Monsey Glen County Park
off busy Route 59, Rockland County, NY
24 acres


No signs announce the presence of the area. Take 287 west over the Tappan Zee bridge and get off at exit 14 (at mileage marker 22.4); turn right at the light and head west on Route 59 for 2.1 miles to make a left turn onto Rt. 306 (Saddle River Road); make an almost immediate right into the parking lot for Monsey Glen.

a small gravel parking area on the south side of Route 59 near where it passes over the railroad tracks about a mile northwest of Saddle River Road.


sequestered ravine; power cut; woods


The Lenni-Lenape or Delaware Indians lived in the area. There were tribes of the Ramapough and the Munsee. The Munsee tribe was composed of the Haverstraw, the Tappans (who fought a lot with the Dutch), and the Kakiats (an off-shoot of the Haverstraws).

The Munsees utilized the rockshelters in the sandstone walls.

There used to be a quarry here. The only remaining trace is the steps carved into an outcropping of rock near the center of the glen. But some say that this amphitheater-like area, being a favorite picnicking place, had the steps chiseled out to accommodate long-skirted ladies during Victorian days.

1976 -- Rockland County acquired the land for a park.

(Source: Clyne, Patricia Edwards. 1997. Hudson Valley Tales and Trails. Woodstock, NY: The Overlook Press.)


This is a very short walk. Walking very slowly to look at the plants, it took us only an hour and a half to tour the area. You can take a counter-circular oval walk on the white-blazed trail starting from the parking lot. You soon go through a ravine area that is very interesting geologically speaking with a lot of pock-marked sandstone and small caves set under overhanging ledges. Then you walk up atop a cliff overlooking the ravine with still more interesting views. Cross over a power-cut field and head back into the mountain laurel. Circling around you pass through the power-cut again before returning to the starting place.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney and Michael St. John; February 19, 2002
* = 8/7/03, date plant found in bloom

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Gaultheria procumbens (checkerberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) the dominant shrub in the park
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)?
Lyonia ligustrina (maleberry)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Prunus virginiana (choke cherry)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Robinia hispida (bristly locust)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium corymbosum (high-bush blueberry)
Vaccinium sp. (a low-bush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax glauca (sawbrier)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Actaea alba (doll's eyes)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) * soon
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium minus (lesser burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Baptisia tinctoria (yellow wild indigo) *
Cichorium intybus (chicory)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) *
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) *
Conopholis americana (squawroot)
Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) *
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) *
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket) *
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Lechea sp. (pinweed)
Lespedeza virginica (slender bushclover)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco) *
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) *
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Phytolacca americana (pokeberry) *
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) *
Polygonatum sp. (true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) *
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prenanthes altissima (tall white lettuce)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) *
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) *
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)
Solidago juncea (early goldenrod) *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Trifolium repens (white clover) *
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Viola sororia (common blue violet)
Viola sp. (horticultural pansy type, 5 deep red petals, 2' tall, felty lvs and stem) *

Juncus effusus (soft rush)?
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine clubmoss)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Cystopteris fragilis var. mackayi (brittle fragile fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)