BIG BEECH MOUNTAIN
STERLING RIDGE TRAIL OUT OF HEWITT, LONG POND IRONWORK HISTORICAL DISTRICT
Hewitt, Passaic County, NJ


Directions:

(from Hastings-on-Hudson). Go over the Tappan Zee Bridge; take 87 west to exit 15A.

At the light turn left and go up Route 17N for a couple of miles or so until you see a tannish building on the right. Here there is a very small (too small) sign for Ringwood State Park. Turn/bear right. This puts you on Sterling Mine Road. Keep going straight, passing signs for Sterling Forest, and go past Ringwood State Forest.

Turn right onto Margaret King Avenue. This ends in a T-intersection. Turn right onto Greenwood Lake Turnpike (Rt. 511) and follow this. As you descend down a big hill you will see Monksville Reservoir at the bottom. Go over the causeway bridge over Monksville Reservoir. In less than half a mile, you will see the visitor's center of the Long Pond Ironworks Historical District on the right. You can park here.


Trails:

You pick up the blue dot trail a couple houses west of the visitor's center at Long Pond Historical Ironworks District.

The trail takes you past the houses and building and furnace of the historical district. You cross over two bridges and then the path continues straight through a hemlock grove.

If you walked at a quick pace you can get to the fork where the yellow trail (Jennings Hollow Trail) starts off the blue dot trail in about 25 minutes. This is one of the areas where quite a few mines were located. You can see the tailings piles and depressions where the mine opening were located. The yellow trail stays at the base of the mountains and ridges. There is some swampy areas off to the right and a ridge on the left. The trail goes out and then in a short circle and then comes back the way it came. We hiked for about an hour or so on this trail and then turned back.

There is quite a bit of scattered red pudding stone that is also found on Pyramid Mountain, Boonton, Morris County, New Jersey.

Came back on another day and walked to the fork with the yellow trail. This time I continued on the blue dot trail. It climbs and climbs until the mountain top is reached. From here the view south reveals the northern part of the Monksville Reservoir, the causeway over the reservoir, and part of the road that leads to the southern parking and boat launch area.

Return the way you came.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney and the Torrey Botanical Society


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Fraxinus nigra (black ash)
Fraxinus pensylvanica (green ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Larix laricina (larch)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)
Populus grandidentata (large-toothed aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis var. (buttonbush)
Chimaphila umbellata (pipsissewa)
Cornus amomum var. amomum (swamp dogwood)
Corylus americana (American hazel)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Forsythia x intermedia (forsythia [suspensa x viridissima])
Gaultheria procumbens (teaberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch-hazel)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spice bush)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaved viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle) 9/04/99

Vines:
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut) 9/04/99
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Cuscuta gronovii (dodder) 9/04/99
Dioscorea villosa var. villosa (wild yam root vine)
Mikania scandens (climbing hempweed) 9/04/99
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia Creeper)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) 9/04/99
Toxicodendron radicans var. radicans (poison-ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)

Herbs:
Acalypha virginica (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium ssp. lanulosa (yarrow)
Actaea alba (white baneberry)
Agrimonia pubescens (agrimony) 9/04/99
Alisma subcordatum (water plantain)
Anemone virginiana (thimbleweed)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium lappa (burdock)
Arctium minus (common burdock) 9/04/99
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster cordifolius (heart-leaved aster) 10/10/98
Aster divaricatus var. divaricatus (white wood aster) 9/04/99 10/10/98
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle) 9/04/99
Cabomba caroliniana (fanwort)
Callitriche palustris (water starwort)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 9/04/99 10/10/98
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed) 9/04/99
Chelone glabra (turtlehead) 9/04/99
Chenopodium album (pigweed ) 9/04/99
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye-daisy) 9/04/99 10/10/98
Circaea lutetiana var. canadensis (enchanter's-nightshade)
Cirsium arvense var. (Canada thistle)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle) 9/04/99
Conyza canadensis var. canadensis (horseweed) 9/04/99
Corydalis sempervirens (tall corydalis)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 9/04/99
Decodon verticillatus (swamp loosestrife ) 9/04/99
Desmodium cuspidatum var. cuspidatum (tick-trefoil)
Desmodium glutinosum (pointed-leaved tick-trefoil) 9/04/99
Desmodium paniculatum (tick-trefoil) 9/04/99
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 9/04/99
Epifagus virginiana (beechdrops)
Epilobium coloratum (purple-leaved willowherb) 9/04/99
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pilewort) 9/04/99
Erigeron annuus (annual daisy fleabane) 9/04/99
Eupatorium rugosum var. rugosa (white snakeroot) 9/04/99
Euphorbia maculata (spotted spurge) 9/04/99
Euthamia graminifolia var. nuttallii (grass-leaved goldenrod) 9/04/99
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geranium sibiricum (Siberian geranium) 9/04/99 10/10/98
Geum canadense (white avens)
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium var. obtusifolium (fragrant cudweed) 9/04/99 near
Goodyera pubescens (downy rattlesnake plantain)
Helianthus decapetalus (sunflower) 9/04/99
Helianthus divaricatus (sunflower)
Hepatica americana (round-lobed hepatica)
Hypericum punctatum (spotted St. Johnswort) 9/04/99
Impatiens capensis (Orange jewelweed) 9/04/99
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort) 9/04/99
Linaria vulgaris (butter-and-eggs) 9/04/99 10/10/98
Lobelia inflata (Indian-tobacco lobelia) 9/04/99
Lotus corniculatus (birdsfoot trefoil) 9/04/99
Ludwigia palustris (common water purslane)
Lycopus uniflorus (water horehound) 9/04/99
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia water horehound) 9/04/99 near
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 9/04/99
Malva neglecta (common mallow) 9/04/99
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 9/04/99
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 10/10/98
Mentha arvensis var. canadensis (mint) 9/04/99
Mimulus ringens var. ringens (monkey flower) 9/04/99
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Myriophyllum spicatum (European water-milfoil) 9/04/99
Oenothera biennis var. biennis (common evening-primrose) 9/04/99
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood-sorrel) 9/04/99
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 9/04/99
Plantago major (common plantain)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy Solomon's seal)
Polygonum arenastrum (common knotweed) 9/04/99
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed) 9/04/99 10/10/98
Polygonum punctatum var. confertiflorum (dotted smartweed) 9/04/99
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb) 9/04/99
Polygonum scandens var. scandens (climbing false buckwheat)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed) 9/04/99
Portulaca oleracea (common purslane)
Potentilla argentea (silvery cinquefoil)
Potentilla recta (sulphur cinquefoil)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris var. lanceolata (self-heal) 9/04/99
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet) 9/04/99 10/10/98
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil) 9/04/99
Saururus cernuus (lizard's tail)
Scutellaria lateriflora (maddog skullcap) 9/04/99
Sedum sp. (stonecrop)
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) 9/04/99
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade) 10/16/98
Solidago bicolor (silverrod goldenrod)
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod) 9/04/99 10/10/98
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (goldenrod) 9/04/99
Solidago flexicaulis (zigzag goldenrod) 9/04/99 10/10/98
Solidago gigantea (giant goldenrod) 9/04/99
Solidago juncea (early goldenrod)
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod) 9/04/99
Sparganium americanum (burreed)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)
Spirodela polyrhiza (water-flaxseed)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadow-rue)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Urtica dioica var. dioica (stinging nettle)
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaved bellwort)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 9/04/99
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) 9/04/99
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed) 9/04/99
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Zizia aurea (golden alexanders)

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex sp. (laxiflora?) (sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sack sedge)
Cyperus strigosus (false nutsedge) 9/04/99
Juncus acuminatus (rush) 9/04/99

Grasses:
Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Digitaria sanguinalis (crab grass) 9/04/99
Echinochloa crus-galli var. crus-galli (barnyard grass) 9/04/99
Elymus hystrix (bottle-brush grass)
Elymus virginicus (wild rye grass)
Festuca pratensis (meadow fescue grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue panic grass)
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass) 9/04/99
Setaria viridis var. viridis (green foxtail grass) 9/04/99
Tridens flavus var. flavus (purpletop grass) 9/04/99

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine or tree club moss)
Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair fern)
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
Athyrium filix-femina var. michauxii (northern lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris intermedia (evergreen wood fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polypodium sp. (rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York beech fern)
Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens (marsh fern)