LAKE CARASALJO MUNICIPAL PARK
Lakewood, Ocean County, NJ
67 acres


Directions:

Take the NJ Turnpike to exit 11 and pick up the Garden State Parkway heading south. Get off at Exit 90. Go left on Chambers Bridge Road and in a short distance turn left onto Rt. 88 west (Ocean Avenue). This takes you into downtown Lakewood and a T intersection. Turn left and then a quick right onto Lake Drive. There are many different parking areas available in which to park. Drive around the lake and many different stops for botanizing.

Other directions:

The park surrounds Lake Carasaljo, which intersects with Route 9.
Coming from the north on Route 9: Turn right at the intersection of Route 9 and North Lake Drive.
Coming from the south on Route 9: Turn left at the intersection of Route 9 and North Lake Drive.
Coming from the east on Route 88: At the intersection of Route 88 and Route 9, bear slightly to the left, which will put you on North Lake Drive.
Coming from the south or north on Hope Chapel Road: The park boundary is next to Hope Chapel Road. Turn east onto either North Lake Drive or South Lake Drive to reach parking areas.
Parking is available at several locations around the lake. The largest lot is at the intersection of Private Way and North Lake Drive, two blocks from Route 9.


Geology:

Lake Carasaljo is a man-made lake in the northeastern edge of the pinelands, and receives waters from the South Branch of the Metedeconk River.


History:

1814  -- Jesse Richards and William Irwin moved here from Washington Township in Burlington County to set up an ironworks. The area became known as "Washington's Furnace".

1832  -- the business begins to fail; purchased by Joseph W. Brick who revived it as the Bergen Iron Works. 

death of Joseph W. Brick  --  town renamed Bricksburg in his honor.  A friend of Brick's named the two lakes near the plant's property Lake Manetta (for his wife Manetta) and Lake Carasaljo (for his three daughters, Carrie, Sally, and Josephine).

1879 --  land in the area was sold to a land association that renamed the place Lakewood. They developed a winter resort here centered around Lake Carasaljo.

20th century --  Lakewood became a Jewish winter resort. (Stinton 1987:125-126)


Facilities:

The lake has a swimming area and is surrounded by a five-mile hiking trail. There are two playgrounds, plus picnic facilities and a boat ramp. The east end of the park is the least natural and most highly developed and used by humans. The west end is more wooded and includes three areas where footpaths/bridges traverse wetlands and the Metedeconk River.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Michael F. Gross and Linda Kelly


Trees:
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple) 3/10/02
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Albizia julibrissin (silk tree)
Betula nigra (river birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut) a few dozen root resprouts
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Magnolia virginiana (sweetbay magnolia)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus echinata (short-leaved pine)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus grandidentata (bigtooth aspen)
Prunus serotina (wild black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Pyrus calleryana (Bradford pear)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus marilandica (blackjack oak)
Quercus phellos (willow oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus stellata (post oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix nigra (black willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Amelanchier sp. (shadbush)
Aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry)
Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Chamaecyparis pisifera (sawara cypress)
Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Cornus amomum (silky dogwood)
Decodon verticillatus (swamp loosestrife)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus)
Eubotrys racemosa (fetterbush)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells)
Gaultheria procumbens (checkerberry)
Gaylussacia frondosa (blue huckleberry)
Hibiscus syriacus (rose of Sharon)
Hypericum stragulum (St. Andrews cross)
Ilex crenata (holly)?
Ilex glabra (inkberry holly)
Ilex laevigata (smooth winterberry)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry)
Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spice bush)
Lyonia ligustrina (maleberry)
Lyonia mariana (staggerbush)
Mitchella repens (partridge berry)
Myrica pensylvanica (northern bayberry)
Philadelphus sp. (mock orange)
Quercus ilicifolia (scrub oak)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower)
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)
Rhus copallina (winged sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rosa palustris (swamp rose) 7/27/00
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Toxicodendron vernix (poison sumac)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides (witherod viburnum)
Viburnum nudum var. nudum (possumhaw viburnum)

Vines:
Apios americana (ground nut)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Clematis terniflora (sweet autumn clematis)
Cuscuta gronovii (dodder)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yamroot)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honey suckle) 7/27/00
Mikania scandens (climbing hempweed)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax glauca (sawbrier)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade) 7/27/00
Toxicodendron radicans (poison-ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Herbs:
Allium vineale (field garlic )
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp dogbane)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Baptisia tinctoria (wild indigo)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress)
Bidens sp. (beggar ticks)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle) 7/27/00
Cabomba caroliniana (fanwort)
Callitriche heterophylla (water starwort)
Cardamine hirsuta (hairy bittercress) 3/10/02
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 7/27/00
Ceratophyllum demersum (coontail)
Chamaecrista sp. (partridge pea sp. type)
Chelone glabra (white turtlehead)
Chrysosplenium americanum (golden saxifrage)
Cypripedium acaule (pink lady's slipper)
Elodea canadensis (elodea)
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine)
Erigeron strigosus (lesser daisy fleabane) 7/27/00
Eupatorium album (white boneset)
Eupatorium sp. (maculata?) (joe-pye-weed)
Hibiscus moscheutos (swamp rose mallow)
Hypericum mutilum (dwarf St. Johnswort) 7/27/00
Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort) 7/27/00
Hypochoeris radicata (cat's ear) 7/27/00
Impatiens capensis (touch-me-not)
Iris prismatica (slender blue flag)
Iris pseudacorus (yellow iris)
Lemna minor (lesser duckweed)
Lepidium virginicum (wild peppergrass)
Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower) 7/27/00
Lupinus perennis (wild lupine)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medeola virginiana (Indian cucumber root)
Melampyrum lineare (cowwheat) 7/27/00
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 7/27/00
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Myriophyllum aquaticum (an aquarium escape) (water milfoil)
Najas gracillima (naiad)
Nuphar variegata (spatterdock)
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant white water lily)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 7/27/00
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) 7/27/00
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 7/27/00
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Pontederia cordata (pickerel weed)
Potamogeton epihydrus (pondweed)
Potamogeton spirillus (pondweed)
Sagittaria sp. (arrowhead)
Scleranthus annuus (knawel)
Scutellaria sp. (skullcap)
Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel)
Sium suave (water parsnip)
Solidago odora (sweet goldenrod) 7/27/00
Solidago rugosum (goldenrod)
Solidago sp. (goldenrod)
Sonchus oleraceus (sow thistle)
Sparganium sp. (bur reed)
Spirodela polyrhiza (greater duckweed)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadow rue)
Trientalis borealis (star flower)
Utricularia sp. (bladderwort)
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaved bellwort)
Vallisneria americana (wild celery)
Verbena hastata (blue vervain) 7/27/00
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed)
Xanthium strumarium (clotbur)
Xerophyllum asphodeloides (turkey beard)
Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle)
mayweed 7/27/00

Rushes:
Juncus effusus (soft rush)

Sedges:
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)

Grasses:
Andropogon virginicus (bushy broom sedge grass)
Danthonia sp. (oat grass)
Glyceria obtusa (coastal mannagrass)
Glyceria striata (mannagrass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimble will grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer tongue grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
Phragmites australis (common reed grass)
Setaria sp. (foxtail grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (common horsetail)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis (royal fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Woodwardia areolata (netted chain fern)

Other:
Chara sp. (an algae)


LAKE CARASALJO. October 27, 1935. Our itinerary took us to Lake Carasaljo. We followed the shore of the lake along the south shore and then the stream which empties into it, later returning on the opposite side. A swamp to the right of the railroad was our first hunting ground. Many buttonball bushes were easily spotted by their rounded fruits, Mikania scandens, the climbing hempweed, overflowed the shrubs and herbs alike in clouds of feather seeds. A stream disclosed abundant fruit of the pickerel weed, each containing many gelatinous coated seeds able to remain afloat all winter.

At the bottom of the railroad embankment the leader searched for the brilliant blue of the bottle gentian, Gentiana andrewsii, which he had found while scouting the previous Sunday. Most of the petals had turned brown, but a few still showed color. Specimens of Pycnanthemum virginianum , a very strong scented mint, were bruised, as were also the leaves of P. flexuosum, both of which were eagerly sniffed by those present.

Along the shores of the lake we found the red berries of Ilex verticillata, and the shining red hips of the swamp rose, Rosa caroliniana. Several fine plants of the water loosestrife, Decodon verticillata, bearing excellent seed pods were also discovered.

Few flowers were still blooming, among them being Aster spectabilis, A ericoides, Bidens bipinnata, Saponaria ocymoides, Lepidium virginicum, Taraxacum officinale, Chrysopsis mariana and the dying remnants of various goldenrods -- Solidago odora, S. rugosa and perhaps S. ulmifolia.

Solidago odora was very common. The anise-like odor is very pleasant and I understand colonial housewives often made a palatable tea from the dried leaves. I brought some of the leaves home, made the experiment and found that it had a delicate pleasant flavor.

Betula nigra, the river birch, was fairly common at the head of the lake. Its pink tinted, fuzzy bark and unevenly serrate leaves are sure identifications. Noticeable also was the deep green of the sweet bay, Magnolia virginiana, which forms extensive colonies wherever the ground is sufficiently damp. During a mild winter the leaves do not fall off.

We notice a few colonies of sensitive fern not yet touched by the frost. Among them many fertile fronds of the chain fern attracted attention. The recent spell of dry weather did not allow the development of mushrooms, only two being seen . . .

We found many specimens of willow oak, Quercus phellos, and some Spanish oak, Quercus falcata. Quercus ilicifolia and marilandica accompanied Pinus rigida wherever the typical Pine Barren stretches prevailed. A few American chestnuts were making their persistent and perennial attempts, to grow to their ancient glory. . . . Leader George F. Dillmann.