COLONIAL PARK
Franklin Township, Somerset County
462 acres


Directions:  

US 78 west to US 287 south; exit 12; turn left onto Weston Canal Road; follow this road south passing by Lock Number 10 and then passing a Girl Scout Camp known as Oak Spring Program and Environmental Center; turn right onto Mettlers Road. The park is not far down on the left and right:

Parking Lot F -- Anderson Perennial Garden (like a botanical garden here)

Parking Lot B -- Mettler's Pond and Rudolf W. Van der Goot Rose Garden

Parking Lot C and D -- Spooky Brook Pond and Powder Mill Pond

Parking Lot E -- Lois How Nature Trail


History:

The Delaware and Raritan Canal goes through this park.

1846  -- the Olcott brothers built a flax and husk mill.

1858  --  the flax and husk mill was converted to a distillery.

1880  --  Gaff & Fleischmann purchased the distillery. 

1880s  -- Maximillian Fleischmann bought an estate downstream of East Millstone.  He died shortly after the purchase.  The family sold the distillery, but stayed on at the estate.  The estate later became Colonial Park.  Mrs. Fleischmann loved her rose gardens. 

There are formal gardens here. Their specialty is the Rudolph van der Goot Rose Garden, located in the western part of the park. They have more than four thousand roses. In the foreground is the Mettler Garden; then the Center Garden; and, in the background, the Dutch Garden. The garden was designed over seven years by van der Goot.

1981 -- renamed the garden complex in honor of van der Goot.


Habitats:

canal; formal gardens; Mettlers Pond; Millstone River


Facilities:

putting course and paddle boats; golf course; parcourse fitness circuit; playground; picnic area; tennis courts


Trails:

There is a short loop nature trail across the street from Powder Mill Pond, known as the Lois Howe Trail.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, November 28, 2003


Trees:
Betula nigra (river birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Picea abies (Norway maple)
Pinus strobus (white pine) planted
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)

Shrubs:
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (black berry)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Vines:
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax glauca (sawbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Herbs:
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Callitriche sp. (water starwort)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)
Wolffia sp. (water meal)

Rushes:
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Grasses:
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)