GOVERNOR MOUNTAIN
Passaic County, NJ

This hike is on a peninsula of state-owned land in the southwest section of Ringwood State park. It is located south of Skyland Gardens and Ringwood State Park.


Directions:

Follow the directions for Ringwood Manor.

Drive along Sloatsburg Road, passing the road to the New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands Manor, and turn left onto Carletondale Road, .4 mile south of the Margaret King Avenue junction.

Or you can catch Carletondale Road going north on County Road 511 1.8 miles from its junction with Skyline Drive.

Head east on Carletondale Road. The old parking lot has now been made to disappear. We parked at the corner of Carletondale and Sloatsburg Road by the Joseph G. Donnelly Memorial Field by the school. Young girl soccer teams were playing at the time.

There is a blue fire hydrant on the right side of the road before the Presbyterian church. If you go too far, you'll almost immediately pass a township education building. (We saw some hikers park in the church parking lot. The path can be picked up here also by simply entering the wood a bit.)


History:

In 1936  --   Erskine Hewitt deeded the Ringwood Manor House and 95 acres to the state for preservation. His nephew, Norvin Green, gave New Jersey considerable lands. Additional purchases in the 1960s and as late as 1978 brought the park to its present-day-size. Since the boundaries of Ringwood couple with those of Ramapo Valley State Forest and Ramapo Valley (Bergen) County Reservation, an extensive and varied trail network now exists. Most trails in this region are maintained by volunteers coordinated by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.

The Wanaque Reservoir now covers the site of the Freedom Furnace. It was erected on the Ringwood River, midway between Pompton and Ringwood, in 1838. Erected by Peter M. Ryerson, whose father, Martin, owned the Ringwood, Pompton and Long Pond ironworks.
Had a Morris Canal Feeder built, starting at the Pompton works. This made iron transport much cheaper.

1855 -- furnace goes out of blast.

Civil War -- Peter Ryerson becomes a major in the Union army; dies in action 1862, the first NJ field officer to fall in the war.

1928 -- old furnace stack demolished to make way for the Wanaque Reservoir, now covering the site at Midvale, NJ. The stone from the furnace went into the construction of the Midvale dam, one of the many built for the huge reservoir. (Ransom 1966:104-108)


Trails:

Out and back trail starts out going southwest, then it heads in a clockwise loop: southeast, southwest, turn and lookout, north and northeast, northeast back to out and back trail.

There is a nice view of the Wanaque Reservoir from Governor Mountain. At the time we were there, the water level was very low. You can see the ridge of Bearfort Mountain in the distance.

There used to be a lot of garbage here in the days when the old parking lot was available. When we were there it was pretty clean, except for evidence of a recent beer party (but at least they left most of the cans and glass within the fire circle). Fortunately, the partiers left their beer container package and so we used it to pick up as much as we could and carried it out.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Aralia spinosa (Hercules's club)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus ilicifolia (bear oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Chimaphila umbellata (pipsissewa wintergreen)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Philadelphicus sp. (mock orange)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wine raspberry)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Herbs:
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster linariifolius (stiff aster) 10/24/98
Aster sagitarifolius (arrow-leaved aster) 10/24/98
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 10/24/98
Corydalis sempervirens (pale corydalis)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 10/24/98
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge)
Hypericum gentianoides (orange grass St. Johnswort)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed)
Polygonum scandens (climbing false buckwheat)
Solidago bicolor (silverrod goldenrod)
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod) 10/24/98
Stellaria media (chickweed) 10/24/98
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
vetch sp.

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Grasses:
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)
Setaria sp. (foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium sp. (ground pine)
Adiantum pedatum (maidenhair fern)
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Polypodium sp. (rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)