SOURLAND MOUNTAIN PRESERVE
Hillsborough and Montgomery townships, Somerset County, NJ
1,670 acres


Directions:

The parking area is on the west side of East Mountain Road, about two miles south of the intersection of East Mountain Road and Amwell Road (Route 514). There are numerous ways to get to the area -- see your road maps. From New York, a possible route would be to take the N.J. Turnpike to Route 287 (Exit 10); take Route 287 west to Route 206 (Exit 17); follow Route 206 south for about seven miles to Route 514; take Route 514 west for about three miles, then turn south on East Mountain Road. Be prepared for walking on rocky trails.


Geology:

Located in the northeast section of the Sourlands Region.

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.

HUNTERDON COUNTY GEOLOGY by Carol S. Lucey - ( New Jersey State Geologist)


History:

The name Sourland is probably derived from "sorrel-land" which describes the sorrel (reddish-brown) colored soils encountered by the pioneering German farmers.


Hiking:

Ridge Trail marked with a rectangle (moderate) 4.0 miles (points 1-13 on the map)

Maple Flats Trail marked with a triangle (easy) 1.4 miles (points 1,2,3,10-13 on map)

Pondside trailed marked with a circle  (easy) 0.5 miles (points 1, 12, & 13)


PLANT LIST:

Karl Anderson, Robert C. Meyer, Jr., Steve Parisio, Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer japonica (Japanese red maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut) 5/14/97
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Albizia julibrissin (silk tree)
Betula lenta (black birch) 5/08/99
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana musclewood
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 5/08/99 5/10/98 5/14/97
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash) 5/08/99
Gingko biloba (gingko)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Juglans cinerea (butternut walnut)
Juglans nigra (black walnut) 5/14/97
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree) 5/08/99 5/10/98
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Ostrya virginiana (hop hornbeam)
Paulownia tomentosa (empress tree) 5/10/98 5/14/97
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Populus alba (white poplar)
Populus grandidentata (big toothed aspen)
Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)
Prunus avium (sweet cherry)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus communis (pear)
Pyrus malus (apple tree)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) 5/10/98
Salix sp. (willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras) 5/08/99
Tilia americana (American basswood)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 5/08/99
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Cornus alternifolia (alternate-leaved dogwood?)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Corylus americana (American hazelnut)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive) 5/08/99 5/14/97
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus) 5/04/02 5/08/02
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rhamnus frangula (European buckthorn)
Rhus copallina (winged sumac)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus alleghaniensis (common blackberry) 5/10/98 5/14/97
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut) 5/04/02 5/10/98
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum) 5/08/99 5/14/97

Vines:
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yamroot)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax herbacea (carrion flower) 5/10/98 5/14/97
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Actaea alba (white baneberry) 5/10/98
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut) 5/14/97
Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 5/04/02 5/08/99
Allium canadense (Canada onion)
Allium tricoccum (ramps)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/10/98 5/14/97
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Aquilegia canadensis (columbine) 5/08/99
Arabidopsis thaliana (mouse-eared cress)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/14/97
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asarum canadense (wild ginger) 5/08/99 5/10/98 5/14/97
Asclepias quadrifolia (four-leaved milkweed)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/14/97
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/14/97
Cardamine angustata (toothwort)
Cardamine concatenata (cut-leaved toothwort)
Cardamine hirsuta (bittercress)5/04/02
Cardamine pensylvanica (Pennsylvania bitter cress) 5/04/02
Cardamine rhomboidea (springcress) 5/04/02 5/08/99 soon 5/10/98 5/14/97
Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed)
Chelone glabra (white turtlehead)
Chrysoplenium americanum (water carpet)5/04/02
Cimicifuga racemosa (American bugbane)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Cirsium vulgaris (mouse ear chickweed) 5/10/98
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/10/98 5/14/97
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Conopholis americana (squawroot)
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)
Cynoglossum virginianum (wild comfrey) 5/04/02 soon
Cypripedium acaule (pink lady's slipper)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Dentaria heterophylla (slender toothwort)
Draba verna (whitlow grass)
Erigeron philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Eupatorium purpureum (sweet-scented joe-pye-weed)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry) 5/08/99
Galium aparine (cleavers) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/14/97
Galium circaezans (wild licorice)
Galium lanceolatum (lanced-leaved wild licorice)
Galium pilosum (hairy bedstraw)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 5/04/02 5/10/98 5/14/97
Geranium pusillum (small-flowered cranesbill) 5/08/99 5/10/98
Geum canadense (white avens)
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground) 5/04/02 5/10/98 5/14/97
Hepatica americana (round-lobed hepatica)
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed)
Hydrophyllum virginianum (Virginia waterleaf)
Hypoxis hirsuta (yellow-star grass) 5/10/98
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Lepidium campestre (field peppergrass) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/14/97
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's peppergrass) 5/08/99
Lespedeza capitata (round-headed bush clover)
Lespedeza cuneata (Chinese bush clover)
Lilium superbum (turk's cap lily)
Lycopus virginicus? (Virginia bugleweed?)
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Martricaria matricarioides (pineapple weed) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/10/98 5/14/97
Medicago lupulina (black medick)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Obolaria virginica (pennywort) 5/04/02 5/08/99
Orchis spectabilis (showy orchis) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/10/98 lots 5/14/97
Orobanche uniflora (cancer root) 5/10/98
Osmorhiza claytonii (sweet cicely) 5/10/98 5/14/97
Osmorhiza longistylis (aniseroot)
Oxalis corniculatus (creeping wood sorrel)
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/10/978
Oxalis violacea (violet wood sorrel) 5/04/02
Panax quinquefolium (American ginseng)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 5/04/02
Plantago major (common plantain)
Plantago rugelii (plantain)
Plantago virginica (dwarf plantain)
Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple)
Polygonatum biflorum (smooth Solomon's seal)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy Solomon's seal) 5/04/02 5/10/98 5/14/97
Polygonum arenastrum (common knotweed)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil) 5/10/98 5/14/97
Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil)
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) 5/04/02
Prenanthes altissima (tall white lettuce)
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (mountain mint)
Pyrola elliptica (shinleaf)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved crowfoot) 5/04/02 5/10/98 5/14/97
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup) 5/04/02 5/08/99
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked crowfoot) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/10/98 5/14/97
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)
Sanicula sp. (snakeroot)
Saxifraga virginiensis (early saxifrage) 5/04/02 5/08/99
Scleranthus annuus (knawel) 5/04/02
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal) 5/10/98
Solidago caesia (blue stem goldenrod)
Solidago juncea (early goldenrod)
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/14/97
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Trifolium repens (white clover) 5/10/98 5/14/97
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Uvularia perfoliata (perfoliate-leaved bellwort) 5/08/99 5/10/98 5/14/97
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaved bellwort)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/14/97
Veronica serpyllifolia (thyme-leaf speedwell) 5/08/99 5/14/97
Vicia angustifolia (narrow-leaved vetch)
Viola conspersa (American dog violet)
Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet) 5/14/97
Viola fimbriatula (ovate-leaved violet)
Viola palmata (wood violet) 5/04/02 5/08/99
Viola pubescens (yellow forest violet) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/14/97
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 5/04/02 5/08/99 5/14/97

Rushes:
Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)
Luzula multiflora (wood rush)

Sedges:
Carex albicans (sedge)
Carex blanda (woodland sedge)
Carex gynandra (nodding sedge)
Carex laxiflora (loose-flowered sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Eleocharis tenuis (slender spike rush) 5/10/98

Grasses:
Alopecurus pratensis (meadow foxtail bristlegrass) 5/04/02 5/10/98
Andropogon virginicus (brome grass)
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass) 5/10/98 5/14/97
Brachyelytrum erectum (long-awned wood grass)
Bromus tectorum (downy brome grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Elymus hystrix (bottle-brush grass)
Festuca pratensis (meadow fescue)
Festuca elatior (tall meadow grass)
Leersia virginica (white grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass)
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass)
Poa trivialis (rough-stemmed bluegrass)
Sorghastrum nutans (Indian nut grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Adiantum pedatum (maidenhair fern)
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
Athyrium filix-femina (northern lady fern)
Athyrium thelypteroides (silvery gladefern)
Botrychium virginianum (rattlesnake fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana (spinulose wood fern)
Dryopteris goldiana (Goldie's wood fern)
Dryopteris intermedia (fancy woodfern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern)
Dryopteris spinulosa (spinulose woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Phegopteris hexagonoptera (broad beech fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris hexagonoptera (broad beech fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)


Sourland Mountain, Somerset County, NJ, May 4, 2002.

On a very nice day weatherwise a number of Torreyites came out to tour the botanical wonders of Sourland Mountain. The Torrey Botanical Society has been to this site a number of times but we still managed to find some new species to add to the list. Among these plants were

Amelanchier arborea (shadbush), Asclepias quadrifolia (four-leaved milkweed), Carex albicans (a sack sedge), Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s lace), Dioscorea villosa (wild yamroot), Festuca elatior (tall fescue grass), Leersia alba (white grass), Lilium superbum (Turk’s cap lily), Lotus corniculatus (creeping wood sorrel) in bloom, Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe), Pyrola elliptica (shinleaf), and Scleranthus annuus (knawel) in bloom.

We found about 40 species in bloom. Some of the more noteworthy plants were the many blooms of Obolaria virginica (pennywort), Orchis spectabilis (showy orchid), and Oxalis violacea (violet wood sorrel).

We truly had the spirit of John Torrey with us this day (because we had a relative of John Torrey, actually named John Steven Torrey, from San Diego, California on the trip with us. He is a fifth generation cousin, eight times removed, of the botanist John Torrey.) Some of the other participants were Dave Austin, Patrick and Rosemary Cooney, Boel Denne Hinnov, Judith Fitzgerald, Linda Kelly, Robert Morganstern, James Quinn, and Michael St. John. Total attendance was 13. The trip leader was Karl Anderson.

SOURLAND MOUNTAIN
ROARING BROOK
Somerset County, NJ
May 14, 1988.

After an evening of thundershowers and a cool, cloudy early morning, the skies cleared and the participants were able to enjoy the long, wet walk to Roaring Brook in bright sunshine. Due to the unusually cool spring, not many wild plants were observed in full bloom, although the woods and fields were in good foliage.

Proceeding along the trail to Roaring Brook, the following plants were observed in flower.

Anemonella thalictroides
Arabidopsis thaliana (mouse-eared cress)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty)
Conopholis americana
Galium circaezens
Geranium maculatum
Orobanche uniflora (cancer root)
Ranunculus abortivus
Uvularia perfoliata (perfoliate-leaved bellwort)
Veronica arvensis (speedwell)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
Viola papilionacea
Viola sororia

After arriving at the rocky area of Roaring Brook, about a dozen plants of the showy orchis (Orchis spectabilis) were observed. This was the highlight of the walk. In addition to the above plants, sever species of ferns were found.

Botrychium virginianum
Dennstaedtia punctilobula
Dryopteris austriaca (spinulose shield fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris hexagonoptera (broad beech fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

No grasses were found in bloom in the wooded area, although the orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata), Sweet vernal grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum), and three species of Poa, P. annua, P. pratensis, and P. trivialis, were found along the roadside in open areas. The wood rush (Luzula multiflora) was found along the trail in shaded areas together with a few sedges that were just beginning to bloom.

Attendance was 21. Leader: Robert C. Meyer Jr.


SOURLAND MOUNTAIN
ROARING BROOK
May 13, 1989

Although preceded by almost a week of cloudy and rainy weather, the field trip to Roaring Brook took place on a very pleasant sunny day. A pair of short boots were almost necessary footwear, however, because of the wet condition of the trail on the way to the summit on the east slope of Sourland Mountain. In spite of the long period of cool weather, several species of plants were in full bloom.

Among the plants most sought after, about a dozen specimens of Showy orchid (Orchis spectabilis) were found growing among the hug rocks at the summit. In this area Pennywort (Obolaria virginica) and Bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata) were also found, . . . Cancer Root (Orobanche uniflora) was seen as it was on last year's trip.

Along the trail to the summit were seen:

Actaea pachypoda (white baneberry)
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty)
Conopholis americana (squawroot)
Dentaria heterophylla (slender toothwort)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Hepatic americana (round leaved hepatica)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Osmorhiza claytoni (sweet cicely)
Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple)
Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon's seal)
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)
Saxifraga virginiensis (early saxifrage)
Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet)
Viola pubescens (downy yellow violet)
Viola sororia (woolly blue violet)

Eight species of ferns were observed, including
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Botrychium virginianum (rattlesnake fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris spinulosa (spinulose wood fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Thelypteris hexagonoptera (Broad Beech fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

Among the tree species observed in this habitat were
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
and a variety of oaks and hickories

Roaring Brook has an unusual stream channel, consisting of large boulders of diabase concentrated along a valley from which all soil has been removed by running water. The stream flows between, and is often hidden below, this mass of rocks. The diabase bedrock disintegrates to form a rich, basic soil which in turn promotes the formation of a mixed mesophytic forest with a diverse flora.

Trip attendance was 7. The leaders were Steven Parisio and Robert C. Meyer, Jr.