CUSHETUNK MOUNTAIN
Clinton and Readington townships, Lebanon, Hunterdon County, NJ
336 acres


Directions:

It is located off Route 31, south of Route 78. The upper portions adjoin Round Valley Recreation Area.

New Jersey Turnpike to exit 14 for Newark Airport; US 78 to the exit 20A; the exit leads directly south on Cokesbury Road; go .3 miles and left turn onto Main Street (Route 622); go .15 miles and right turn onto Route 629 Cherry Street; go .45 miles and turn left onto Old Mountain Road (just before the fence for the dam at Round Valley Reservoir) and go 1.7 miles and turn right into the park entrance (just before the railroad tracks and Railroad Avenue).


Geology:

The Raritan Valley is east of the Hunterdon Plateau. It is a low rolling plain, sloping gently southeastward from an elevation of 200-300 feet near the plateau to 100-200 feet near the Hunterdon- Somerset County border. A number of ridges and isolated hills, underlain by highly resistant igneous rock, rise several hundred feet above the softer shale and sandstone of the Raritan-Valley Lowland. The highest of these ridges, Cushetunk Mountain rises about 500 feet above the plain and 834 feet above sea level.

Diabase is exposed in the Watchung Mountains in adjacent Somerset County. It can also be seen at Sourland and Cushetunk Mountains (Round Valley). The crystal structure of diabase indicates that the rocks never reached the surface at the time of formation and their exposure today is the result of erosion. (Information from HUNTERDON COUNTY GEOLOGY by Carol S. Lucey - New Jersey State Geologist)


History:

Cushetunk means Gosch-gosch, "hog" and unk, "place," or "place of hogs" because of the wild hogs that roamed the mountains.

The early settlers called the area "Hog Mountain".


Habitats:

currently undeveloped? It looks alright to me. There is a power cut along the base of the mountain.


Geology:

Basalt rock. Newark Basin (Piedmont).


Trails:

There is a temporary closing of one of the paths up to the top of Cushetunk Mountain.

Another, however, is open. Mountain bikes are allowed and when we were there, we saw quite a few bikers.

We mostly investigated the power cut as we too tired by this time to climb the mountain.

The main trail up the mountain is closed but the bikers have made quite a few other informal trails. The second time I came to Cushetunk I hiked up the mountain. It is mostly just forest up there -- no dry clearings as on the tops of many other mountains. I did think that I saw an eagle flying up there squeaking like a heavy door partly swing closed.

Hunting permitted October 1 to January 31.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney and the Torrey Botanical Society


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Populus alba (white poplar)
Populus grandidentata (big tooth aspen)
Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus malus (crab apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea) 7/08/00
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen) 7/08/00
Corylus americana (American hazel)
Corylus cornuta (beaked hazel)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lyonia ligustrina (maleberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rosa palustris (swamp rose) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Rubus alleghaniensis (common blackberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus odoratus (purple flowering raspberry) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (black berry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)
Vaccinium angustifolium (low bush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Vaccinium stamineum (deerberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple leaf viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Vines:
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Cuscuta gronovii (common dodder)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yamroot)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) 7/08/00
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum scandens (climbing false buckwheat) 7/08/00
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) 7/07/00
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vicia tetrasperma (vetch) 7/08/00
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Agrimonia gryposepala (agrimony) 7/11/98 7/08/00
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 7/07/00
Allium vineale (field garlic) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Anagalis arvensis (scarlet pimpernel) 7/08/00
Anemone virginiana (thimbleweed)
Anemone thalictroides (rue anemone)
Anthemis cotula (dog fennel) 7/08/00
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp dogbane) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias exaltata (poke milkweed) 7/08/00
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) 7/11/98
Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) 7/08/00
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 7/08/00
Bidens sp. (beggar ticks)
Centaurea nigra (black knapweed) 7/11/98
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Chrysosplenium americanum (golden saxifrage)
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Cimicifuga racemosa (American bugbane) lots and lots of it 7/08/00 7/11/98
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Commelina communis (Asiatic day flower)
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Desmodium glutinosum (tick trefoil) 7/08/00
Desmodium paniculatum (pointed-leaved tick trefoil) 7/11/98
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 7/07/00 7/11/98
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Eupatorium fistulosum (trumpet joe-pye-weed) 7/08/99 near blooming
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Euthamia graminifolia (one-nerved grass-leaved goldenrod)
Galium asprellum (rough bedstraw)
Galium circaezens (wild licorice) 7/08/00
Galium lanceolatum (wild licorice)
Galium mollugo (wild madder) 7/08/00
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 7/08/00 just one plant
Geranium robertianum (herb Robert geranium)?
Geum canadense (white avens) 7/08/00
Geum laciniatum (rough avens) 7/11/98
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily) 7/07/00 7/11/98
Heuchera americana (alumroot)
Hypericum perforatum (common St.Johnswort) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Hypericum punctatum (spotted St. Johnswort) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) 7/08/00
Lepidium campestre (field peppergrass)
Lespedeza capitata (round-headed bush clover)
Lespedeza cuneata (bush clover)?
Lilium canadense (Canada lily) a red one & a yellow one 7/08/00
Lobelia spicata (spike lobelia) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Lotus corniculatus (bird-foot trefoil) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Ludwigia alternifolia (seed box) 7/08/00
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed)
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)?
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medeola virginiana (Indian cucumber root)
Melampyrum lineare (cow wheat)?
Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower) 7/08/00
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe) 7/08/00
Myosotis laxa (forget-me-not) 7/08/00
Orchis spectabilis (showy orchid)
Osmorhiza longistylis (aniseroot)
Oxalis dilenii (yellow wood sorrel) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Paronychia canadensis (forked chickweed)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Plantago major (common plantain) 7/08/00
Plantago rugelii (plantain) 7/08/00
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple)
Polygonum arenastrum (dooryard knotweed)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed) 7/08/00
Polygonum persicaria (lady's thumb knotweed)
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed knotweed)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prenanthes altissima (tall lettuce)
Prunella vulgaris (self heal) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (narrow leaved mountain mint) 7/07/00 7/11/98
Pycnanthemum virginianum (mountain mint) 7/08/00
Pyrola elliptica (shinleaf)
Raphanus raphanistrum (wild radish) 7/08/00
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan) 7/07/00 7/11/98
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)
Sanicula canadensis (sanicle) 7/08/00
Scrophularia sp. (figwort)
Silene stellata (starry campion) 7/08/00
Sisyrinchium angustifolium (blue-eyed grass) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)
Solidago juncea (early goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress)
Trifolium aureum (yellow clover) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Trifolium repens (white clover) 7/08/00 7/11/98
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Uvularia perfoliata (perfoliate-leaved bellwort)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 7/08/00
Veronica anagallis-aquatica (water speedwell) 7/08/00
Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet)
Viola pubescens (yellow forest violet)
Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex gynandra (sedge)
Carex laxiflora (sedge)
Carex lurida (sedge)
Carex ovales type (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex scoparia (sedge)
Carex sp. (ovales type sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea var. ambigua (sedge)
Eleocharis ovata (spike rush)
Juncus canadensis (Canada rush)
Juncus effusus (soft bulrush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Grasses:
Agrostis gigantea (red top grass)
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Brachyelytrum erectum (lawn-awned wood grass)
Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Danthonia spicata (poverty oat grass)
Echinochloa muricata var. muricata (barnyard grass)
Elymus hystrix (bottle brush grass)
Festuca pratensis (meadow fescue)
Festuca subverticillata (nodding fescue grass)
Glyceria striata (manna grass)
Leersia oryzoides (rice cut grass)
Leersia virginica (white grass)
Lolium perenne (rye grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum boscii (Bosc's panic grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phleum pratense (timothy grass) 7/08/00
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Adiantum pedatum (maidenhair fern)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Botrychium virginianum (rattlesnake fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana (spinulose wood fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris hexagonoptera (southern beech fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

David Snyder reports Viola hirsutula is here. He says it is one of the more distinctive stemless blue violets occurring in NJ, differing from all others in its thickish, round-ovate leaves that lie flat on the ground and form a small rosette (a southern species).


CUSHETUNK MOUNTAIN NATURE PRESERVE, HUNTERDON COUNTY, N.J., JULY 8, 2000.

The weather was absolutely beautiful and nearly every great regularly-attending Torrey field botanist in the northern half of New Jersey showed up for this walk. The trails directly to the top were closed, but there was still a great number of interesting plants to be seen.

The highlight in the fields surrounding Cushetunk Mountain was Lilium canadense (wild yellow lily). Some of the other field plants in bloom included Achillea millefolium, Allium vineale, Anthemis cotula, Asclepias tuberosa, Barbarea vulgaris, Ceanothus americanus, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, Cichorium intybus, Cirsium arvense, Dianthus armeria, Erigeron annuus, Galium mollugo, Hypericum perforatum and H. punctatum, Lobelia spicata, Lonicera japonica, Lotus corniculatus, Medicago lupulina, Melilotus officinalis, Plantago lanceolata, P. major, and P. rugelii, Polygonum scandens, Pycnanthemum virginianum and P. tenuifolium, Raphanus raphanistrum, Rosa palustris, Rubus odoratus, Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima, Sisyrinchium angustifolium, Trifolium aureum, T. hybridum, T. pratense, and T. repens, and Vicia tetrasperma. A non-blooming species of interest in the field was the thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana). Blooming in and near a dried up ditch along the railroad tracks were Anagallis arvensis and Veronica anagallis-aquatica.

The really great treat in the woods was the fantastic number of blooms of Cimicifuga racemosa (bugbane or black cohosh). Other interesting blooms in the forest included Agrimonia gryposepala, Asclepias exaltata, Chimaphila maculata, Circaea lutetiana, Desmodium glutinosum, Galium circaezens, Geum canadense, Pyrola elliptica, Sanicula canadensis, and Silene stellata. Other interesting plants were Chrysosplenium americanum, Corylus cornuta, Orchis spectabilis, and Staphylea trifolia.

Among the sedges found in the very scarce wet areas included Carex gynandra, C. lurida, C. scoparia, and C. vulpinoidea var. ambigua. Some of the plants in bloom in and around these areas were Impatiens capensis, Ludwigia alternifolia, Lysimachia ciliata, Mimulus ringens, Myosotis laxa, and Sambucus canadensis.

Total attendance was 17 humans and 2 dogs (Snuffy and Libby). Thanks to so many of the wonderful field botanists in attendance including Karl Anderson, John Medallis, Dr. Mary and Charles Leck, Robert Maricic, Charlotte Newstead, Elizabeth Scott, and Dr. William F. Standaert. Thanks also to Dr. Standaert for preparing the trip plant list.