Chimney Rock is one of the best fall hawk watching sites on the east coast. For an inland lookout, the site is especially good for falcons, but all the regularly occurring migrant raptors can be seen there.
The woodlands near Chimney Rock can also be very good for migrant songbirds, with several days of 10+ species of warblers every fall. Mourning and Golden-winged warblers are annual there, and Connecticut has been seen. Much of the landbird activity can be observed right around the parking lot and on the path out to the look-out.
The formal hawk watch at Chimney Rock is run by Chris Aquila, and is manned nearly continuously from September 1 through mid-November. Chris is assisted by numerous students, interns, and interested volunteers. See Hawk Migration Timetable for best times to view the migration, a list of goods books for identification of hawks and suggested field gear.
To reach Chimney Rock (see map below), take Route 22 either east or west to the exit for Vosseler Avenue, which is east of the intersection of Route 22 and Interstate 287 near Bound Brook, New Jersey.
If going west on Route 22, exit right and bear right onto Vosseler Avenue, and proceed north, up the hill.
Proceed to the top of the hill on Vosseler Avenue. Just past the crest of the hill, turn left onto Miller Lane.
Miller lane is a narrow road, paved for the first portion and then turning to gravel. Proceed on Miller Lane past some houses on the right. After the houses, the road turns to gravel and makes some bends; go slowly and be cautious of cars coming the other way.
Less than one-half mile from where the road turns to gravel, look on the right for the (currently unmarked) graveled entranceway to the parking lot for Chimney Rock. If you see a telephone-tower on the right, you have gone too far by about 60 yards.
Turn right into the lot; a short distance in from Miller Lane you will be able to see a gate at the far end of the lot. Park and walk through the gate and down a woods road about 100 yards to the lookout at Chimney Rock.
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