TURKEY SWAMP PARK AND TURKEY SWAMP W.M.A.
Georgia Road, Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ
A park of 2,455 acres of upland pin-oak woodlands. Located on the northern fringe of the Pine Barrens six miles south of Freehold.


Directions:

Take the NJ Turnpike to Exit 11 and pick up the Garden State Parkway south. Exit for I-195 heading west. Get off at Exit 28 for Route 9 north. Turn left onto west Farm Road (jughandle now?) Heading west. This turns into Georgia Road. Shortly after Georgia Road bears right, turn left into the parking area.

Another, slower way, is to get off the Garden State Parkway at Route 33 (exit 100A). From the intersection of US 9 and Route 33 in Freehold, go south on US 9 to West Farm Road/Georgia Road on the right and then proceed as above.

(For maps see: www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/wmaland.htm)


Geology:

Although the soil is very sandy, the water table lies just beneath the surface, giving rise to swampy conditions whenever the surface topography dips to the water line, hence the "swamp" in the name Turkey Swamp.

The terrain is nearly flat and the geologic formations are composed of sandys and clays.

The Manasquan River arises in Turkey Swamp Park/Turkey Swamp W.M.A.    It heads eastward forming the southern boundary of Georgia Road Park; heads to Havens Bridge Road (canoe access) near Adelphia;, Ketchum Road (canoe access); West Farm Road (canoe access); Southard Avenue (canoe access); Preventorium Road (canoe access); Route 547 in Squankum (canoe access); forms the eastern border of the Howell County Park golf course; goes through the middle of Allaire State Park; forms the northern border of the 30 acre Brice Park on Allenwood Road in Wall; goes southeast through the Manasquan Wildlife Management Area; opens into a wide inlet that forms part of the border between Monmouth and Ocean counties; and heads past the United State Coast Guard Station into the Atlantic Ocean.

The North Branch of the Metedeconk River (that forms part of the borderline north of Lakewood between Monmouth and Ocean counties) heads southeast through Turkey Swamp WMA and then the Girl Scout Camp Namoco and onwards. 


History:

The park takes its name from the town of Turkey, now known as Adelphia.


Habitat:

Upland pine-oak woodlands with lowlands, swampy areas, old fields and newly constructed fields.


Trails:

The orange-blazed trail, following along a man-made lake for 1 mile, is a good place to fish.

The red-blazed trail, 1.75 miles long, leads out to the woodsy Wilderness Camping Area.

The green-blazed 1-mile trail borders the red-blazed trail and leads to the lakefront area.

The 0.5-mile blue-blazed trail guides hikers to the boathouse, where in season, canoes, paddleboats, and rowboats may be rented.

This two-in-one recreation find is one of a kind in New Jersey, a woodland park and a family campground. Whether you do your camping in a tent or a travel-trailer, you can hook up to electricity and water and walk down the road to hot showers, and a laundry. In the other part of this forested park, find nature, hiking and fitness trails, shelter building and picnic spaces. You will gravitate to the 17 acre man made lake for boating, fishing and ice skating. You will find New Jersey's only public archery range and field course on New Jersey Fish, Game, and Wildlife property on Turkey Swamp Park's northern border. A license and adherence to posted rules are required for use of the range and course. The family campground is open for space rental from March through November and the rest of the park is open all year. Enter this 512 acre park from Georgia Road in Freehold Township.

Central New Jersey Greenway --  the greenway will go from Trenton to the Atlantic coast across Central New Jersey through Manasquan, Allaire State Park, Manasquan River Reservoir, Turkey Swamp County Park, Turkey Swamp Wildlife Management Area, Assunpink Wildlife Management Area, Mercer County Park, the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park, to the historic City of Trenton. (http://www.state.nj.us/dep/greenacres/currentstate.htm)


PLANT LIST:
Karl Anderson. Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines at Turkey Swamp County Park, Monmouth County, N. J. October 17, 1997. Karl Anderson. Linda Kelly for the herbaceous species, with a few additions for the woodies.


Trees:

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Diospyros virginiana (persimmon)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar
Larix decidua (European larch)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Magnolia virginiana (sweetbay magnolia)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Pinus echinata (shortleaf pine)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Pinus strobus (white pine) (planted)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus ilicifolia (scrub 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)
 


Shrubs:

Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Amelanchier canadense (oblong-leaf shadbush)
Aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern) (possibly planted)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Decodon verticillata (swamp loosestrife)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Eubotrys racemosa (fetterbush)
Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Gaylussacia frondosa (dangleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Hypericum stragulum (St. Andrews cross)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) (possibly planted)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lyonia ligustrina (maleberry)
Lyonia mariana (staggerbush)
Myrica pensylvanica (Northern bayberry)
Populus alba (white aspen)
Populus grandidentata (bigtooth aspen)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower)
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)
Rhus copallina (winged sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rosa palustris (swamp rose)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus sp. (alleghaniensis)? (blackberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium angustifolium (late lowbush blueberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
 

Vines:

Cuscuta sp. (dodder)
Euonymus sp. (euonymus vine)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax glauca (glaucous greenbrier)
Smilax pseudochina (halberd-leaved greenbrier)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

 

Herbs:

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Arabis hirsuta (hairy bittercress)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster dumosus (long-stalked aster)
Aster pilosus (aster)
Bidens sp. (tick seed)
Chenopodium ambrosioides (Mexican tea)
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Cirsium sp. (thistle)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)
Cypripedium acaule (pink lady's slipper)
Eupatorium sp. (Joe-Pye-weed)
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting)
Hypericum canadense (Canada St. Johnswort)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco lobelia) 11/08/00
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed)
Nuphar variegata (spatterdock)
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant white water lily)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 11/08/00
Polygonum arifolium (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pycnanthemum sp. (mountain mint)
Rhexia sp. (meadow beauty)
Rumex sp. (dock)
Sarracenia purpurea (pitcher plants)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)
Sparganium sp. (burreed)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) 11/08/00
Triadenum virginicum (marsh St. Johnswort)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Verbena hastata (blue vervain)
Viola sp. (violet)
 

Rushes:

Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)
 

Sedges:

Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Carex ovales type (sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Cyperus sp. (nut or umbrella flat sedge)
Eleocharis sp. (spike rush)
Rhynchospora capitellata (beak rush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

 

Grasses:

Andropogon virginicus var. abbreviatus (Virginia bush beard grass)
Andropogon virginicus var. virginicus (Virginia broom beard grass)
Festuca sp. (fescue grass)
Glyceria obtusa (coastal mannagrass)
Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimble will muhly grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer tongue panic grass)
Panicum rigidulum (panic grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch panic grass)
Paspalum setaceum (paspalum grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (giant reed grass)

 

Ferns and fern allies:

Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine)