Capoloong Creek Wildlife Management Area
Pittstown, Franklin Township, Hunterdon County, NJ
61 acres

The wildlife management area runs along the creek from Pittstown to Landsdowne.


Directions:

Access to this area is provided by Route 579 at Pittstown; also, Hogback-Landsdown Road from Landsdown. Automobiles can be parked in two areas along Kingtown-Sidney Road, or at the old railroad station at Pittstown.

from the junction of Routes 579/513; drive 1.5 miles north on Rt 513; go 1.05 miles and turn right onto Kingstown Road; go .45 to the parking area. (You will go over a one lane bridge, bear left at a fork in the road, and park just before the second one-lane bridge, on the right side of the road.)

For the Rail Trail:  parking at the Pittstown Post Office, across from the Hoff Mills Inn; or at the Tack Room.  Both are on Route 513 in Pittstown. 

(For maps see: www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/wmaland.htm)


Geology:

Capoolong Creek empties into the South Branch of the Raritan River.


History:

The name Capoolong comes from Kaak, "wild goose," po, "water" and onk, "place."

1872  --  the Easton and Amboy Railroad Company built a 60 mile long railroad from Easton, PA, to Perth Amboy, NJ.  There was a station in Landsdowne. They shipped milk and peaches on the railroad.

1875 --  the first passenger train passed through Franklin.

1890  --  the Pittstown branch was built with the tracks running along the east side of Capoolong Brook from Landsdowne. The coal and freight yard in Pittstown fronted on Quakertown Road.

early 1900's  --  the San Jose Scale, a disease, destroyed the peach industry in Franklin Township making the railroad less necessary.

1968  --  the Pittstown railroad line was abandoned.

The site of this WMA is the Pittstown-Landsdown abandoned Lehigh Valley railroad right-of-way. It parallels the Capoolong Creek.

1974  --  The tract was purchased with Green Acres funds.

(Source: The Most Historic Sites in Frankliln Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey: The Pittstown Branch Railroad, Pittstown, New Jersey.
http://www.ftschool.org/fourth/historic.franklintwp/pittstown_branch_railroad.html)


Trails:

There is an old abandoned railroad track that has been turned into a trail. So you get a nice mixture of flood plain, marsh, and woods.  The trail is 3.7 miles long. See Della Penna, 1999:chapter 4 for a description of the trail.


PLANT LIST:

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney (7/10/98, Dr. William Standaert and the Torrey Botanical Society (4/10/99)

dates are flowers found in bloom


Trees:
Acer negundo (ash leaf maple) 4/10/99
Acer platanoides (Norway maple) 4/10/99
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Fagus grandifolia (beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix babylonica (weeping willow)
Salix nigra (black willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras) 4/10/99
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn)
Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Hydrangea arborescens (wild hydrangea)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 4/10/99
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower)
Ribes sp. (currant)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (black berry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple leaf viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle) 4/10/99

Vines:
Cuscuta gronovii (dodder)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yam root)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Sicyos angulatus (bur cucumber)
Smilax glauca (sawbrier greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Aegopodium podagraria (goutweed)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 7/10/98
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Althaea rosea (hollyhock)
Ambrosia trifida (larger ragweed)
Anagallis arvensis (scarlet pimpernel) 7/10/98
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone) 4/10/99
Antennaria plantaginifolia var. plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes) 4/10/99 near
Anthriscus sylvestris (wild chervil)
Aquilegia canadensis (columbine)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress)
Callitriche palustris? (water starwort)
Cardamine concatenata (cut-leaved toothwort)
Cardamine hirsuta (bitter cress) 4/10/99
Chelidonium majus (celandine poppy) 7/10/98
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Chrysosplenium americanum (golden saxifrage)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) 7/10/98
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) 7/10/98
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty) 4/10/99
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 7/10/98
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 7/10/98
Draba verna (whitlow grass) 4/10/99
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry)
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane ) 7/10/98
Erythronium americanum (trout lily) 4/10/99
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)
Galium mollugo (wild madder) 7/10/98
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geum canadense (white avens) 7/10/98
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground) 4/10/99
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Hepatica americana (hepatica) 4/10/99 near
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket)
Heuchera americana (alum root)
Hieracium piloselloides (glaucous king devil)
Hyacinthus orientalis (common hyacinth) 4/10/99
Hypericum punctatum (spotted St. Johnswort) 7/10/98
Impatiens capensis (jewelweed) 7/10/98
Lamium purpureum (dead nettle) 4/10/99
Laportea canadensis
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Lepidium virginianum (poor man's pepper)
Mentha (peppermint) 7/10/98
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Muscari americanum (grape hyacinth) 4/10/99
Myosotis scorpioides (larger forget-me-not) 7/10/98
Narcissus pseudonarcissus (daffodil) 4/10/99
Ornithogalum umbellatum (star of Bethlehem)
Osmorhiza claytonii (sweet cicely)
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 7/10/98
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) 7/10/98
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed) 7/10/98
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum virginiana (jumpseed knotweed)
Polygonum (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Potentilla recta (sulphur cinquefoil)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Pyrola rotundifolia (shinleaf)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved crowfoot) 4/10/99
Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine) 4/10/99
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked buttercup)
Ranunculus repens (creeping buttercup)
Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum (water cress)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad leaved dock)
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot) 4/10/99
Saxifraga virginiensis (early saxifrage) 4/10/00
Sedum telephioides (garden sedum)
Senecio aureus (golden ragwort)
Silene latifolia (white campion)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle) 7/10/98
Stellaria media (common chickweed) 4/10/99
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage) 4/10/99
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 4/10/99
Thalictrum (tall meadowrue) 7/10/98
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 7/10/98
Trifolium repens (white clover) 7/10/98
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot) 4/10/99
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore)
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein) 7/10/98
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 7/10/98
Verbena hastata (blue vervain) 7/10/98
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) 7/10/98
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 4/10/99
Viola tricolor (Johnny jump-up) 4/10/99

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Grasses:
Alopecurus sp. (bristletail grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Elymus hystrix (bottle brush grass)
Elymus virginicus (wild rye grass)
Holcus lanatus (velvet grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Oryzopsis sativa (rice cut grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer tongue grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phleum pratensis (timothy grass)
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
Cystopteris fragilis var. mackayi (Mackay's brittle fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris intermedia (evergreen wood fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern)
Lycopodium lucidulum (shining club moss)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)


CAPOOLONG CREEK W.M.A., HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ, April 10, 1999. On a cool day in the early spring a good size crowd of botanists surveyed the plants of this tract purchased with Green Acres funds in 1974. It is the site of the Pittstown-Landsdown abandoned Lehigh Valley railroad right-of-way, paralleling Capoolong Creek.

Species in bloom found along the creek included Acer negundo (ash leaf maple), Acer rubrum (red maple), Lindera benzoin (spicebush), Muscari botryoides (grape hyacinth), Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine), and Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot). Others species were Anthriscus sylvestris (wild chervil) with lots of Platanus occidentalis (sycamore).

Species in bloom along the abandoned railline were Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone), Antennaria plataginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes), Claytonia virginica (spring beauty), Crocus sp. (crocus), Draba verna (whitlow grass), Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry), Erythronium americanum (trout lily), Fraxinus americana (white ash), Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the- ground), Hyacinthus hyacinthus (hyacinth), Lamium purpureum (purple dead nettle), Narcissus sp. (daffodils), Saxifraga virginiensis (early saxifrage), Stellaria media (chickweed), Taraxacum officinale (dandelion), Vinca minor (periwinkle) 4/07/99, Viola sororia (common blue violet), and V. tricolor (johnny jump-ups).

Non-blooming species found along the roadway included Aegopodium podagraria (goutweed), Aquilegia canadensis (columbine), Cardamine contatenata (cut-leaf toothwort), Cardamine hirsuta (hairy bittercress), Heuchera americana (alumroot), Ornithogallum (star-of-Bethlehem), and Pyrola rotundifolia (round-leaf shinleaf).

In the shallow waters at the base of the raised rail line were Callitriche palustris (water starwort)
Chrysoplenium americanum (golden saxifrage), Myosotis scorpioides (larger forget-me-not), and
Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum (water cress).

Among the ferns found were Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort), Cystopteris tenuis (fragile fern), Dryopteris intermedia (intermediate woodfern) and D. marginalis (marginal woodfern).

Total attendance was 15. Thanks so very much for the help from our wonderful field botanists who keep coming out to help in the valuable task of documenting our local plants: Matt Palmer, John Medallis, Robert C. Meyer, Jr., and Bill Standaert among others.