BLACKROCK FOREST
Orange County, NY
3,600 acres


Directions:

Located northwest of West Point Military Reservation in Orange County. From Continental Road exit on US 9W near Cornwall, go south on Continental Road to forest. There are several roads leading to forest boundaries, so it's best to obtain a map before going there.


Geology:

In the Bear Mountain area, the youngest igneous rock is the Storm King granite and it represents the last major magma invasion in the Hudson Highlands. Because it is a rather distinctive formation, the Storm King granite is not considered part of the Highlands Complex. Storm King granite generally forms the crests of all of the highest ridges. These include Bear Mountain, the Torne and Crown Ridge, Dunderberg and West mountains, and the Storm King and Breakneck ridges. Usually medium- to coarse- grained and dull gray in color, the Storm King granite sometimes appears with a greenish to pinkish buff tinge.


History:

1949. The land is donated to Harvard University by Dr. Ernest Stillman (son of banker/financier James Stillman -- see entry for Kenridge Farm on this website). Harvard used the forest as an experimental station.

In 1989 philanthropist William T. Golden organized a consortium of 15 scientific and educational institutions to buy Black Rock Forest from Harvard, which was no longer interested in the forest. (Dunwell 1991:233)


Habitats:

Sprawled atop a high granite plateau, the forest boasts a dozen summits more than 1,400 feet above sea level and scenic views of distant horizons in every direction. You will also see freshwater springs, granite rock outcroppings, swamps, and bogs, and many picturesque streams, as well as a few manmade structures. Also here are secluded glens.

Nearly all ponds and waterways supply water for the nearby municipalities of Cornwall and Highland Falls and are therefore closed to swimming and fishing.

15 miles of marked trails and 16 miles of gravel roads.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer pensylvanicum (goosefoot maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Albizia julibrissin (silk tree)
Amelanchier arborea (downy shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juglans cinera (butternut walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Ostrya virginiana (eastern hop hornbeam)
Picea mariana (black spruce) NYBG specimen found on an island in Spruce Pond
Pinus resinosa (red pine)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (sycamore)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Prunus pumila (dwarf cherry)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Prunus sp. (cherry hort. ?)
Pyrus malus (apple)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix nigra (black willow)
Salix sp. (willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Alnus sp. (alder)
Aronia sp. (chokeberry)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush) 6/30/01 near
Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf) 6/30/01
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Comptonia peregrina (sweetfern)
Crataegus sp. (Hawthorn)
Diervilla lonicera (bush honeysuckle)
Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen) 7/08/95
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel) 7/09/95
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) 6/26/93)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (morrow's honey suckle)
Lyonia ligustrina (maleberry) 6/30/01
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry) 6/26/93
Quercus ilicifolia (scrub oak)
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea) 7/08/95
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa carolina (pasture rose) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry) 7/08/95
Rubus odoratus (purple-flowering raspberry) 7/08/95
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry) 7/8/95
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry) 7/09/95
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry) 6/26/94 7/09/95
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet) 7/09/95
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush) 6/26/93 6/30/01
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (lowbush blueberry)
Vaccinium stamineum (deerberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum v. lucidum (arrowwood, not downy)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Vines:
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelain berry)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed) 7/09/95
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yamroot)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Herbs:
Acalypha rhomboidea (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 7/8/95 6/26/93 6/30/01
Actaea alba (white baneberry)
Aethusa cynapium (fool's parsley) 6/30/01
Agrimonia gryposepala (agrimony) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Alisma subcordatum? (small water plantain)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic) 7/09/95
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting)
Antennaria sp. (pussytoes)
Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane) 7/09/95
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Arabis canadensis (sicklepod)
Arabis lyrata (lyrate rockcress) 6/30/01
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort)
Asarum canadense (wild ginger)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) 6/30/01 near; 7/09/95
Aster cordifolius (heart-leaved aster)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Aster linariifolius (stiff aster)
Aster paternus (flat-top aster)
Aureolaria flava (smooth false foxglove)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress)
Bidens sp. (beggar tick)
Callitriche palustris (vervain water starwort) 6/30/01
Caltha palustris (marsh marigold)
Cardamine impatiens (narrow-leaved bittercress)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed)
Centaurea x pratensis (nigra x jacea) (meadow knapweed) 6/30/01
Cerastium vulgatum (common mouse-ear chickweed) 6/30/01
Chelone glabra (white turtlehead)
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Chenopodium sp. (goosefoot)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 6/30/01 7/8/95
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 7/09/95
Cicuta maculata (water hemlock) 7/09/95
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Coronilla varia (crown vetch) 6/30/01
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort) 6/26/94
Cunila origanoides (dittany)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 7/8/95
Desmodium glutinosum (pointed-leaved tick trefoil) 7/09/95
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 6/26/94 6/30/01 7/8/95
Echium vulgare (viper's bugloss) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Elodea canadensis (common waterweed)
Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus)
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchid) 6/30/01
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 6/30/01 7/8/95
Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset)
Euphorbia esula (leafy spurge)
Galinsoga ciliata (galinsoga) 7/09/95
Galium mollugo (wild madder) 6/26/93 6/30/01
Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw) 6/30/01
Galium spp. (bedstraw) 7/09/95
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 6/26/93
Geum aleppicum (yellow avens) 6/30/01
Geum laciniatum (rough avens) 7/09/95
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (pearly everlasting)
Helianthemum canadense (frostweed) 6/26/93
Helianthus divaricatus (woodland sunflower)
Hemerocallis fulva (orange dayflower) 6/30/01
Hepatica americana (round-lobed hepatica)
Heuchera americana (alumroot)
Hieracium caespitosum (yellow king devil)
Hieracium floribundum (pale hawkweed 7/8/95
Hieracium venosum (rattlesnake hawkweed) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Hydrocotyle americana (water pennywort) 7/09/95
Hypericum mutilum (dwarf st. johnswort)
Hypericum perforatum (common st. johnswort) 6/26/94 7/09/95
Hypericum punctatum (spotted st. johnswort) 7/09/95
Hypoxis hirsuta (yellow star) 6/26/94
Impatiens capensis (jewelweed) 7/09/95
Iris versicolor (blue flag fruits)
Lactuca canadensis (wild lettuce) 6/30/01
Laportea canadensis (wood nettle) 6/30/01
Lapsana communis (nipplewort) 6/26/93 6/30/01 7/08/95
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort) 6/30/01
Lepidium virginicum (wild peppergrass) 7/09/95
Lespedeza sp. (bush clover)
Lilium philadelphicum (wood lily) 7/09/95
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) 6/30/01
Ludwigia palustris (common water purslane)
Lycopus americanus (water horehound)
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia bugleweed)
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife) 6/26/94 6/30/01
Lysimachia terrestris (swamp candles) 7/09/95
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 6/26/94 6/30/01 7/09/95
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 6/30/01
Melampyrum lineare (cowwheat) 6/26/94 6/30/01 7/8/95
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover) 6/26/93 6/30/01 7/09/95
Mentha arvensis (field mint)
Mitella diphylla (miterwort)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe) 7/08/95
Myosotis laxa (smaller forget-me-not) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Nepeta cataria (catnip)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) 7/09/95
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 6/30/01 7/08/95
Paronychia canadensis (forked chickweed)
Pedicularis canadensis (wood betony)
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) 7/09/95
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 6/26/94 7/09/95
Plantago major (common plantain) 7/08/95
Polygonatum biflorum (true Solomon's seal)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum cespitosum (knotweed) 6/30/01
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum persicaria (lady's thumb) 6/26/94)
Polygonum sagittatum (arrowhead tearthumb) 6/30/01
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)
Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil) 6/30/01
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil) 6/26/93 6/26/94 6/30/01 7/09/95
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prenanthes altissima (tall lettuce)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 7/09/95
Pycnanthemum sp. (mountain mint) 7/09/95
Pyrola rotundifolia (round leaf pyrola) 7/09/95 waning
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup)
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) 6/26/94 6/30/01 7/09/95
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked crowfoot)
Rudbeckia hirta v. pulcherrima (black-eyed susan) 7/09/95
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Sanicula canadensis (Canadian snakeroot) 6/30/01
Sedum purpureum (live forever)
Silene latifolia (white campion) 6/26/94 6/30/01
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) 6/30/01
Sisyrinchium angustifolium (stout blue-eyed grass) 6/26/93 6/30/01
Smilacina racemosa (Solomon's plume)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) 7/09/95
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod)
Solidago gigantea (giant goldenrod)
Solidago juncea (early goldenrod) 6/26/94 6/30/01 7/09/95
Solidago spp. (goldenrods)
Sparganium androcladum (burreed) 7/08/95
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 7/09/95
Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow rue)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadow rue) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress)
Triadenum virginicum (marsh St. Johnswort)
Trifolium aureum (yellow clover) 6/26/94 6/30/01 7/8/95
Trifolium campestre (small hop clover)
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 6/26/93 6/30/01 7/09/95
Trifolium repens (white clover) 6/26/94 6/30/01 7/8/95
Triodanis perfoliata (Venus's looking glass)
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)
Typha latifolia (cattails)
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaved bellwort)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 6/30/01 7/09/95
Verbena hastata (blue vervain) 6/30/01 7/09/95 soon
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell) 6/30/01
Veronica scutellata (marsh speedwell) 6/30/01
Viola cucullata (marsh violet)
Viola sororia (common violet)
Viola sp. (violet)
chickweed sp. 7/08/95

Rushes:
Juncus acuminatus (sharp fruited rush)
Juncus effusus or pylaei (soft rush or common rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush )
Luzula multiflora (wood rush)

Sedges:
Carex appalachica (Appalachian star sedge)
Carex argyrantha (hay sedge)
Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)
Carex crinita (sedge)
Carex digitalis (slender woodland sedge)
Carex intumescens (greater bladder sedge)
Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Carex lurida (sedge)
Carex scoparia (sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (sedge)
Dulichium arundinaceum (three-way sedge)
Eleocharis ovata (blunt spikerush)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush) 7/8/95

Grasses:
Arrhenatherum elatius (tall oatgrass)
Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Dactylis glomeratus (orchard grass)
Danthonia compressa (flattened oatgrass)
Deschampsia flexuosa (wavy hairgrass)
Festuca pratensis (tall fescue grass) 7/08/95
Glyceria canadensis (rattlesnake mannagrass)
Glyceria striata (fowl mannagrass)
Leersia virginica (white grass)
Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum lanuginosum (woolly panic grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (canary reed grass)
Phleum pratense (timothy grass) 7/09/95
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass)
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)
Poa trivialis (rough bluegrass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Lycopodium lucidulum (shining clubmoss)
Lycopodium (tree clubmoss)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady's fern)
Athyrium filix-femina f. rubella (red-stiped northern lady's fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana (spinulose woodfern)
Dryopteris intermedia (intermediate woodfern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Polypodium virginianum (rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)

Others:
Leucobryum albidum (moss)
liverwort
Ploytrichum sp. (haircap moss)
rock tripe lichen
Sphagnum spp. (sphagnum moss)
varnish fungus


Black Rock Forest, Cornwall Township, Orange Co., N.Y. June 30, 2001.

On a warm sunny day a group of field botanists gathered to walk to the reservoir area of Black Rock Forest. Some of the trees along the forest road were Acer pensylvanicum, Amelanchier arborea, Castanea dentata and Quercus ilicifolia.

Herbs in bloom along the roadsides and parking area were: Achillea millefolium, Aethusa cynapium, Agrimonia gryposepala, Cirsium arvense Cryptotaenia canadensis Dianthus armeria, Erigeron annuus, Galium mollugo and G. triflorum, Geum aleppicum, Lactuca canadensis, Laportea canadensis, Lapsana communis, Leonurus cardiaca, Linaria vulgaris, Lysimachia quadrifolia, Melampyrum lineare, Melilotus alba and M. officinalis, Oxalis stricta, Polygonum cespitosum, Ranunculus acris, Silene latifolia and S. vulgaris, Sisyrinchium angustifolium, Thalictrum pubescens, Trifolium pratense and T. repens, Verbascum thapsus, and Veronica officinalis. Herbs not in bloom included Epipactis helleborine, Euphorbia esula, Helianthus divaricatus, Nepeta cataria, Ranunculus recurvatus, Sanicula canadensis, Thalictrum dioicum, and Tussilago farfara.

In and around an isolate rock were Actaea alba, Arabis lyrata (in bloom), Asarum canadense, Hepatica americana, and Heuchera americana, and Mitella diphylla.

Herbs in bloom along the sides of the hills included Hemerocallis fulva and Hieracium venosum. Herbs not in bloom included Aster linariifolius (the find of the day) and A. cordifolius, Cardamine impatiens (narrow-leaved bittercress), and Cunila origanoides.

The area opened up as we approached the reservoir. In bloom in the field areas were Asclepias syriaca, Apocynum cannabinum, Centaurea x pratensis [nigra x jacea] (meadow knapweed), Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, Coronilla varia, Echium vulgare, Lotus corniculatus, Medicago lupulina, Mentha arvensis, Potentilla norvegica and P. recta, and Trifolium aureum.

In the water of the reservoir were Callitriche palustris and Elodea canadensis. In bloom along the water’s edge were Ilex verticillata, Lyonia ligustrina, Sambucus canadensis. Not in bloom were Cephalanthus occidentalis and Diervilla lonicera. Herbs in bloom on the edges were Lythrum salicaria. Set back on the dam in bloom were the shrubs Spiraea tomentosa and Rosa carolina. An herb not in bloom was Verbena urticifolia (white vervain).

In bloom in the marshy areas were Myosotis laxa, Polygonum sagittatum, Verbena hastata, and Veronica scutellata. Not in bloom were Alisma sp. (subcordatum?) and Asclepias incarnata.

Rushes found included Juncus acuminatus and J. pylaei, while sedges included Carex appalachica, C. argyrantha, C. blanda, C. crinita var. crinita, C. digitalis, C. intumescens, C. lurida, and C. vulpinoidea var. vulpinoidea.

Some of the grasses noted were Arrhenatherum elatius, Bromus inermis, Danthonia compressa, Deschampsia flexuosa, Festuca pratensis, Glyceria canadensis and G. striata, Leersia virginica, Lolium perenne var. perenne, Panicum lanuginosum var. fasciculatum.

Some of the ferns found were Dryopteris carthusiana, D. intermedia, Polypodium virginianum, and Thelypteris palustris.

Total attendance was 11. The trip leader was Steve Glenn substituting for Wayne Morris. Thanks to Dr. William F. Standaert for his help with plant identification and compiling the trip plant list.