Uplands Nature Preserve
Barton and Altamont roads, Raritan Township, Hunterdon County, NJ
101 acres


Directions:

The Reserve can only be accessed through Mine Brook Park and the Morales Nature Preserve.

From the Clinton Area, drive south on Route 513 to the junction with Route 617; turn left on to Route 617 and travel drive 8.5 miles to turn right on Barton Hollow Road and continue to the stop sign; turn left onto Old Croton Road; make the first left onto Capner Street; parking area on the left.  There is no direct parking at the reserve. Access is gained through the Bernadette Morales Nature Preserve which offers parking.


Geology:

At 500 feet elevation, the preserve is located along the eastern rim of the Hunterdon Plateau (hence the name of the preserve). The Walnut Brook meanders through the property.


History:

1931  -- a gentleman's farm and estate (called “Uplands”) here purchased by George Knowles Large (1879-1958), and his wife, Frances Engeman. Mr. Large was a prominent county citizen, serving as county prosecutor from 1906 to 1911 and as county judge from 1917 to 1922.

1934  --  Mr. Knowles becomes part of the prosecutor's staff for the Lindbergh Kidnapping Trial.

1935 (January 2- February 13). --  the trail ends in a conviction for the defendant Bruno Richard Hauptmann who was later executed. The Lindberghs stayed at Uplands as houseguests and on February 4 even had a quiet birthday celebration at the farm.

1970-1986  -- the land changes hands a few times.

1986  -- Hunterdon County acquires the property. Only foundations, rock walls, and exotic trees and shrubs provide proof on the estate's existence.


Habitats:

steep slopes, open fields, hardwood forests, Walnut Brook.


Trails:

Doug Pictroski of Boy Scout Troop 62 built the 1.1 mile loop trail adjacent to the Bernadette Morales Trail System for his Eagle Project. The Bernadette Morales Nature Preserve, along with Mine Brook Park, The Dvoor Farm and Uplands, form a contiguous greenway.

To access the Uplands Trail, take the Main Trail from the parking area to the junction of the Eagle Trail. The Eagle Trail then turns into the Uplands Trail. This stretch adds 1.6 miles for a round trip hike.

Flemington Greenbelt (Liberty Village to Mine Brook Park; to Morales Nature Preserve to Uplands Reserve to Tuccamirgan Park to Liberty Village):  see the individual parks for the full trail.

 

5/24/2005.  While my wife, son and brother-in-law shopped at Liberty Village, I decided to check out Mine Brook Park, Bernadette Morales Park, and Uplands Nature Preserve. I was interested in finding how these three parks connected to each other and then to Tuccamirgan Park.  I parked at the parking lot on Capner Street across from a parking area for Bernadette Morales Park. 

There is a gravel/dirt foot path in a figure 8.  The lower circle of the figure 8 goes around the children's playground area and picnic pavilion, while the top circle of the figure eight went around the ball field area.   The Mine Brook itself  is on the east side of the park.  I crossed over Mine Brook via a wooden bridge.  There is a path on the other side of the bridge that crosses the northern edge of the huge field (probably owned by the Dvoor Farm) and takes the walker over to Shields Avenue.  (From here one could walk south, then turn left onto Bonnell Street and soon afterwards take a left into Tuccamirgan Park.)

I walked over to Shields Avenue and back.  Recrossed the wooden bridge over Mine Brook and went back to where my car was parked.  Crossed over Capner Street and walked into the Bernadette Morales Park.  I took the main trail  and crossed Mine brook and walked up the wooden step to a left turn onto Eagle Trail.   Walked uphill and along the brook on my left.  By the Brook are a lot of houses on the other side of the road.   Passed  the intersection with Dogwood Trail  The trail is very wet and muddy and good footing is hard to come by.  Walked uphill and then bore right onto the Meditation Trail and then steeply uphill.  Turn left onto the Uplands Reserve Trail.  Started to walk the circular loop heading counter clockwise.  As I noticed time was running short, I took a short-cut cutting across the loop trail area and back close to where I started on the circular loop. Turned right and then retraced my steps all the way back to Mine Brook Park and my car. 

I drove around the area and found Tuccamirgan Park across the street from the rear of St. Magdalene Roman Catholic Church (established 1847).  Then I drove back to Liberty Village.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. 


PLANTS:

While most of the hardwood canopy consists of oak trees, the new growth mostly consists of young maple trees because white-tail deer, squirrels and wild turkey are voraciously consuming so many of the oak acorns.

(Source: http://www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/depts/parks/guides/Uplands.htm)


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Taxus sp. (yew)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs:
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Lonicera sp. (honeysuckle)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)

Vines:
Celastrus occidentalis (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis spp. (grape)

Herbs:
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)