High Mountain Park Preserve is owned by Wayne Township (80%), The Nature Conservancy (8%) and State of New Jersey (12%), and was established in 1993. JORBA has been working to adopt and legitimize mountain bike access to the existing trails. In 2018 JORBA was invited to meet with stake holders to get the mountain bike trails at High Mountain officially sanctioned while protecting the traprock glades and the endangered plants they support. Since then the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust has been inventorying rare and endangered plants that need protecting. New Jersey state-listed endangered and species of concern in the traprock glades and surrounding hickory-ash-red cedar woodlands at Preakness Mountain (at the northern terminus of the Second Watchung Ridge) include Virginia snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria), whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata), Dewey’s sedge (Carex deweyana), Willdenow’s sedge (Carex willdenowii), hazel dodder (Cuscuta coryli), long-awned smokegrass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), basil-leaved mountain mint (Pycnanthemum clinopodioides), Torrey’s mountain mint, large-fruited sanicle (Sanicula trifoliata), few-flowered nut rush (Scleria pauciflora), small skullcap (Agrimonia microcarpa), rock spikemoss (Selaginella rupestris), and narrow-leaved vervain (Verbena simplex). The most serious threat to rare traprock glade communities, especially at Preakness Mountain, is the trampling of plants and soil erosion caused by illegal motorized vehicle use on and off the trails and trampling by hikers. As a result some trails will need to be closed and or rerouted. JORBA will then work on legitimizing the rest of the trails by blazing them and putting up signage.
- High Mountain UpdatesThe trails listed below will need to be closed to all trail users to help protect endangered species. Some closures will be soft, some will include covering the tread with sticks and leaves other options like planting in the tread will be explored. The rest of the trails will be added as official trails and… Continue reading High Mountain Updates
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- High Mountain Trail ReviewJORBA will be meeting in April with the land managers and conservation experts to review the impact of trail on endangered species. Some trails will need to be closed or rerouted. We will have details of trails affected after.