Locust, Middletown Township, Monmouth County, NJ
729 acres -- Monmouth County's largest park


From eastbound NJ 36 in Atlantic Highlands, follow signs to "Scenic Road," a right hand turn off the highway. Take Navesink Avenue .5 mile to the parking area for the woods, located on the left hand side of the road. There is parking for about twenty cars.


This park was owned in 1669 by Richard Hartshorne who also owned what are now Highlands, Sandy Hook and part of Middletown. Portions of the park's woods are aged and show little influence from man. Visitors enjoy miles of hiking and cross country ski trails in this magnificent forest. The main entrance is on Navesink Avenue in the Locust section of Middletown.

If the Stone House is open, step inside to see and pet some of the creatures, including a rabbit, ferret, garter snake, lizard, and cricket. The house itself, designed in 1931 by architect Bernardt E. Muller, is built of fieldstone and trap rock from a nearby quarry. The rafters are made of hewn oak trees from land the Hartshornes owned in Short Hills.

The Arboretum, planned by artist and naturalist Cora Hartshorne, sits on land her father Steward Hartshorn (the founder of Short Hills) had owned. Ms. Hartshorn recorded 72 varieties of birds on her property and created three miles of paths within the hills and gullies skirting terminal moraine holes. In 1958 she bequeathed her land to Millburn Township.


Scofield, Bruce, Stella J. Green, and H. Neil Zimmerman
1988 Fifty Hikes in New Jersey: Walks, Hikes and Backpacking Trips from the Kittatinnies to Cape May. Woodstock, VT: Backcountry Publications. Chapter 36: 182-184.

a small park

Hartshorne Woods Park (Monmouth County Park System, Lincroft, NJ), named for its original owner, Richard Hartshorne, who purchased the tract from the Lenne Lenape Indians for only thirteen shillings in the 1670s, contains several miles of marked and unmarked trails. The area, which rises 245 feet above the Navesink River Bay, which it overlooks, is surprisingly hilly for central New Jersey. The forest, which totally covers the 475 acres of the park, is primarily a dry, upland, deciduous forest composed of oak, hickory, beech, and maple; however, the many ups and downs of the trails lead one through a variety of very healthy plant communities.
The main walk goes clockwise: east, south, west, north. There are three, color-coded, marked trails in the park.

Steve Glenn and Bryan Dutton/Dr. Patrick L. Cooney/ TBS

Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/19/97
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush) 4/19/97
Amelanchier canadensis (shadbush) 4/19/97
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus avium (sweet cherry)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus malus (apple tree)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Thuja occidentalis (arbor-vitae)

Aronia melanocarpa (chokeberry)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 4/19/97
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Ligustrum vulgare (privet)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Lindera benzoin (spice bush) 4/19/97
Lonicera sp. (honeysuckle)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Philadelphus coronarius? (mock orange)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower)
Rosa carolina (pasture rose)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus alleghaniensis (common blackberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum v. dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle) 4/19/97

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Smilax glauca (sawbrier)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 4/19/97
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Anemone quinquefolia (wood anemone)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Commelina communis (Asian dayflower)
Cypripedium acaule (pink lady's slipper)
Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus) 4/19/97
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground) 4/19/97
Goodyera pubescens (rattlesnake plantain)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Hieracium venosum (rattlesnake hawkweed)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Lespedeza striata (Japanese clover)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Narcissus sp. (daffodil) 4/19/97
Plantago sp. (plantain)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Potentilla sp. (cinquefoil)
Pyrola rotundifolia (round-leaved pyrola)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel)
Stellaria media (common chickweed)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion)
Trifolium sp. (clover)
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaved bellwort)
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell)

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) 4/19/97
Luzula multiflora (woodrush) 4/19/97

Poa annua (annual bluegrass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)


This joint trip with the New York Metropolitan Flora Project took place on a somewhat cold, overcast day. Rain threatened, but never actually made an appearance. The group took the Candlestick Trail to the Navesink overlook. A quick side trip up Kings Hollow Trail took us to the location of trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) in bloom.

Found in bloom in the low lying areas were Acer rubrum and Lindera benzoin. Climbing the mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) covered hill up to Navesink Overlook, there were many shadbush in bloom (either or both, Amelanchier canadensis/A. arborea). There were many oaks in the area including Quercus coccinea, Q. prinus, Q. rubra, and Q. velutina. The group found typical early plants such as Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica) and wood rush (Luzula multiflora) in bloom. Karl Anderson spotted the leaves of a pink lady's slipper (Cypripedium acaule). The beautiful leaves of rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera pubescens) were uncovered from the overtopping leaves. Found near the top of the hill were last year's fruit husks of the American chestnut (Castanea dentata).

The group ate lunch at Navesink overlook. They then walked back to the parking lot and investigated the roadside areas. Some of the species found in bloom included Alliaria petiolata, Glechoma hederacea, Narcissus sp., Senecio vulgaris, and Stellaria media. The invasive Japanese barberry Berberis thunbergii bloomed in the woods bordering the roadsides.

Total attendance was 16. The leaders were Steve Glenn and Bryan Dutton.