Beech Ridge Preserve, Blairstown NJ - 64 Acres
hiking at beech ridge
There is a ½-mile hiking trail accessible at Belcher Road, just east of the intersection with Dry Road. The trail winds through the forest and over-top a stream bridge.
The preserve sits at the headwaters of Belcher Creek, and hosts a mature deciduous hardwood forest with a large assemblage of mature and sapling American beech on sunny, south-facing slopes. Numerous mature oak and tulip poplar dominate the higher canopy, with evergreens including Eastern red cedar and hemlock.
Several springs emerge from the preserve’s uplands, feeding wetlands and headwater streams. The wetlands are dominated by pin oak, green ash, red maple, and swamp white oak. A marshland dominated by red maple, willow, and hummock sedges bounds the southern edge of the preserve, in which native ephemerals such as trout lily, mayapple, addersmouth, spring beauty, and dwarf ginseng can be seen in the springtime. Black Bear and gray fox frequent this area as well as pileated woodpeckers, turkey, and other forest birds.
Beech Ridge was acquired by purchase in 2003 using grants from the Warren County Open Space Trust Fund, the Garden State Preservation Trust, and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation.