Chimney Rock Park
Chimney Rock Road (Route 525), Martinsville, Bridgewater Township, Somerset County, NJ
705 acres


Directions:

New Jersey Turnpike south to Exit 14 for US 78 heading west;  get off at Exit 33 for Route 525 south;  drive 3.1 miles and turn left following Route 525; drive 0.4 of a mile and turn right onto Chimney Rock Road (still Route 525);  drive 0.2 of a mile and turn left into the entrance for the park.  The park is located just after the second occurrence of Loft Drive. 

There is another parking area, 0.4 of a mile down Gilbride Road. 


Geology:

The park is located between the first and second Watchung Mountains and along the First Watchung Ridge. It contains the former Bound Brook Elizabethtown Reservoir.


History:

Raider John Simcoe considered burning Washington's abandoned army huts at Chimney Rock but when they learned they had been sold as homes, they went to the Van Horne mansion near Bound Brook, seeking to capture Governor Livingston. p. 271

Beck, Henry Charlton. 1984 from 1934 original. The Jersey Midlands. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.


Habitats:

pine and hemlock forests, marsh, rock outcrops, 21 acre reservoir.


Facilities:

Children's playground, baseball field, tennis courts, basketball court, soccer field, and frisbee golf.


Trails:

04/05/2005.  I did not know if there was a trail here or not.  So I just starting walking along the park's boundaries.  In the far right corner there is the start of a trail.  There is a combination set of stairs descending the small hill and a bridge over the stream.  I figure from the appearance of the setting the trail is a circular one around the central hill here.  So I decide to go counter-clockwise, turning right. The stream soon flows into a bigger one and the waters head under the Gilbride Road Bridge.  The buttercup Lesser Celandine was in bloom.  It is an invasive species but with its bright yellow, glistening petals it sure is attractive.  The trail heads uphill with the stream down below.  I keep turning left and find myself back at the bridge.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, * = plants found in bloom on date of field trip, 04/05/2005


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple) *
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Ostrya virginiana (hop hornbeam)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Vines:
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax sp. (greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Herbs:
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Cardamine sp. (bittercress)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Narcissus sp. (daffodil) *
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine) *
Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum (water cress)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)

Grasses:
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)