Mountain Laurel Open Space
Acquired:  1966
Acreage:  23.9 acres
Uses:  hiking, wildlife conservation, wetland protection  
Access:  north side of Mt Laurel Road on sharp bend


Merritt Parkway north to exit 44; turn left and at the light turn right onto Black Rock Turnpike; turn right onto Samp Mortar Drive.  Pass by the pull-off near the dam holding back the waters of Samp Mortar Reservoir, head parallel with Riverside Park on the left and make a right turn onto Mountain Laurel Road.  The park is on the left at the road bends right.  


12/01/2005.  We park along the fence at an open field.  Te orange trail goes straight north into a ravine with a stream.  The yellow trail crosses left to right going from one ridge to another.  We take the yellow trail to the right walking up onto to the top of the ridge. We turn left  following the ridge heading northeast, then north.  There are some nice looking rock outcrops along the way on the left with houses on the right. On the ridge the woods is a dry oak woods. 

We head left (west) hooking up with the orange trail.  Here, however, it is only a short trail over to the side of a ledge overlooking the stream below.  We head back to the yellow trail to continue north.

Now the path heads west reaching the top of the ravine.  We pick up the orange trail.  The trail then heads downhill to head south parallel to the stream.  We follow the trail and stream out of the ravine and back to the car.  Along the way the yellow trail appears again.  It goes right over the stream and up and out of the ravine to the ridge.  We continue straight out of the ravine and onto the field passing by the returning yellow trail.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.   

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, 12/01/2005

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepper bush)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium sp. (a low bush blueberry)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder)
Euonymus fortunii (Fortune's euonymus)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster spp. (aster)
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)     *

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)

Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)

reindeer lichen