Colliers Mills W.M.A.
Colliers Mills, Ocean County
2,519 acres


From the NJ Turnpike south take Exit 7A to US 195; take US 195 east to exit 8; at the end of the ramp, go right onto Rt. 539 south; follow Rt. 539 for 11.6 miles to Colliers Mills Road and go left (this will be the first left after New Egypt Speedway); follow Colliers Mills Rd. for .8 miles to the intersection of Hawkin Road; the entrance will be immediately ahead.


Edmund Beaks built a saw mill at the eastern edge of Success Lake. (Miller, 2000:22-23)

Collier's Mills was once a bustling place when the sawmills and the smelters' furnaces employed hundreds of workers in the pinelands. The name of the place came from the prosperous charcoal burners, known as colliers, here at one time.

Borden's Mill Branch was dammed for power. Built a sawmill here. The body of water created was known as Collier's Mills Pond. The waters eventually make their way to Toms River.

"Eph" Empson was a prominent citizen of the town. Ephraim P. Emson (spelling by Miller 2000:535) owned over 15,000 acres of land in Jackson Township, ran cranberry bogs, and operated two grist mills and three saw mills.  The Governor appointed him a judge at Toms River during his middle years. Empson loved horses and built two race tracks with stables for his famous horses (of which he had 40). But a horse proved the death of him. He was thrown to his death when a spirited horse hauled his carryall vehicle off the road. Then the village started to decline.

The village once was reported as the headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan.

Beck, Henry Charlton. 1983. Forgotten Towns of Southern New Jersey. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Stanley Switlik, a Russian immigrant of Polish-Ukranian stock, acquired a vast land holding near the ROVA Farms.  When his lands were broken up, one part became Colliers Mills WMA (the other part becoming Six Flags Great Adventure).  (Miller 2000:685)


Lakes, fields, pine barrens vegetation.


Start at the entrance as stated in the introduction. There is a bridge over a creek here that has some very nice plants. Colliers Mill Lake is here also with some interesting aquatic plants. You can take roads up to the northern part of the lake to study the lake further.

Drive to the open field areas. Here there are different, but interesting, plants, including Senna. Also here is a lot of that escaped South African grass, the African love grass. Drive farther and pass over a bridge and then take a right turn. Here is another field but this one is by Lake Success with many small ericaceous plants. This area is where they have been training dogs for hunting.

Get back on the main road and drive to other interesting spots.


Linda Kelly (list compiled by Dr. William F. Standaert)

July 28, 2001 Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, Jackson Township, Ocean Co., N.J.
Torrey Botanical Society trip. With Linda Kelly (leader).
(Entrance and maintenance area, south end of Colliers Mills Lake, Success Lake area, and meadow along Success Road)
Nomenclature follows Gleason & Cronquist (1991). Common names from various sources.
Some Kartesz equivalents given for clarification. Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database.
var. ... = unspecified variety. (Vars. listed in Gleason & Cronquist do not match Kartesz's interpretation.)
F Flowering specimen(s) found. [C.] Cultivated.
Fr Fruiting specimen(s) found. [E.] Escaped from cultivation.

Acer rubrum Red Maple common
Acer saccharinum Silver Maple 1, entrance area
Amelanchier canadensis Eastern Serviceberry 1
Betula populifolia Gray Birch few
Castanea mollissima [C.] Chinese Chestnut 1, entrance area; im FR
Celtis occidentalis Hackberry (Seen by Patrick Cooney) 1, entrance area
Chamaecyparis thyoides Atlantic White Cedar few
Juglans nigra [C./E.] Black Walnut 1, entrance area
Juniperus virginiana var. ... Eastern Red-cedar few
Morus alba [C./E.] White Mulberry 1, entrance area
Nyssa sylvatica var. sylvatica Sour Gum some; im FR
Pinus rigida Pitch Pine common
Prunus serotina Black Cherry 1, entrance area; FR
Quercus alba White Oak 1
Quercus marilandica Blackjack Oak few
Quercus prinus Chestnut Oak few
Quercus velutina Black Oak some
Robinia pseudoacacia Black Locust some + many seedlings, near maintenance area
Salix sp. Black Willow few
Sassafras albidum Sassafras few

Cephalanthus occidentalis var. ... Buttonbush common  F
Chamaedaphne calyculata Leatherleaf common
Clethra alnifolia Sweet Pepperbush common  F
Decodon verticillatus Swamp Loosestrife some  F
Eubotrys racemosa Fetterbush some
Gaultheria procumbens Eastern Teaberry some
Gaylussacia baccata Black Huckleberry few patches
Gaylussacia dumosa var. ... Dwarf Huckleberry few
Gaylussacia frondosa Dangleberry common; FR
Hudsonia ericoides Golden Heather common
Hypericum stragulum St. Andrew's Cross some;  F
Ilex glabra Inkberry some; im FR
Kalmia angustifolia var. angustifolia Sheep Laurel common; FR
Kalmia latifolia Mountain Laurel few
Leiophyllum buxifolium Sand-myrtle (Seen by Lois Morris& others)
Lyonia ligustrina Maleberry few, several sites; FR
Lyonia mariana Staggerbush common; FR
Myrica pensylvanica Bayberry some
Quercus ilicifolia Scrub Oak some
Rhododendron viscosum Swamp Azalea few; F(2)
Rosa multiflora Multiflora Rose few, entrance area
Rubus cuneifolius Sand Blackberry some, 1 site
Rubus hispidus Swamp Dewberry few
Rubus occidentalis Black Raspberry few, entrance area
Rubus sp. Blackberry few; FR
Sambucus canadensis var. ... Common Elderberry 1
Spiraea tomentosa var. tomentosa Steeplebush some; F
Syringa vulgaris [C./E.] Lilac (Seen by Linda Kelly & others) 1, entrance area
Vaccinium angustifolium Late Lowbush Blueberry some patches
Vaccinium corymbosum Highbush Blueberry common; FR
[Including a few fruiting V. fuscatum--Kartesz]
Vaccinium macrocarpon Cranberry common; F, im FR

Apios americana Groundnut 1; F
Cuscuta gronovii Common Dodder 1 patch; old Fr
Cuscuta sp. Dodder some near F
Humulus japonicus Japanese Hop (Seen by Linda Kelly & others) entrance area
Lonicera japonica Japanese Honeysuckle few, entrance area; F
Mikania scandens Climbing Hempvine 1 patch, entrance area
Parthenocissus quinquefolia Virginia Creeper few, entrance area
Smilax glauca Glaucous Greenbrier few
Smilax rotundifolia Common Greenbrier few
Toxicodendron radicans var. radicans Poison Ivy (Seen by Patrick Cooney) entrance area
Vitis aestivalis var. aestivalis Summer Grape few

Acalypha rhomboidea Three-seeded Mercury few, roadside; near F?
Achillea millefolium ssp. lanulosa Yarrow few; F
Allium vineale Wild Garlic (Seen by Patrick Cooney) entrance area; F
Ambrosia artemisiifolia Common Ragweed few
Apocynum cannabinum Indian Hemp few; F
Arenaria caroliniana Pine Barren Sandwort some; F, FR
Artemisia vulgaris Mugwort few, entrance area
Asclepias incarnata var. pulchra Swamp Milkweed few; F
Asclepias syriaca Common Milkweed some; F, im FR
Asclepias tuberosa var. tuberosa Butterfly Milkweed 1; F
Bartonia paniculata var. paniculata Twining Screwstem (Seen by Linda Kelly & others)
Bartonia virginica Yellow Screwstem locally common; near F
Berteroa incana Hoary Alyssum 1, entrance area; F
Boehmeria cylindrica False Nettle (Seen by Patrick Cooney) entrance area
Brasenia schreberi Watershield some; F
Centaurea maculosa Spotted Knapweed few; F
Chenopodium album Lamb's-quarters (Seen by Patrick Cooney) roadside
Chimaphila maculata Spotted Wintergreen few
Chrysopsis mariana Maryland Goldenaster (Seen by Linda Kelly & others)
Cirsium discolor Field Thistle 1, meadow
Commelina communis Asiatic Dayflower (Seen by Linda Kelly) entrance area
Convallaria majalis [E.] Lily of the Valley (Seen by Linda Kelly) entrance area
Coronilla varia Crown Vetch (Seen by Patrick Cooney) entrance area; F
Croton glandulosus var. septentrionalis Glandular Croton few, entrance area; F
Daucus carota Wild Carrot some; F
Diodia teres Buttonweed some; F
Drosera filiformis Thread-leaved Sundew few
Drosera intermedia Spatulate-leaved Sundew common; near F
Drosera rotundifolia Round-leaved Sundew (Seen by Linda Kelly & others)
Erigeron strigosus var. strigosus Lesser Daisy Fleabane some; F
Eupatorium hyssopifolium var. hyssopifolium Hyssop-leaved Thoroughwort common; near F
Eupatorium purpureum var. purpureum Sweetscented Joe-Pye Weed 1; near F
Eupatorium rugosum var. rugosum White Snakeroot few
Euphorbia nutans Eyebane 1 patch, roadside; F?
Euthamia graminifolia var. nuttallii Grass-leaved Goldenrod few
Euthamia tenuifolia var. ... Slender-leaved Goldenrod some
Fragaria virginiana Virginia Strawberry (Seen by Patrick Cooney & others)
Froelichia gracilis Slender Cottonweed some, roadside; F?
Galium pilosum var. pilosum Hairy Bedstraw 2 patches; F, im Fr
Hackelia virginiana Virginia Stickseed (Seen by Linda Kelly) entrance area; F
Hieracium piloselloides Glaucous King-devil some; F
Hypericum canadense Canadian St. Johnswort 1; F
Hypericum gentianoides Orangegrass few; F
Hypericum perforatum Common St. Johnswort few; F
Hypochoeris radicata Cat's-ear few; F
Impatiens capensis Jewelweed few
Jasione montana Sheep's-bit some; F
Lachnanthes caroliniana Redroot 1; F
Lechea racemulosa Oblong-fruited Pinweed some; F
Leonurus marrubiastrum Lion's Tail (Seen by Linda Kelly & others) entrance area; F
Lepidium virginicum var. virginicum Peppergrass few; im FR
Lespedeza cuneata Silky Lespedeza common, roadsides
Linaria canadensis var. canadensis Blue Toadflax few; FR
Linum striatum Ridged Yellow Flax some; F, im Fr
Lobelia nuttallii Nuttall's Lobelia locally common; F
Lotus corniculatus Birdfoot Trefoil few; F
Lycopus sp. (virginicus?) Virginia Water Horehound? 1 patch, entrance area
Lythrum salicaria Purple Loosestrife few patches; F
Melampyrum lineare var. pectinatum Cow-wheat some; F
Monarda fistulosa var. fistulosa Wild Bergamot few, meadow; F
Nuphar variegata Bullhead Pond-lily some; F
Nymphaea odorata var. ... White Waterlily common; F
Oenothera biennis var. biennis Evening-primrose (Seen by Patrick Cooney); F
Oxalis stricta Common Yellow Wood-sorrel few; F, im Fr
Peltandra virginica Arrow Arum few
Phytolacca americana Pokeweed few; near F
Pilea pumila var. pumila Clearweed few
Plantago aristata Bracted Plantain some; F
Plantago lanceolata English Plantain some; F
Plantago major Common Plantain few; near F
Polygala nuttallii Nuttall's Milkwort (ID by Linda Kelly) 1; near F
Polygonum cespitosum var. longisetum Cespitose Smartweed few; F
Polygonum hydropiperoides var. hydropiperoides Mild Water-pepper few; F
Polygonum sagittatum Arrow-leaved Tearthumb 1; F
Prunella vulgaris var. lanceolata Selfheal 1; F
Rhexia virginica Virginia Meadowbeauty locally common; F
Rhexia virginica x mariana hybrid Meadowbeauty hybrid (ID by Linda Kelly) 1 large patch; F
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima Black-eyed Susan few; F
Rumex crispus Curly Dock 1; old FR
Sagittaria latifolia var. ... Broad-leaved Arrowhead few; F, im Fr
Saponaria officinalis Soapwort few, entrance area; F
Sarracenia purpurea var. venosa Pitcherplant few; past F
Scleranthus annuus Knawel 1 small patch, roadside
Senna hebecarpa [C./E.] American Senna 1 small patch, entrance area; F
Silene latifolia White Campion (Seen by Linda Kelly & others) entrance area
Solanum nigrum Black Nightshade few; F
Solidago odora var. odora Anisescented Goldenrod common; F
Solidago rugosa ssp. r. var. rugosa Rough Goldenrod few
Triadenum virginicum Marsh St. Johnswort some; F
Trifolium pratense Red Clover few; F
Typha latifolia Broad-leaved Cattail few; im Fr
Utricularia biflora Two-flowered Bladderwort few patches, local; F
Utricularia cornuta Horned Bladderwort some; F
Utricularia purpurea Purple Bladderwort some; F
Utricularia subulata Zigzag Bladderwort 1 + small patch with cleistogamous flowers; F
Verbascum thapsus Common Mullein (Seen by Linda Kelly & others) 1
Verbena hastata Blue Vervain few; F
Verbena urticifolia var. urticifolia White Vervain few; F
Viola lanceolata var. lanceolata Lance-leaved Violet few
Xyris difformis var. difformis Common Yelloweyed Grass some; F

Juncus canadensis Canadian Rush (ID by Linda Kelly) few; F?
Juncus pylaei Common Rush some; Fr
Juncus marginatus Grass-leaved Rush (ID by Linda Kelly?) some; im Fr?
Juncus pelocarpus var. ... Brown-fruited Rush few; near F
Juncus tenuis var. dichotomus Forked Rush common; im Fr
Juncus tenuis var. tenuis Path Rush few; Fr

Carex albolutescens Greenish-white Sedge (ID by Linda Kelly) few; Fr?
Carex bullata Button Sedge some; im Fr
Carex lurida Shallow Sedge few, entrance area; im Fr
Carex pensylvanica var. pensylvanica Pennsylvanian Sedge common
Cladium mariscoides Twig-rush few; near F?
Cyperus dentatus Toothed Flatsedge some; F
Cyperus lupulinus Slender Flatsedge few; Fr
Cyperus sp. (bipartitus or diandrus) Shining Flatsedge? Low F.? (Field ID by Linda Kelly)
Dulichium arundinaceum Threeway Sedge some; near F
Eriophorum virginicum Tawny Cottongrass some; im Fr?
Fimbristylis autumnalis Slender Fimbristylis (ID by Karl Anderson) 1; F, im Fr
Rhynchospora alba White Beaksedge common; F, im Fr
Rhynchospora capitellata Small-headed Beaksedge common; Fr
Scirpus cyperinus Woolgrass some; im Fr
Scirpus pungens var. pungens Common Threesquare some; im Fr
Scirpus subterminalis Water Bulrush (Seen by Linda Kelly & others)

Agrostis gigantea Redtop some, entrance area; Fr?
Agrostis hyemalis var. hyemalis Ticklegrass some; Fr
Andropogon gerardii (C./E.) Big Bluestem few small clumps, meadow; F
Andropogon virginicus var. abbreviatus Bushy Beard-grass some
Anthoxanthum odoratum Sweet Vernal Grass few; past Fr
Bromus inermis Smooth Brome few, meadow; Fr
Dactylis glomerata Orchard Grass some; Fr
Digitaria sanguinalis Hairy Crabgrass few, roadside
Elytrigia repens Quackgrass few; Fr
Eragrostis curvula [E.] Weeping Lovegrass few, roadside
Eragrostis spectabilis Purple Lovegrass few, roadside; near F
Glyceria obtusa Blunt Mannagrass few; near F
Leersia oryzoides Rice Cutgrass 1 patch
Panicum clandestinum Deertongue 1 clump, roadside
Panicum dichotomiflorum Spreading Panicgrass few, roadside; F
Panicum rigidulum Agrostis-like Panicgrass 1 small patch; F
Panicum scoparium Velvet Panicgrass few clumps
Panicum virgatum Switchgrass common; F
Paspalum setaceum var. muhlenbergii Slender Paspalum (by Linda Kelly) 1, roadside; near F?
Phragmites australis Common Reed few
Poa compressa Canada Bluegrass 1; past F
Schizachyrium scoparium var. scoparium Little Bluestem few clumps; old Fr
Setaria faberi Nodding Foxtail (Seen by Patrick Cooney) entrance area; F
Setaria glauca Yellow Foxtail (Seen by Patrick Cooney) entrance area; F
Tridens flavus var. flavus Purpletop few; near F

Ferns & fern allies:
Lycopodium alopecuroides Foxtail Clubmoss 3 patches; near F
Lycopodium appressum Southern Bog Clubmoss few large patches; near F?
-Not studied carefully. Two large patches seen, with L alopecuroides at edges. Possibly just young, densely crowded L. alopecuroides?
Onoclea sensibilis Sensitive Fern (Seen by Linda Kelly & others)
Osmunda cinnamomea Cinnamon Fern some
Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis Royal Fern few
Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum Bracken some
Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens Marsh Fern few patches
Woodwardia areolata Netted Chainfern (Seen by Linda Kelly & others)

COLLIER'S MILLS. April 29, 1950. At Collier's Mills the field pansy (Viola rafinesquii) was in full array. Sand myrtle was tightly budded and indicated that it would not be on display for another week or more. Leader David Fables.

August 12, 1989
During this trip to an area in the northern part of the pine Barrens, we visited hardwood and Pitch Pine forests, and investigated many lake edges. A few of the plant species that were seen included

Amphicarpum purshii (Pursh's millet-grass)
Brasenia schreberi (watershield)
Calamovilfa brevipilis (pine barrens reed grass)
Leiophyllum buxifolium (sand myrtle)
Monarda punctata (horse mint)
Pyxidanthera barbulata (pyxie moss)
Xerophyllum asphodeloides (turkeybeard)

The weather was cloudy and warm, with heavy rain during mid-day. Trip attendance was 7, including the leader, Bill Olson.