Belle Mead is a town in between Montgomery and Hillsborough Townships, New Jersey.
At one point the area belonged to Harligen (another town in Montgomery Township) but it was separated into its own identity in 1875. The area was first named Vanaken after the New York contractor who bought most of the farms in the area, split them up into roads,and tried to start a town. The town once revolved around a train station which closed in the 1940s, the structure still stands near Township Line Road and Route 206.
Today Belle Mead is a widespread community mostly consisting of residential areas, farmlands, parks, and shopping centers all sharing the zip code 08502. The area is still considered a farming region, with many of these farms being protected or preserved by Montgomery and Hillsborough Townships, however building and residential areas have been on the rise since the late 1990s. Despite the rise in building, Belle Mead still remains a small town with a cozy and inviting atmosphere
Between the townships, Route 206 runs through and will take you in and out of Belle Mead. Township Line Road runs through Belle Mead, separating Hillsborough from Montgomery. The area can also be accessed from route 601 which also goes through both townships.
The area is fairly large making it difficult to get around by foot. A bicycle will work for traveling in residential and less populated roads. A car is the easiest and most ideal mode of transportation for getting around in residential areas and the always traveled main roads. There are no bus,train, or taxi services located in Belle Mead, visitors seeking these services will find them in some of the neighboring towns.
The area has an abundance of recognized and protected historical places which are great for visiting. Most of the places date back to the American Revolution including homes, churches, bridges, and trails. The area contains two of the many historical districts in Montgomery Township, Bridgeport and River Road Historic Districts.
- Mill Pond Bridge, Mill Pond Rd/Dead Tree Road. Located in the Bridgeport historical area is the stone, three-arch bridge built in the 1820s which replaced an original bridge that Washington and his armies crossed after the Battle of Princeton.
- Historic River Road Crossing, River Road. Located on River Road before reaching Dead Tree Road. Historic River crossing marked by a marker reading, "Route of Continental Army To Morristown after Battle of Princeton, Jan. 3. 1777. Route also of armies marching from New York to Yorktown, VA. Aug. 30-31, 1781"
- Gulick/Ditmar House, Route 601 and Dutchtown Harligen Road. Located on Route 601 directly across from Dutchtown Harligen Road. Built in 1752 in Dutch Vernacular style, also contains a library for local history.
- Jacob Stryker Hoagland House, Dutchtown Harligen Road. Built in 1813 and preserved by Montgomery Township. An example of an Gothic Victorian. The house is decorated in vibrant colors which change yearly, great place for architectural enthusiasts.
During the summer months and prior to July 4, towns and private communities in the area host firework shows which are very popular in the area. Montgomery and Hillsborough Townships host fireworks along with nearby Princeton Township. Private communities in Montgomery, Cherry Valley Country Club and Bedens Brooke Country Club also host shows open to the public.
The Montgomery Recreation Department holds special events for residents and the public during the summer months ranging from baseball games to presentations and everything in between.
Much of the land in the area is still undeveloped making it a great place for a number of outdoor activities including fishing, biking, hiking, and kayaking.
A Fishing and Hunting License are required by the state of New Jersey for residents and visitors, they can be obtained online through the NJDEP or sporting goods store in any of the neighboring towns. A lot of fish species are native to the area. Popular species fished by local anglers include wild and stocked brown, brook, and rainbow trout, channel catfish, chain pickerel, small and large mouth bass, rock bass, common carp, and various sunfish.
- D & R Canal State Park, River Road and Griggstown Causeway.. A large state park spanning through parts of New Jersey from Milford to New Brunswick. The park intersects through the area and is a popular destination for hunting and fishing. The park contains great hiking/biking path which follows the flow of the canal and feeder rivers. A popular area for wilderness watching, home to a number of endangered species including the Eastern Box Turtle and Barred Owl. Easy access to the trails and canal from the intersection of River Road and Griggstown Causeway. Canoe and kayak rentals available from Griggstown Canoe & Kayak Rentals for the spring and summer months.
- Sourland Mountain Preserve, East Mountain Road. A great place for the nature enthusiast or those seeking to take the family for a day of outdoor fun. Offers numerous marked hiking/biking trails, horseback riding, bouldering, birdwatching, and fishing areas.
- Mill Pond Park and Trails, Mill Pond Road. Located next to the historic Mill Pond Bridge, a public park providing multiple soccer/sports fields, play sets, and hiking trails
During October many farms in the area host harvest festivals. Ranging from Pumpkin picking, cider tasting, hay rides, haunted houses, and corn mazes. Hillsboro Farm and Country Market, on Hillsborough Rd with access from Route 206 and Willow Road, hosts pumpkin picking, and corn mazes through October.
- Mattawang Golf Club, 295-303 Township Line Rd, ☏ . A semi-private golf course which offers to the public. 18 hole course, 6,803 yard course from the longest tee,par 72, 73.1 rating, slope rating of 130. Full driving range and Pro shop.
- Hillsborough Cinemas, 111 Raider Blvd, ☏ . If the outdoors aren't for you or your just looking to catch a movie this is the place to go. Offering showings of the newest films in more than 10 auditoriums.
- Montgomery Park, Harligen Road. Montgomery Township's largest park offers numerous amenities to the public. Hiking trails, basketball courts, swing sets/children play areas, charcoal barbeque grills and shaded seating areas, and lacrosse,soccer,baseball fields. Events held by the township are quite frequent during the summer months including outdoor concerts, hiking tours, 5k races, and fireworks among many more things.
- Belle Mead Co-Op, 100 Township Line Road, ☏ . M-F 7:30AM-6PM, Sa 7:30AM-5PM, Su 9AM-4PM. Serving the community since 1920. The co-op provides everything from farming, gardening, ponds, cats/dogs, and landscaping supplies.
- Cammps Hardware & Lawn Products, 2168 Route 206 South, ☏ . M-F 8AM-6PM, Sa 8:30AM-5PM, Su 9:30AM-2PM. A locally and family owned hardware store that has been in the area for a while.
- Krauszer's Montgomery, 2162 US Highway 206, ☏ . Your run of the mill convenience store-they have everything.
- Valero, 862 US Highway 206, ☏ . Full service gas station
- Wheel Life Cycles, 2145 U.S. 206, ☏ . Catering to the bike enthusiast, everything you need from bikes, apparel, repairs, and parts can be found here.
- The Scuba Connection, 856 Route 206, ☏ . M-F 10AM-8PM, Sa Su 9AM-4PM. Located in Mountain View Plaza, TSC offers full dive lessons, PADI training, and a number of other scuba related clinics.
- Wheel Life Cycles, 2145 U.S. 206. Catering to bike enthusiasts-the store offers bikes, apparel, full repairs, and parts.
- Gasiors Furniture, 2152 Route 206, ☏ . Located in the old Harligen school house, Gasiors Furniture has a full showroom specializing in 18th century furniture.
- H J Opdyke Lumber Co, 28 Reading Boulevard, ☏ . Lumber store offering other services in custom doors, windows, and kitchens.
- Belle Mead Garage Inc., 2454 Route 206, toll-free: . Serving the area since 1927, the Belle Mead garage is a full time used car dealership and service shop.
- Big Mike's Deli, 2127 US Highway 206 South, ☏ . Classic American styled breakfast, lunch, and ice cream with a small seating area and relaxed atmosphere. Formally known as Harligen Corner Kitchen
- Joe's Restaurant & Pizzeria, 856 US Highway 206, ☏ . Pizza and assorted Italian foods. Open for dine-in or take-out, choose from an order and sit anywhere area to a dining area with waiter services
- Plaza Deli, 856 US Highway 206, ☏ . Located in the Mountain View Plaza. Popular for their coffee, also offers breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
- Hillsborough Star Diner, 842 US Highway 206, ☏ .
The once popular Woods Tavern was located in Belle Mead until it burned down in 1932, Horace Greeley gave a speech there during his 1872 campaign for President of the United States. Since the Woods tavern no other pubs/bars where built in the town. There are a number of bars in other parts of the two townships. The Rocky Hill Inn and the Tiger's Tale are located in Montgomery Township and are popular destinations for residents and travelers in the area. Located in Hillsborough Township is Petrock's Bar & Grille another popular destination with a connected liquor store and restaurant.
There are no hotels or bed and breakfasts in the town. However there are hotels in Hillsborough Township and nearby Princeton.
- Days Inn Hillsborough, 118 US Route 206 South, Hillsborough, NJ, ☏ .
- The Peacock Inn, 20 Bayard Lane, Princeton, NJ, ☏ . Located in nearby Princeton for those looking for a more luxury-style hotel experience with a connected gourmet restaurant.
Several tourist attractions/area are nearby, making the area a perfect place to travel to before adventuring on a day trip to a nearby location. Princeton, known for the Ivy league institution, Princeton University, is seven miles from the area.