VALHALLA HEMLOCK GLEN
Montville, Morris County, New Jersey
From Exit 47 off US 287, turn west onto Route 202 (Main Road)
turn left on Valhalla Road
go 0.6 mile to Vista Road
Turn left on Vista Road and continue for 0.2 mile
Make a right onto Lake Shore Drive
follow it for 0.8 mile until road ends at the park.
It is on the side of the unpaved extension of Lake Shore Drive.
Walk 0.3 mile east on Hemlock Drive to trail entrance (on left) just before bridge.
Owner: The Nature Conservancy purchased this site in 1968. It was then conveyed to Montclair State College. The Nature Conservancy retains the deed.
Glen Brook feeds into Lake Valhalla, just south of it. There is a deep cut in the bedrock forming this gentle gorge. Here is a hemlock gorge (with a few oaks and American sycamores).
There is an old dam across the brook that has created Bott's Pond.
4/11/2005. Ceferino Santana and I parked along Lake Shore Drive near its end. We then walked back to Hemlock Drive and turned left. We had to avoid the heavy road-building equipment being used to repair the intersection of Lake Shore Drive and Hemlock Drive. The entrance to the glen area is just before the bridge on the left. We had to avoid more heavy equipment and work our way around huge sections of concrete piping to get into the glen area.
Cliffs are on the left and the glen is on the right. It is a small glen -- a small version of the Mianus River Gorge. The hemlock trees are really looking bad, many dying and many already dead and fallen to the ground over the trail. After a short walk we came to a yellow-blazed trail It heads off to the right and left. We figured it must be a circular trail as the yellow was both coming and going. So we decide to head out counter-clockwise heading off to the right staying closer to the glen. The glen nearly disappears in some spots but the brook still goes on. We saw the dam and Bott's Pond off to the right. We shortly come to an electrical power cut. We wanted to continue on but the power guys cut so many trees down along the edge of the power-cut that it was impossible to get through the mess. They even cut down the tree with the yellow blazes indicating in which direction to go. We thought we might be able to walk through the woods parallel to the power cut, but our way was soon blocked by a swampy area and the continued tangle of cut-down trees.
So we had to turn around and retrace our steps. There are many holes in the area that sure look like mining holes. I will have to do some searching for mentions of mining in the area. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant found in bloom on date of field trip, 4/11/2005
Acer rubrum (red maple) *
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) 2 of them
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Shrubs and Sub-Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells) *
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) 11/10/01 waning
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) *
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Vaccinium sp. (hillside or low bush blueberry)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
Smilax sp. (greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape))
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Hepatica americana (round-leaved hepatica) *
Panax trifolius (dwarf ginseng) * soon
Ranunculus sp. (swamp buttercup)?
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Ferns and Fern Allies:
Adiantum pedatum (maidenhair fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)