Clinton, Hunterdon County
1,961 acres.

About a mile to the south of Voorhees State Park is Spruce Run, a recreation area.


US 80 west to US 287 south to US 78 west; get off at exit 17; follow Route 31 north about 3.5 miles north of I-78 and turn left onto Van Syckel's Corner Road.  Drive about 1.7 miles down the road and turn left into the main entrance for the Spruce Run Recreation Area.  The area is one of the best known and most heavily used of all wildlife management areas. There is a fee from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.


To meet the increasing demand for water and recreational facilities, the New Jersey legislature enacted the 1958 Water Supply Law and its companion Water Bond Act. Through this legislation, water was to be conserved and effectively managed as a natural resource. This resulted in the construction of the Spruce Run Reservoir and the following development and dedication of Spruce Run Recreation Area in 1973.

The Spruce Run Reservoir was one of the first water supply facilities to be constructed and operated by the State of New Jersey. The reservoir encompasses 1,290 acres of water surface and 15 miles of shoreline. The 600-acre recreation area includes a bathing beach, boat rentals, family campsites and seasonal boat storage. Picnic facilities and a public boat launch are maintained year round. In addition, the recreation area offers areas for visitors to windboard, rollerblade, jog and bike.

A $2 million letter of intent from NJDEP Green Acres to begin preserving 6700 acres around Spruce Run Reservoir, NJ’s third largest reservoir, under severe development pressure; other funding available from the County and Initiative partners, including NJ Water Supply Authority (NJWSA), Bethlehem, Lebanon, and Union Twps., and Glen Gardner and High Bridge Boroughs; MLC is working on the project; US Forest Service and NJSWA helped fund the Preservation Plan (finalized in September), calling for preservation and also better development layout in watershed municipalities. (Source: The Highlands Coalition’s quarterly newsletter "High Grounds" Winter 2002 published by the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC); http://www.highlandscoalition.org/highground.htm)


fields, woodland, and the large Spruce Run Reservoir.


2003 (March) --  the Musconetcong Mountain Conservancy completed that section of the Highlands Trail that goes from where the trail leaves Spruce Run State Recreation Area and continues through the Clinton Wildlife Management area.

6/19/04.  We did not go to the main entrance.  We turned left onto Van Syckel's Corner Road but only traveled about 175 yards and turned left into a parking area for Spruce Run Reservoir.  There were a great many people fishing .  We parked the car and crossed the road to walk into the Union Forge Nature Preserve.  When we finished the Union Forge walk, we recrossed the street  to the Spruce Run Reservoir parking lot and walked passed the short fence and turned right to walk through the somewhat wet meadow.   We went out and then came back the same way.  The informal path is quite a bit overgrown so I had to trample down some of the vegetation to pass through.  It is a good wet meadow to visit. 

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = blooming on 6/19/04

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Salix sp. (willow)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood) *
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus sp. (black berry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry) *

Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed) *
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow) *
Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp) *
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Cardamine impatiens (narrow-leaved bittercress)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) *
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) *
Fragaria virginiana (strawberry)
Hibiscus moscheutos (swamp rose mallow)
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) *I
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort) *
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) *
Matricaria matricarioides (pineapple weed) *
Medicago lupulina (black medick) *
Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover) *
Mentha spicata (spearmint)
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower) *
Myosotis laxa (lesser forget-me-not) *
Oenothera fruticosa (sun drops) *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Penstemmon digitalis (foxglove beardtongue) *
Penstemmon hirsutus (hairy beardtongue) *
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum sp. (knotweed)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) *
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (mountain mint) *
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle) *
Stellaria sp. (stitchwort) *
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) *
Trifolium aureum (yellow clover) *
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein) *
Verbena hastata (blue vervain) *
Vernonia  noveboracensis (New York ironweed)
Viola sp. (violet)

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

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex ovales type (ovales type sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)
Eleocharis sp. (spikerush)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum sp. (love grass type inflorescence)

Ferns and Fern Allies: