Blair Creek Preserve

Old School House Road, Stillwater Township, Sussex County and Warren County, New Jersey

480 acres

The property borders Fairview Lake and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. 


US 80 to Exit 12; take Route 521 north; drive through Warren County to Sussex County, turn left onto Route 617; drive 2.4 miles and turn left onto Old School House Road. Drive 1.2 miles down the road to a gate on the right.  Park along the road. 

Also reachable from Sand Pond Road in Warren County. 


The property is within the Upper Delaware Watershed Area and the Paulinskill River drainage basin.  Blair Creek flows south from Fairview Lake.

The property has about three acres of lake frontage and surrounds Blair Creek, which flows from the lake.


Legend has it that the tract was once held by a Civil War deserter. There are remnants of an old sawmill and an old homestead on the property.

The property was owned by the Blair Academy.

The property was purchased for $1.5 million dollars with funds through the DEP Green Acres Program with additional funds from many other sources.

The New Jersey Natural Lands Trust, the Ridge and Valley Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy jointly manage the preserve.


bobcats, black bears, red fox, gray fox, coyote, neo-tropical birds, timber rattlesnake, the barred owl, the wood turtle and the red-shouldered hawk

(Source: Pat Camuso, "Green Acres Preserves 480-Acre Forest in Sussex and Warren Counties" June 28, 2004, Tri-State News: Local News;


Parked across from the gate by house #945.  There is a former road that heads a little northwest off of north.  We stopped at a small pond to see the vegetation.  Noticed that, as at so many places, the autumn olive, Japanese barberry, multiflora rose and Asiatic bittersweet ere doing their best to take over the open area around the pond. 

Got back on the road and noticed that there is a pine plantation on the left with nice rows of the species.  We could not get close to the needles as they were high up in the very tall trees.  We proceeded onward and then down hill to the remains of some building structure.  Since the concrete platform was relatively small we were wondering if it was the former garage of the former owners of the place.  But then, where are the remains of the house?

Walked over to a nearby pond, a little bigger than the first one we saw.  From here we looked toward a small woodsy area down a slight slope. Thought we might find water.  So we walked over to the area and found it a swamp, but a fairly dry one at this point in time.  Across the way is a large marsh with tussock sedge and meadowsweet in the foreground, and lots of Phragmites australis (giant reed grass) in the background.  Looking beyond the Phragmites, one sees the Kittatinny mountains in the background. 

My wife started to complain about the mosquitoes and wanted to leave.  So we started back up the hill.  I took a side path (on the left) for a short ways.  It was interesting because the first part of it was virtually a solid carpet of Japanese stilt grass.  When the road became wetter, other species came in more heavily, such as Carex crinita (fringed sedge).

Turned around and walked back to the car.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant in bloom on date of field trip, 7/10/04

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Nyssa sylvatica (sour gum)
Ostrya virginiana (hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus sp. (pine) plantation of it
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus grandidentata (big toothed aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Salix sp. (willow)

Shrubs and Sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow honeysuckle)
Lyonia ligustrina (maleberry)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Rubus sp. (shiny dewberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elder)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush) *
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet) *
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Vaccinium stamineum (deerberry) ?
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry) (Fl. 5/30/95)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Broad-leaved Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) *
Alisma subcordatum (small water plantain) *
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp) *
Arabis glabra (tower mustard)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) *
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) *
Daucus carota (wild carrot) *
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) *
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)  *
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting) *
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed)  *
Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort) *
Hypericum punctatum (spotted St. Johnswort) *
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Iris sp. (blue or yellow flag)
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Linaria vulgaris (butter-and-eggs) *
Lobelia spicata (spiked lobelia) *
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Lycopus virginiana (Virginia bugleweed)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medicago lupulina (black medick) *
Melampyrum lineare (cow wheat) *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Penthorum sedoides (ditch stonecrop) *
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) *
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed *
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Potamogeton sp. (pondweed)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) *
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) *
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)
Sagittaria latifolia (broad-leaved arrowhead) *
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet) *
Sisyrinchium angustifolium (stout blue-eyed grass) *
Sparganium androcladum (branching bur reed) *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Trifolium arvense (rabbit-foot clover) *
Trifolium aureum (yellow clover) *
Trifolium repens (white clover) *
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena hastata (blue vervain) *
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) *
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Phleum pratense (timothy) (Fl. 7/10/95)
Phragmites australis (common reed)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail)

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

Carex crinita (fringed sedge)
Carex intumescens (sedge)
Carex lupulina
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Lycopodium clavatum (running pine)
Lycopodium digitatum (southern ground cedar)
Lycopodium obscurum (tree club moss)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris spp. (woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)