Washington Rock State Park
Washington Avenue, Green Brook, Somerset County, NJ


Directions:

From the NYC area:  New Jersey Turnpike south to Exit 14 for US 78; take US 78 west and get off at Exit 36 for Route 651; take Route 651 south to a left turn onto Mountain Boulevard.  Turn right onto Route 529 (Rock Road) south.  There is parking on the right side of the road across the road from a large flag pole and stand. 


History:

Was a lookout spot for George Washington. They could spy on the British who were harassing a string of settlements in the West Fields, culmination of which was the Battle of Short Hills on May 26, 1777. (Pepper 1965:72


Picnic area.

Hours: Dawn - dusk, all year.

Township Clerk 732-968-1023


Trails:

04/07/2005.  On my birthday, dog Sonar and I visited Washington Rock State Park.  I cross the road to the main area of the park.  There is a large U.S. flag on a large flag pole.  The flag is flying at half-mast in memory of the death of Pope John Paul.  There is a plaque on the huge rock mount for the flag pole mentioning Washington's use of the overlook at this point in May and June of 1777. 

Near the flag pole and mount there is a plaque on a rock saying "1776-1976.  In honor of the nation's Bicentennial this state park was expanded by the donation to the state of New Jersey of 14.5 acres of land as a gift from Sherwin and Virginia Drobner."

There are a great views of the area below these Watchungs.  I notice that there were very few large buildings in the area thereby making it harder to find landmarks to help orient the viewer. 

There is quite a bit of land here but a lot of it is a sudden decline from the lookout point.  Lots of tree-of-heaven trees in front of the decline. 

I recrossed the road to take a look at the picnic area on the parking lot side of the road.  There is an asphalt road making a circle around a modest amount of woods land.  Here and there there are asphalt pull-offs by picnic grills.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, * = plants found in bloom on date of field trip, 04/07/2005


Trees:
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple) *
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)  -- lots
Aralia spinosa (Hercules' club)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce) planted
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)  -- lots

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)  --  lots
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera sp. (honeysuckle)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)

Vines:
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax sp. (greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Herbs:
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Cirsium sp. (thistle)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Lamium purpureum (purple dead nettle)
Narcissus sp. (daffodil)
Pyrola elliptica (shinleaf)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)

Sedges:
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Grasses:
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)