Beech Ridge Preserve
Belcher Road, Blairstown, Warren County, NJ
63 acres


US 80 west to Exit 12 (Route 521 north --Hope-Blairstown Road); left turn onto Rt. 607 (Edgehill Road); turn left onto Route 616 (Cedar Lake Road); you will pass the gate for the Limestone Ridge and Marsh Preserve on the left; soon after passing Lambert Road on the right, turn left onto Belcher Road; look on the left for a small pull-off by an abandoned house; pull-off; the trails climbs up the hill in front of you. 


The wetlands that emerge on the ridge feed Belcher Creek, which flows through the Limestone Ridge and Marsh Preserve.


RVC (Ridge and Valley Conservation) has forged a partnership with the State of New Jersey’s Natural Lands Trust to preserve the area. The new preserve will be added to the larger Limestone Ridge and Marsh Preserve, owned and managed by the Natural Lands Trust. RVC will acquire the site using a $103,000 grant from the State Green Acres Program, a $82,000 grant from the Warren County Open Space Trust Fund, and a $5,000 grant from the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. The Conservancy will donate 50% interest in the property to the Natural Lands Trust at no cost.


Mature hardwood forest, wetlands and stream corridors.  The property hosts an extremely diverse forest highlighted by a trees. Because there has been no forestry practiced on the property for decades, the healthy assemblage of American Beech is approaching natural climax stage.


Eagle Scout Eric Kramer has constructed a hiking trail accessible to the public via Belcher Road on the property.

4/24/04.  While Rosemary and Sonar waited in the car, I hurriedly walked the main trail.  The trail goes uphill southeast along the edge of the hill.  Below I saw Belcher Creek running downhill.  The trail splits: the left fork going north and the right fork heading northeast.  I took the left fork.  The path goes in a big circle.  The trail can be made longer by taking a trail leading away from the circle (a path which I did not take since I was in a hurry).  The walk I took was fairly short.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = date plant found in bloom (4/24/04)

Acer rubrum (red maple) *
Betula lenta (black birch)
Fraxinus americana (American ash) *
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine) planted
Prunus serotina (black cherry)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) *
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) * lots of it
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)

Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Asarum canadense (wild ginger) *
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) *
Cardamine parviflora (dry land bittercress) *
Dipsacus sylvestris (teasel)
Fragaria virginiana (strawberry) *
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground) *
Lamium purpureum (purple dead nettle) *
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple)
Polygonatum biflorum (true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf crowfoot) *
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Stellaria media (common chickweed) *
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Viola pubescens (yellow forest violet) *
Viola sororia (common blue violet)  *

Lycopodium digitatum (southern ground cedar)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Poa annua (annual bluegrass)