Washington Valley Park
Martinsville, Bridgewater Township, Somerset County, NJ


New Jersey Turnpike south to Exit 14 for US 78 heading west;  get off at Exit 33 for Route 525 south;  drive 3.1 miles and turn left onto Washington Valley Road (still Route 525).  Turn right onto Vosseler Avenue.  Drive 1.1 miles and turn right onto Millers Lane; drive 0.5 down the lane to its end where there is a parking lot. 

New Jersey Turnpike south to Exit 14 for US 78 heading west;  get off at Exit 33 for Route 525 south;  drive 3.1 miles and turn right onto Washington Valley Road. Drive 0.1 of a mile and turn left onto Newman's Lane.  Drive 0.6 of a mile and turn left into the parking area.


The park is located between the first and second Watchung Mountains and along the First Watchung Ridge. It contains the former Bound Brook Elizabethtown Reservoir.


Raider John Simcoe considered burning Washington's abandoned army huts at Chimney Rock but when they learned they had been sold as home, they went to the Van Horne mansion near Bound Brook, seeking to capture Governor Livingston. p. 271

Beck, Henry Charlton. 1984 from 1934 original. The Jersey Midlands. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.


pine and hemlock forests, marsh, rock outcrops, 21 acre reservoir.


04/07/2005.  On my birthday, dog Sonar and I parked at the parking lot off Newman's Lane.  I saw two blue birds nearby.  That's always a treat.  I took out one of the park maps from the little box holder to see which trail I wanted to walk.  I figured I would walk along the reservoir and then make it a loop trail by circling back to the parking lot.  Walked over a small stream.  There is a path on the right.  This is the path I returned on.  Cross another stream.  The trail heads downhill to the reservoir.  Turn right away from the reservoir to go around a small gorge. Come up to a white pine grove.  Descend to near the dam.  Turn around and walk back a short ways to turn left to head south.  I soon come to an absolutely monstrous quarry pit.  It is quite impressive, even if a little sad.  A fence and No Trespassing signs keep out any who do not belong.  I walk parallel to the fence for awhile.  Come to a closed gate in the fence.  Turn around and walk back a little to pick up a trail going north back to the parking lot.  As I descend I notice that quite a few areas of the path are wet/muddy because of the action of the mountain bikes digging paths in the path.  So I had to do a lot of walking along the side of the path.  I hear spring peepers for the first time this year.  Things are looking up!  I return to the parking lot walking parallel to that first little stream on the original outward-bound path.

There are lots of paths in the park and one could walk for hours to try to cover them all.  See the trail map near the kiosk.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. 

The Middle Brook Trail has been extended into Washington Valley Park, going along the northern side of the reservoir. 

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, date = plants found in bloom on date of field trip, 5/14/1997 and 04/07/2005

Acer negundo (box elder)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/07/2005
Aralia spinosa (Hercules' club)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 5/14/97
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Ostrya virginiana (hop hornbeam)
Pinus sp. resinosa? (red pine) ?
Pinus strobus (white pine) grove
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus avium (sweet cherry)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus malus (apple tree)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus) 5/14/97
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle) 5/14/97
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Salix sp. (willow)
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut) 5/14/97
Vaccinium sp. (a low bush blueberry)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum) 5/14/97

Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax sp. (greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Ajuga reptans (bugleweed) 5/14/97
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 5/14/97
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone) 5/14/97
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Arabis laevigata (smooth rockcress)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 5/14/97
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty) 5/14/97
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry) 5/14/97
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 5/14/97
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground) 5/14/97
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket) 5/14/97
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Iris sp. (iris)
Narcissus sp. (daffodil) 4/07/2005
Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum virginiana (jumpseed)
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup) 5/14/97
Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine) 5/14/97
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked crowfoot) 5/14/97
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved crowfoot) 5/14/97
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 5/14/97
Thalictrum dioicum (early meadowrue)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 5/14/97
Zizia aurea (golden alexanders) 5/14/97

Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Luzula multiflora (wood rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Alopecurus sp. (bristletail grass) 5/14/97
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 5/14/97
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polypodium sp. (rockcap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)