MUSCONETCONG GORGE PRESERVE
Holland Township, Hunterdon County, NJ
425 acres


Directions:

This park is close to both Milford Bluffs and Schick Reserve.

From New York City, take US 78 west and get off at Exit 7 for Route 173 south. After a short drive, the road forks, take the left-most branch for Route 639 (Warren Glen-Bloomsbury Road). This will then take you south. You will cross over the Musconetcong River and see an industrial company on the left. Just beyond this as you start to climb the hill is a dirt road. Turn here and drive up to the sign and the adjacent parking lot by Dennis Road.

From Flemington: Route 12 to Frenchtown; left short distance, right on route 619 to Milford; bear right at light on route 519; past top of hill to where Route 519 curves left; straight ahead on Dennis Road to sharp curve -- park sign and parking area on right.


History:

1873  --  the Warren Glenn Paper Mill, located adjacent to the park, started production.  It is still in operation today. Mill workers harvested trees from the property to be reduced to wood pulp and processed into paper products.

(Source: http://www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/depts/parks/guides/MusconetcongGorge.htm)


Nature Trail Stations

Unfortunately, you do not gain any access to the Musconetcong River in this park.
They have a trail map box with trail maps available.

The map is very confusing and I will have to go back and check this area out more thoroughly. The blue diamond trail goes slightly northwest, while the yellow trail goes downhill at 70 degrees northeast. But these colors are not listed on the trail map. I just went down hill to the border with the industrial company (a fiber company or something like that) and back up the hill.

There is a Boy Scout set up trail part of the way. Stops along the way:
1. rock wall
2. grape vines
3. standing dead trees
4. lightning bolt
5. black oak (Quercus velutina)
6. black birch (Betula lenta)
7. the Warren Glen Paper Mill. It started making paper in 1873. The mill takes wood pulp imported from as far as Chile and as near as the southern U.S., chops it up, rehydrates it, and makes it into heavy-weight paper used for various purposes. Much water is required for this process, which is why the mill is sited on the Musconetcong River.
8. American beech (Fagus grandifolia)
9. Christmas fern
10. rest point -- the ravine; lots of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). Many of these trees are dead or dying, victims of a woolly adelgid, a recent parasite brought to the US from Europe.
11. hemlock and tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
12. shagbark hickory (Carya ovata)

According to the map, the Boy Scout Nature Trail connects to a figure 8 trail. One side of the figure 8 is composed of an abandoned railroad trail, while the other is the Ridge Trail. The connecting trail in the middle of the figure eight contains charcoal landings. The top of the figure eight is along Pine Creek. The bottom is along the Service Road and gas line creek called the Water Fall Trail.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer negundo (box elder maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Pyrus malus (apple tree)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) 5/26/98
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus spp. (blackberries & dewberry) 5/26/98
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)

Vines:
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yam root)
Echinocystis lobata (wild balsam apple)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) 5/26/98
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis spp. (grape vines)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Actaea alba (white baneberry)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 5/26/98
Anthriscus sylvestris (wild chervil) 5/26/98
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 5/26/98
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed) 5/26/98
Cimicifuga racemosa? (American bugbane?)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Erigeron philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane) 5/26/98
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 5/26/98
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket) 5/26/98
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Orchis spectabilis (showy orchis)
Osmorhiza claytoniana (sweet cicely)
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed knotweed)
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil) 5/26/98
Prenanthes altissima (tall white lettuce)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup) 5/26/98
Rumex crispus (curled dock) 5/26/98
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)
Silene alba (white campion) 5/26/98
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal) 5/26/98
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 5/26/98
Tussilago farfara (colts foot)
Uvularia perfoliata (perfoliate bellwort)
Viola spp. (violets)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Botrychium virginianum (rattlesnake fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)