San Cap County Park
West Milford, Passaic County, NJ
 218.50 acres


Skyline Drive north to a left turn onto Greenwood Lake Turnpike (Route 511). At the shopping center with A&P and Sears on the left, turn right onto Elm Street. In about 0.3 of a mile turn left to head to the ballfield at Ernie Oakes Park. At the fork in the short road bear right. Park.


The leased part of the park has athletic fields under the control of West Milford.


The park adjoins the Abram S. Hewitt State Forest and contains hiking trails.

5/27/2005. On a warm day, Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I toured a part of San Cap. We were going to approach San Cap from the end of Elm Street. But the Mosquito Control fellow told us that this could not be done. He told us to travel over to the ballfield and then head into the woods by an opening in the woods edge. So we got back in our car and followed the Mosquito Control fellow over to the fields at Ernie Oakes Park. He showed us the opening (just before reaching the infield area). We crossed over Cooley Brook and picked up the trail. There are a lot of trails here because of the activity of all the ATVs.

We were concerned that with all the paths coming and going we might get lost, so we decided to turn right and then keep going straight parallel to the brook on our right. Fortunately, the number of paths quickly decreased because the gap between the mountain on our left and the stream on our right got smaller and smaller.

We found a dried-up shrub swamp on the left and went in to explore it. While looking around, we found a snapping turtle. He was buried up to his neck in the mud. He retreated back into the mud as we stood and watched him. I told Cefe to keep the dog away from the snapping turtle as it could be dangerous for the dog.

There was a path off to the right that we took. We worked our way over to the brook and then just stopped. Returned to the main path.

We reached a small pond right in the middle of the path. We were going to figure out a way around it, but I decided to turn back instead.

Nearing the start of our journey, I decided to take a side path off to our right. I figured it would just lead back to the main path. But as we were walking this semi-circular path, we came upon a large area where the ATVs go crazy doing their thing. It is mostly dirt with just a little vegetation and the edges of the circle are raised where the ATVs make their turns. Picked up the path on the other side of the earthen area and got back on the main trail From there it was a very short walk back to the creek. We recrossed the stream and returned to our car. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Patrick L. Cooney

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Pinus sp. (pine)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry) *
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrows honeysuckle) *waning
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry) *
Salix sp. (willow)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Dioscorea villosa (Indian yam root)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Arabis laevigata (smooth rockcress)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) *
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry) *
Galium aparine (cleavers) *
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) *
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia bugleweed)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower) *
Panax trifolius (dwarf ginseng) *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygala paucifolia (fringed polygala) *
Polygonatum biflorum (smooth true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese smartweed)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) *
Prenanthes altissima (tall white lettuce)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved crowfoot)
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) *
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup) *
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked crowfoot) *
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Thalictrum dioicum (early meadowrue)
Veratrum viride (false hellebore)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Viola blanda (sweet white violet) *
Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet) *
Viola sororia (common blue violet) *

Luzula multiflora (wood rush)

Carex crinita (fringed sedge)
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex spp. (sedge)
Dulichium arundinaceum (three-way sedge)

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium digitatum (southern ground cedar)
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris intermedia (fancy woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

Sphagnum spp. (sphagnum moss)