Browns Dock Road, Locust section of Middletown Township, Monmouth County, NJ
Drive east from Keyport on NJ-36. Exit at the sign for Navesink. Take Grand Avenue, which turn into Navesink Avenue. Pass the Navesink United Methodist Church. Make a right turn at the stop sign. Make the first left onto Browns Dock Road. Turn left at the sign. Follow Brown's Dock Road as it changes from pavement to dirt. Turn left at the sign for the activity center and park nearby.
The land before ownership by the Huber family was a farm owned by Andrew Brown and his family. Their farm stretched down to the Navesink River where there was a boat dock where eventually steamboats ran passengers from Red Bank to New York. The farm had peach orchards.
The Huber family was in the dry color business (i.e., manufacturing pigments used to produce inks). They would use the barn of the Brown farm to rest their cart horses, exhausted by their work in New York City.
1905 – the young Hubers spend summer vacations in the area, which they came to love.
1915 -- the Hubers buy the Brown farm. The Hubers had six children in all.
1927 – the Hubers built the house in the park. The house was done in the manner of a German-Swiss style manor house. It overlooks the Navesink River and is now used for environmental education for children.
1930s & 1950s – additions made to the house.
1974 - the initial 103 acres of land used to start the park was donated by the Hans Huber family.
1985 – additional land donated by the J. M. Huber Corporation.
Adjacent to the Environmental Center is the Reptile House and behind that house is a building for Park System programs. There is an equestrian use area.
This forested park is where the Park System and Special People United to Ride (SPUR) jointly sponsor horseback riding for mentally and physically disabled people. Check the Activity Center for nature programs, hiking, cross-country ski clinics and craft workshops.
6 miles of trails.
The trails start from the activity center. Bikers use these trails also so the hiker has to be on the lookout for them. On the Nature Trail, however, it is pedestrians only. It is a short circular walk. The trail goes uphill amid exposed reddish soils. There are good views from the Environmental Center of the Navesink River and the Equestrian Center in the park down the hill..
Discovery Path – easy path, walkers only.
Nature Loop – easy path, walkers only.
Farm Path – moderate 1.7 mile trail for equestrian and nature enjoyment, horses and walkers only.
Fox Hollow – an easy trail of 0.9 miles.
Valley View – a moderate 1.6 mile trail (circles the park’s eastern portion).
Clay Pit Run – a moderate trail extending out to Locust Point Road.
Meadow Ramble – 0.7 mile trail exploring the western side of the park.
Many Log Run – a challenging 1.2 mile trail with elevation changes for bicyclists and equestrians.
staff publications; Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, April 3, 2004
* = blooming on day of visit, April 3, 2004
Acer rubrum (red maple) *
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula nigra (river birch)
Carya spp. (hickory)
Cornus mas (cornelian cherry dogwood) planted
Cornus sp. (dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine)
Pinus sp. (pine)
Populus spp. (poplar)
Pyrus malus (apple tree)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Salix nigra (black willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Taxus sp. (yew)
Alnus sp. (Harry Lauder’s walking stick) planted
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush) planted
Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) lots of it
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) * soon
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra) * soon
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vinca minor (periwinkle) *
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet) real problem with it
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax sp. (greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Artemisia (dusty miller) planted
Claytonia caroliniana (spring beauty)
Cypripedium acaule (pink lady’s slipper)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Narcissus sp. (yellow daffodil) *
Scilla sp. (squill) *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Typha latifolia (cattail)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)