurelwood Drive. There are also two unmarked bridges spanning the Big Brook that you should be aware of when making your way to this tidbit of nature’s bounty.

A short walk from the parking lot is the best view of Big Brook imaginable, in all its green sand glory. The Big Brook itself is a tributary of the Navesink River and runs a little over 1.25 miles from Laurelwood Drive to Boundary Road on the east side of town.

The Big Brook Nature Preserve is a natural gem of Colts Neck, New Jersey. With a plethora of outdoor activities, there is plenty for the entire family to enjoy. In fact, Big Brook is a popular destination for visitors from neighboring towns such as Freehold and Marlboro. The Big Brook Nature Preserve has a few different ecosystems, including wetlands and woodlands. The best time to visit this pristine natural wonder is during the summer months and before the onset of heavy rains.


Big Brook Nature Preserve Hillsdale Rd Colts Neck NJ is a 143-acre recreational area that features hiking trails. It also serves as an important site for fossil hunting.

Fossil hunters can find a variety of marine creatures that once lived in the water. They include exogyra, ancient oysters that are so large you can see them with your naked eye; dramatic-looking sharks’ teeth and brachiopods, once-abundant shellfish that have been largely wiped out.

This preserve is a great place to explore the past and learn about the geology of New Jersey. There are several hiking trails that wind along the stream, making it easy to spot different ecosystems.

We went there for a few hours and barely scratched the surface of what was available. But we made some good finds, including a few really cool fossils that remind us of Jersey’s prehistoric past. Visit This Link.

Fossil Hunting

The brooks in and around Big Brook cut through the sediments of New Jersey’s Monmouth Group and expose Cretaceous marine fossils. These include a number of shark + ray fauna, chimera, belemnites, crabs, shells and more.

In addition to the large Cretaceous fossils, there are also numerous smaller fossils in the mud and gravel of the creek beds. These include small fish teeth that are barely a couple of millimeters in diameter.

The simplest way to find them is by slowely walking the creek beds and carefully scanning the gravel areas. However, some people prefer to sift the gravel to increase their chances of finding more fossils. A small shovel and sifter will help you do this.


Big Brook Nature Preserve Hillsdale Rd Colts Neck NJ is one of the most unique environmental areas in New Jersey. It features a treasure trove of fossils, ranging from relatively common shark teeth to rare reptiles and Ice Age mastodons.

Fossils are abundant in Big Brook and surrounding brooks as water erosion eats away at the underlying bedrock. During this process, dinosaur bones and other fossils wash into the gravel.

The area has also yielded a number of historical bottles, tools and farm implements. Some of these items are now on display at the township’s Colts Neck Heritage Museum.

The township has also inherited many of its old cemeteries as family burial grounds, including the Atlantic cemetery located next to the Reformed Church in Colts Neck. Other family cemeteries are: Statesir, Hulsart, Probasco, Van Mater, Stoutenburgh and Holsart. This article.

Driving direction from Clearview Washing, LLC to Big Brook Nature Preserve

Driving direction from Big Brook Nature Preserve to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park Inc