Dark Moon Preserve
Green Township, Sussex County, NJ
85 acres


The new Dark Moon Preserve is reachable via the following directions for Mud Pond in Warren County. 

From New York City, take US 80 west to Exit 19. Turn/bear right onto Route 612 north. Nearing Johnsonburg center turn right onto route 519; then turn left onto Route 661 (Ramsey Road).  At the T-intersection, turn right onto Route 94.  Drive into Sussex County and turn right on Yellow Frame Road. For Mud Pond you would drive down the road and across from a house with horses you would park at the pull-off space near an open field and then walk along the eastern side of the field until you would pick up the trail as you entered the woods at  the end of the field.  But they have added new lands and so before getting to the Mud Pond parking area, find the section set of yellow nature markers and park by a gate.  (I have not gone this way yet, so can't vouch for the approach.  Hope to get into it soon.  4/24/04.)


The Lenape Indians lived in the area and the most notable local archaeological excavation of their culture occurred over a seven year period at Dark Moon in Frelinghuysen Township. The Lenape had their lodges and huts here at what was a kind of arrowhead factory.  The Lenape quarried flint from the local limestone to produce thousands of flint points.  They would bury the excess arrowheads for later use. The findings here were the basis for the recreated Lenape settlement at Waterloo Village. (from "A Video History" by Debra Natyzak; http://www.njskylands.com/hsvoices.htm)

The preserve is named after the Dark Moon site, a well-established Native American site in the region that gives its name to Dark Moon Road and nearby Dark Moon Farm.

The acquisition of the land formerly owned by Green Village Packing Company expands the Johnsonburg Preserve into Sussex County. For the Ridge and Valley Conservancy the acquisition is its first in Sussex County and opens the door to expand the preserve into neighboring undeveloped areas of Green Township.

Ridge and Valley Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, Green Township, and Morris Land Conservancy joined to protect the land. For The Nature Conservancy the acquisition expands their larger Johnsonburg Swamp Preserve.


prime example of a limestone community in New Jersey. Limestone communities contain a large concentration of significant plants and animals, including a number of rare and endangered animals such as the longtail salamander and plants such as showy ladyslipper and is home to a calcareous forest of mixed hardwoods, limestone outcroppings that host rare plants, caves, springs and sinkholes.

(Source: Preserve makes Green Greener: Conservancy adds Dark Moon Preserve; Ridge and Valley Conservancy, Inc.; http://www.rvclandtrust.org/article.cfm?ID=74)


7/07/04.  I still don't know exactly what property is Mud Pond property and which is Dark Moon property.  I did notice, however, that there are a lot more yellow Nature Sanctuary signs on Yellow Frame Road.  Where there was one area with the yellow signs, there are now four such areas. 

I parked near the gate (0.5 of a mile east of Route 94) on Yellow Frame Road just past house #46.  I started walking on a very rough path with lots of multiflora rose, Asiatic bittersweet and autumn olive competing with each other to close off the path.  I walked along a lot of fields, gradually making my way over to Route 94.  I got off the path by mistake and came to what I thought was someone's backyard. I discovered that it was the backyard of some stores on Route 94 (Wilbur's Country Store, the Hitching Post, and some others). I did find somewhat of a formal opening for the nature preserve with those yellow signs on two short posts on the southern side of the property belonging to the above named stores.   I was wondering if one could park on the commercial property near the posts and then go on from there.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant blooming on the date of the field trip, 7/07/04

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
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)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (white oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras) (Fl. 5/03/95)
Tilia americana (basswood)

Shrubs and Sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow honeysuckle)
Rhus sp. (sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (early low blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry viburnum)
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 sp. (water plantain)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) *
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp) *
Arabis glabra (tower mustard)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) *
Bidens frondosa (beggar ticks)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Carduus nutans (musk thistle) *
Chelidonium majus (celandine) *
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) *
Cichorium intybus (chicory) *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) *
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) *
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Coronilla varia (crown vetch) *
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) *
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) *
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry))
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) *
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Galinsoga sp. (galinsoga) *
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geum canadense (white avens) *
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily) *
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed)
Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort) *
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort) *
Lespedeza intermedia (wand-like bush clover) *
Linaria vulgaris (butter-and-eggs) *)
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) *
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia bugleweed)
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower) *
Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) *
Pedicularis canadensis (wood betony)
Penstemon digitalis (foxglove beardtongue) *
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 virginianum (jumpseed)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) *
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) *
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan) *
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil) *
Silene latifolia (white campion) *
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) *
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle) *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress)
Tragopogon pratensis (yellow goatsbeard) *
Trifolium aureum (yellow clover) *
Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover) *
Trifolium pratense (red clover) *
Trifolium repens (white clover) *
Urtica dioica var. dioica (stinging nettle) *
Urtica dioica var. procera (tall nettle) *
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)  *
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) *
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Bromus inermis (Hungarian brome)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Elytrigia repens (quack-grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phleum pratense (timothy)

Juncus tenuis (path rush) (Fl. 7/10/95)

Carex crinita (fringed sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) (Fl. 5/03/95)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)