LOANTAKA BROOK RESERVATION

Kitchell Rd. & South St., Chatham, Harding and Morris Townships, Morris County, NJ


Directions:

I got really lost trying to find this place and am still a bit confused.  Take I-80 to I-287 (40 miles);  exit at NJ-124 (Madison Avenue) in Morristown (as of this moment I don't know exactly which exit to take -- it is at around mile 36 on I-287; maybe exit 35 or so); it looks like you take a right and then a left onto South Street (this is really confusing) -- you will pass by one of the entrances to Loantaka Brook but skip this one; turn left at a T-intersection onto Spring Valley Road ; drive around 1.6 miles and turn left onto Loantaka Way; drive 0.5 miles and turn left into a parking area on the left.


History:

There is a plague thanking Dr. and Mrs. Adrian T. Platt and family for the donation of land.

Dr. Adrian T. Platt and his wife Helen Hartley Platt purchased Hartley Farms in Harding Township.  The Hartley family is closely tied to the Dodge family.  Helen Hartley Platt was a cousin to Marcellus Hartley Dodge, former owner of Hartley Farms who was heir to the Dodge family fortune and head of Remington Arms.  (The 171-acreHartley Farms property is now being developed for up to 21 new homes.)


 Trails:

This blacktop trail (blue trail - although I never saw any markings) takes you north to Kitchell Pond (near Kitchell Road -- 1.6 miles).  On the way to Kitchell Pond you cross over the Loantaka Brook a number of times.  When I visited (on a weekday), there were a lot of  walkers, runners, and bicyclists on the path.  The park is in a residential and urban area and thus is a pretty busy place.  

On the return you can take the red blacktop trail (right turn).   This takes you to Loantaka Way by the Gibbons horse barn.  You can walk back to your car along Loantaka Way (left turn).  Be careful of the traffic as there is a lot of it.  Or you can continue across Loantaka Way and continue hiking, this time to Green Village Road.  


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood) in fruit 5/06/98
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 5/06/98
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) a lone one
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood) Corylus sp. (hazelnut)
Elaeagnus sp. (silverberry?) 5/06/98
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus) 5/06/98
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ligustrum vulgaris (common privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle) 5/06/98
Lonicera tatarica (Tatarian honeysuckle) 5/06/98
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower) 5/06/98
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry) 5/06/98
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum) 5/06/98, soon to bloom
Viburnum plicatum (double-file viburnum) 5/06/98
Viburnum sieboldii? (Siebold's viburnum)

Vines:
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Herbs:
Actaea sp.? (baneberry?)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (field garlic) 5/06/98
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 5/06/98
Cardamine pratensis (cuckoo flower) 5/06/98
Cardamine rhomboidea? (spring cress?) 5/06/98
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty) 5/06/98 a few of them only
Erigeron philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane) 5/06/98 soon
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Galium spp. (bedstraws)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 5/06/98
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground) 5/06/98
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust) planted here
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Iris sp. (iris)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)
Pedicularis canadensis (wood betony) 5/06/98
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple) a few
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup) 5/06/98
Ranunculus hispidus var. caricetorium? (swamp buttercup?) 5/06/98
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked buttercup) 5/06/98
Rumex acetosella (field sorrel) 5/06/98
Sedum sp. (garden sedum)
Senecio obovatus (round-leaved ragwort?) 5/06/98
Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel) 5/06/98
Stellaria media (common chickweed) 5/06/98
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 5/06/98
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Trifolium repens (white clover) 5/06/98
Urtica dioica (stinging nettle)
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore) 5/06/98
Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet) 5/06/98
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 5/06/98

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex crinita? (sedge) 5/06/98
Carex laxiflora? (sedge)
Carex stellata type? (sedge)
Carex stipata? (sedge) 5/06/98
Carex stricta (tussock sedge) 5/06/98

Grasses:
Alopecurus sp. (foxtail bristle grass) 5/06/98
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Holcus lanatus (velvet grass) 5/06/98 soon
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 5/06/98
Poa pratensis (Kentucky blue grass) 5/06/98

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)