LITTLE BROOK SANCTUARY
Bernardsville, Somerset County, NJ
100 acres
undeveloped sanctuary


Directions:

US 287 Exit 26; Route 202s; right turn Claremont Road; left turn Post Lane; left turn onto Mountain Top Road; right turn Clark Road; right turn Campbell Road; left turn onto Stevens Lane.  There is a small parking area just beyond the sanctuary entrance.

The sanctuary is located adjacent to the southwest part of the Roxiticus Golf Course. 


Habitats:

pine woods, abandoned farm fields, mountain streams.


Trails:

04/05/2005.  Parked in the small parking area very close to an entrance into probably the golf club house.  They have big signs saying private property and No Thru Way.  Walked back up the road to the sanctuary gate.  There is a swampy area on the left below the trail causeway.  There is a bridge that goes over the stream in the sanctuary.  It looks like there may have been a road through this area at one time.  Going right and left from the bridge are the remnants of  what appears to have been a carriage road.  The road is quite clogged, on the left by Japanese barberry plants primarily and on the right by the barberry and fallen trees.  I went counter-clockwise on a chosen loop course.  (It is probably easier to go clockwise, turning left, because the big ascent is to the right.)

I used my clippers to get through the worst parts of the blocked passageway.  This area is pretty because the stream goes through a narrow valley here.  I start ascending the hill on the left.  It takes a little work, but I found it easier than I thought it would be.  There is a red pine grove on the hill and then a little higher up are white pines.  At the top of the hill is a very large field.  There are some good views of the surrounding houses (mansions?).  The hill has a lot of red cedar trees growing amid little blue stem grass.  The dog leads the way across the field on a very narrow, informal trail.  On the other side of the hill there is a good view of part of the golf course.  When we reach the stone wall separating private from public land, we turn left and head parallel with the wall.  We come back to the white pines, red pines and then descend to the stream.  Turn left and walk parallel with the stream until we get back to the bridge from which we started the loop walk.  I noticed that there are a lot of huge Asiatic bittersweet vines on the trees.  I enjoyed the walk. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust) ?
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus resinosa (red pine)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera sp. (honeysuckle)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape vine)

Herbs:
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)

Grasses:
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)