CHEESECOTE MOUNTAIN TOWN PARK
off Willow Grove Road, town of Haverstraw, Rockland County, New York


Directions:

US 87 north; get off at Exit 13 (mileage marker 20.5) for the Palisades Interstate Parkway; get off at Exit 14 (Willow Grove) (green mileage marker 11 64); turn left onto Willow Grove Road; go under the overpass for the Palisades Interstate Parkway; soon make the first left turn and go over the bridge and continue on up to the parking lot for the park.

You can also park on Calls Hollow Road (turn left from Willow Grove Road) at the power cut on the left; walk south a little ways to pick up the blue trail markers for the Long Path (by the signs saying No Parking; by Order of the Police.


Geology:

A broad view of the curving Palisades dike is obtained from Cheesecote Mountain. Beginning near the Ramapo Front, the dike runs east as far as Haverstraw, then turns south. (Wyckoff 1971:61)


Trails:

4/29/98.  Hiked south. The county really should put up some barriers to prevent cars from coming in to this park. There has been a great deal of dumping here. There is also a cemetery here. Crossed the power cut and then started to climb up the mountain. There was a white car parked here with a fellow sleeping in the car. I did not notice him on the way up. I thought it was weird for a car to be parked in here so far, and just how did he get in here? He must have packed that car up ferociously to get it up that hill overlooking the power cut.

From here I took a short-cut path cleared by the off-road vehicles. Up here I ran into the blue (tourgois) trail again. I turned right heading northeast. This takes you to the top where there is a small lake. I walk along the lake and then go along the blue trail northeast 60 degrees. Reaching what appears to be the summit I decide to turn around and go back to the lake. I hike around the lake to its northeast end. The waters go over a small dam here and then along a creek.
I follow the blue trail down the whole way back to the strange white car. This time as I pass I find the young fellow sleeping in the small white car. Strange. Approaching the cemetery again, there was a strange looking fellow who looked like he had not had a bath in several months. I said "hi" to him but he just stared at me. The guy gave me the creeps. Reminds me of my walks in some of the New York City parks with its assortment of very strange men hanging around the area.
I suggest Rockland County get its act together and get some barriers up here. Maybe some resident of Rockland County who reads this can make a suggestion to his/her representative.
Good news. Constantine (Dean) Gletso, Vice president of the Ramapo Chapter of ADK, help cleared up a long-standing illegal dumping area in Cheesecote Town Park. So thanks go to him. (Trail Walker, New York, New Jersey Trail Conference, May/June 2002, pp. 1 and 12.)

8/25/03. Got a few surprises this walk. Walked up the mountain to the pond. Unpleasantly, I heard and then saw the construction of a big housing development near the pond. I also learned that there is a road going up from Willow Grove Road to a parking lot by the pond. The construction of the houses so close to the pond certainly spoils the look of the area. Oh, well. I walked down the park road and then walked back along the streets to my car.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick Cooney
Dates = dates plants found in bloom.


Trees:
Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 4/29/98
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Picea sp. (spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus alba (white poplar)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak) ?
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs:
Alnus serrulata (alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepper bush)
Comptonia peregrina (sweetfern)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells) planted
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Lindera benzoin (spice bush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Ribes sp. (gooseberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix sp. (willow)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Smilax sp. (greenbrier)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum scandens (climbing false buckwheat)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Herbs:
Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 4/29/98
Allium vineale (field garlic) 4/29/98
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) 8/25/03
Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed) 8/25/03
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium minus (lesser burdock) 8/25/03
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 8/25/03
Bartonia sp. (bartonia) ?
Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea) 8/25/03
Chelidonium majus (celandine poppy) 4/29/98
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 8/25/03
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 8/25/03
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) 8/25/03
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle) 8/25/03
Conyza canadensis (horseweed) 8/25/03
Coronilla varia (crown vetch) 8/25/03
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 8/25/03
Desmodium sp. (tick trefoil) 8/25/03
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 8/25/03
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)
Erigeron annuus (common daisy fleabane) 8/25/03
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Eupatorium fistulosum (trumpetweed) 8/25/03
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset) 8/25/03
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod) 8/25/03
Gallium mollugo (wild madder) 8/25/03
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 4/29/98
Geranium sibiricum (Siberian geranium) 8/25/03
Helianthus strumosus (pale-leaved sunflower) 8/25/03
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) 8/25/03
Lactuca biennis (tall blue lettuce) 8/25/03
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco) 8/25/03
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) 8/25/03
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia bugleweed)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 8/25/03
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 8/25/03
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 8/25/03
Mentha arvensis (wild mint) 8/25/03
Myosotis scorpioides (forget-me-not) 8/25/03
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) 8/25/03
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 8/25/03
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) 8/25/03
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 8/25/03
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 8/25/03
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed) 8/25/03
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed) 8/25/03
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb) 8/25/03
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) 4/29/98
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 8/25/03
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup) 4/29/98
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan) 8/25/03
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet) 8/25/03
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil)
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) 8/25/03
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) 8/25/03
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (tall goldenrod) 8/25/03
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod) 8/25/03
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod) 8/25/03
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 4/29/98
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Trifolium repens (white clover) 8/25/03
Tussilago farfara (colts foot)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) 8/25/03
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 4/29/98

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

Sedges:
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)

Grasses:
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria ischaemum (smooth crabgrass)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Eleusine indica (goose or zipper grass)
Elytrigia repens (quack grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum dichotomiflorum (fall panic grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

Other:
Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)