South Branch Reservation: Landsdown Trail Section
Lower Landsdown Road, Franklin Township, Hunterdon County, NJ


from the Flemington Area:
Travel Route 31 north to the jug handle with Allerton Road. Cross over Route 31 to get onto Allerton Road.  Proceed for 1.6 miles (Allerton Road turns into Wellington Drive). Turn left onto Hamden Road. Drive 0.4 of a mile and turn right onto Lower Landsdown Road. Drive 0.4 of a mile to the start of the trail on the right at the railway tracks.  Only street side parking is available.

from the Clinton Area:
US 80 west to Exit 17 for Route 31 south.  Drive about 2.2 miles south (to near the green mileage marker 30) and turn right onto Route 623 south. Proceed as above.

Note: No official parking is available in Clinton Borough. Visitors must use public parking when accessing the trail for Clinton Borough. The trailhead is adjacent to the Cyrus Fox Lumber Company.

Across from the parking area on Lower Landsdown Road, there are signs indicating the area is a Wildlife Management Area. 


Revolutionary War period  -- not far from this section (at the end of  Hamden Road) is the House of Colonel Charles Steward who was George Washington's Commissary-General of Issues.  The house was built in 1763. 

1881  --  The Landsdown Trail was once a spur line for the Lehigh Valley Railroad built in this year. It connected the town of Clinton with Landsdown. While the line was mainly used for passenger service, freight was also moved on the line to and from Mulligan's Mill (what is today the Clinton Mill) which operated as a grist mill and also processed graphite.

1980s  -- operation on the line discontinued.  

1993  --  the old rail line was acquired by Hunterdon County.  The old train station survives and has been converted and used as a store for Cyrus Fox Lumber Company in Clinton.


open fields, forest, some wetland


hiking, biking,  fishing and cross country skiing. No restroom facilities.


The Landsdown Trail is 1.8 miles long and stretches from Lower Landsdown Road to the center of Clinton Borough.


7/17/04.  Rosemary, dog Sonar and I parked near the railroad tracks on the right hand side of the road.  The trail is very wide and well maintains with beautiful concrete bridges with wooden railings.  We walked from the start to just south of the mileage marker for 1 mile left to go to the center of Clinton Boro.

We found a lot of flowers in bloom because of the great deal of wetlands surrounding the raised causeway.  There were the river, creeks, marshes, a small pin oak swamp and open fields.  There were quite a few friendly walkers, many of whom asked my wife about our little Jack Russell Terrier. 

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant found in bloom on date of field trip, 7/17/04

Acer negundo (ash leaf maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Paulownia tomentosa (princess tree)
Picea pungens var. glauca (blue spruce)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus bicolor (swamp oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix sp. (willow)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush) *
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Physocarpus opulifolius (ninebark)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)  -- a problem here
Rosa palustris (swamp rose) *
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (black berry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower) *soon
Cuscuta gronovii (dodder)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yam root)
Humulus japonicus (Japanese hops)
Humulus lupulus (common hops)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) *
Menispermum canadense (moonseed)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaf greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis spp. (fox grape)

Alisma sp. (water plantain) *
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) *
Allium vineale (field garlic) *
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common  ragweed)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress)
Bidens frondosa (beggar ticks)
Callitriche sp. (water starwort)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) *
Chelidonium majus (celandine) *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) *
Cirsium altissimum (tall thistle)
Cirsium discolor (field thistle)
Cirsium vulgaris (bull thistle) *
Coronilla varia (crown vetch) *
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) *
Desmodium canadense (showy tick trefoil) *
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) *
Dipsacus sylvestris (teasel) *
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry) *
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane ) *
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) *
Euphorbia maculata (spotted spurge)
Galium mollugo (wild madder) *
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geum canadense (white avens) *
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground)
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed) *
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket) *
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) *
Lactuca sp. (a yellow lettuce) *
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) *
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) *
Medicago lupulina (black medick) *
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) *
Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover) *
Nepeta cataria (catnip) * waning
Nuphar advena (southern pond lily) ?
Osmorhiza claytonii (sweet cicely)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) *
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum sp. (true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed) *
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed knotweed) *
Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil) *
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Potentilla sp. (cinquefoil) *
Rumex obtusifolius (broad leaved dock)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet) *
Scrophularia lanceolata (hare figwort) *
Silene latifolia (white campion) *
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) *
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) *
Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod) *
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod)
Sonchus asper (spiny-leaved sow thistle) *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Teucrium canadense (American germander) *
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue) *
Thlaspi sp. (pennycress)
Trifolium arvense (rabbit foot clover) *
Trifolium aureum (yellow clover) *
Trifolium pratense (red clover) *
Trifolium repens (white clover) *
Triodanis perfoliata (Venus's looking glass)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Urtica dioica var. dioica (stinging nettle) *
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) *
Verbena hastata (blue vervain) *
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) *

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

Carex lurida (swallow sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Cyperus sp. (nut or umbrella sedge)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Bromus japonicus (Japanese brome grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria sanguinalis (dirty crab grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Elymus hystrix (bottle brush grass)
Elymus sp. (wild rye grass)
Eragrostis spectabilis (purple love grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)  -- lots
Panicum clandestinum (deer tongue grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)