STERLING FOREST (APPALACHIAN TRAIL)
Sterling Forest State Park, Orange County, NY


Directions:

You can park one car at the western parking area on the eastern side of Route 5 north (north of Dutch Hollow and south of Lily Pond) and another car at the eastern parking area on East Mombasha Road off of Route 19 (which is off of Route 17 north).

For the eastern parking area: US 87 west over Tappan Zee Bridge; get off at exit 15A and at light take the left turn onto Route 17 north; go about 8.5 miles or so, passing the intersection with Route 17A and turn left onto Route 19 (Orange Turnpike) at green road mileage marker 13:16; turn left onto Brammertown Road and drive 0.7 of a mile to a right turn onto East Mombasha Road. Drive one half a mile to a parking area on the right.


Description:

A lovely lake along the Appalachian Trail makes a fine destination for a short hike of about one mile round trip, with entrance and return along the same route. The lake supports the largest cricket frog population in Orange County. You can hear choruses of these tiny frogs in June. Access is from Orange County 19 just north of Tuxedo.


Trail:

4/30/01. Took a short walk along the AT at Little Dam Lake. You start in a hemlock grove. You go over a fancy wooden bridge over a stream that flows into Little Dam Lake. The trail hugs along the side of Little Dam Lake. The hiker will pass through a very dry oak area and then back into another hemlock grove. That is as far as I went. There is a lot of hemlocks and they look in pretty good shape.

There are very few invasives along the walk, which is a real break. What a contrast between Indian Hill with all its Japanese barberry and winged euonymus compared to this walk.


PLANT LIST for Little Dam Lake on the AT:

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush) 4/30/01
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush) 7/22/02
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepper bush)
Comptonia peregrina (sweetfern)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus racemosa (gray-stemmed dogwood)
Epigaea arbutus (trailing arbutus)
Gaultheria procumbens (checkerberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 4/30/01
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxster flower)
Rosa palustris (swamp rose) 7/22/02
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Salix sp. (willow)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet) 7/22/02
Vaccinium corymbosum (high bush blueberry)
Vaccinium sp. (a low bush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Vines:
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Rubus flagellaris (common dewberry)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 7/22/02
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Anemone virginiana (thimbleweed)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp) 7/22/02
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium minus (lesser burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) 7/22/02
Aureolaria flava (smooth false foxglove) 7/22/02
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 7/22/02
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 7/22/02
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) 7/22/02
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 7/22/02
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 7/22/02
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 7/22/02
Eupatorium maculatum (spotted Joe-Pye-weed) 7/22/02 soon
Euphorbia nutans (upright spurge) 7/22/02
Galium asprellum (rough bedstraw) 7/22/02
Galium palustre (marsh bedstraw) 7/22/02
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Impatiens capensis (jewelweed)
Lactuca canadensis (wild lettuce) 7/22/02
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Lespedeza sp. (bush clover)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) 7/22/02
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) 7/22/02
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife) 7/22/02
Lysimachia terrestris (swamp candles) 7/22/02
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 7/22/02
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 7/22/02
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 7/22/02
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Myosotis scirpoides (forget-me-not) 7/22/02
Nuphar advena (southern pond lily) 7/22/02
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 7/22/02
Panax trifolius (dwarf ginseng) 4/30/01
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 7/22/02
Polygonatum sp. (true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 7/22/02
Polygonum hydropiperoides (mild water pepper)
Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed) 7/22/02
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 7/22/02
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil) 7/22/02
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) 7/22/02
Sium suave (water parsnip)
Sparganium sp. (burreed)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) 4/30/01
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue) 7/22/02
Triadenum virginicum (marsh St. Johnswort) 7/22/02 soon
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 7/22/02
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 7/22/02
Veronica anagallis-aquatica (water speedwell) 7/22/02
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)

Rushes:
Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus validus (soft-stem bulrush)
Luzula multiflora (wood rush) 4/30/01

Sedges:
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) 4/30/01

Grasses:
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polypodium sp. (rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)

Other:
Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)