Crown Towers property State Park
Crease Road, Budd Lake, Mount Olive Township, Morris County
600 acres


Directions:

US 80 west; get off at Exit 26; left turn onto Route 46 west; pass by Budd Lake; just south of green mileage marker 26, turn right onto Smithtown Road; drive 1.1 miles and turn right onto Crease Road; drive 1.5 miles and turn left into the small pull-off at the trailhead (across from house #15).


Geology:

headwaters of the South Branch of the Raritan River; the property straddles the ridge between the Musconetcong and Raritan Rivers, largely within the Upper Delaware watershed


History:

2004 purchase of the $7.7 million dollar property was funded through the U.S. Forest Service's Forest Legacy Program, with funds from state, local, and private funds.  The Trust for Public Land negotiated the purchase of Crown Towers from a private developer (Larry Paragano Sr. ) who wanted to build 117 luxury homes on the property off Crease and Budd Lake roads.

The DEP Division of Parks and Forestry will manage Crown Towers as an addition to the 7,770-acre Allamuchy Mountain State Park.


Habitats:

In the Highlands, forest, mountainous terrain with steep slopes, freshwater wetlands and headwater streams.


Sources:

"Federal Funds Make NJ Conservation Possible" by Simi Batra, Senior Legislative Representative; The Trust for Public Land; New Jersey Newsletter, April 2004.  http://www.tpl.org/tier3_print.cfm?folder_id=629&content_item_id=14836&mod_type=1

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/newsrel/2004/crowntowers200405.htm

http://www.gsenet.org/library/11gsn/2004/gs040510.php


Trails:

11/06/04.  This is mostly an oak woods.  The trails sort of parallels the road for a while heading northwest and uphill a bit.  There are some white blazes on the trail but they are few of them and in one sense are not necessary for the main trail keeps going all the way to the power cut through the property with two paths going off to the right.  My wife and I took the main trail.  We walked uphill and then down to a Phragmites (giant reed grass) marsh on the right and a stream heading through a ravine on the right.  Adjacent to the marsh is a shrub swamp.  We walked to the end of the property and then walked on the private property power cut to a regular asphalt road.  Once on the road I could see the No Trespassing sign that we thought probably would be there.

We turned around and headed back.  We took the second right turn that we had passed earlier.  The path takes one over the power cut.  We found out that there are two power cuts, crisscrossing, one for the electrical lines and one for the telephone lines. The path continues on the other side of the power cut, but we chose not to follow it.  We turned around and walked back to the car. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant found in bloom on date of field trip, 11/06/04


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch) 
Betula lenta (black birch) 
Betula populifolia (gray birch) 
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree) 
Populus grandidentata (big-toothed aspen) 
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak) 
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 
Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern) 
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) * 
Ilex verticillata (winterberry) 
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 
Rhododendron sp. (rhododendron, prob. pinxter flower) 
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) 
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (black berry)
Salix sp. (willow)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)

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

Herbs:
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Lespedeza rotundifolia (round-headed bush clover) 
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Ranunculus hispidus var. (swamp buttercup) 
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail) 
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)

Rushes:
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Sedges:
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Grasses:
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue panic grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass) 
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)

Ferns and fern allies:
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern) 
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern) 
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern) 

Others
Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum)