Field Trips



Torrey Botanical Society along with the Olive Natural Heritage Society participants at Boot Strap Rock in the Catskill Mountains.

Field trips are one of the most important activities of the Society and participation is the best way to increase one’s knowledge of local plants.  Most of the trips are for general study and monitoring of the flora and ecology of an area. Other trips are led by individuals who specialize in certain groups of plants and their trips are planned accordingly. While most trips emphasize plant study, other aspects of natural history and cultural heritage are not neglected. Trip participants are always free to ask questions about anything of interest they see. The leader or other members of the group can often supply an answer.

The location may be any place of botanic interest which is usually within 50 miles of New York City. We are not a hiking club and walking distances are usually not great. Those who come on the field trips are urged to participate in the Society’s other activities as well. The phone numbers and e-mail addresses (when available) of each leader are given at the end of each trip description. Trips generally go rain or shine; if in doubt, check the website or contact the leader. Some trips are reachable only by automobile. Those in need of rides and those who are offering rides should post and check for messages on Torrey Botanical Society’s Facebook and Twitter sites or contact the trip leader. Bus and train schedules listed in trip descriptions are subject to change; those who use public transportation are advised to check updated schedules in advance. Interested guests and non-members are always welcome on field trips.

Field trip leaders are asked to complete a field trip reporting form which includes vegetation lists and notes on any new or unusual plants or vegetation types to the Field Chair:

Email: Uli Lorimer
Subject line: “Torrey fieldtrip notes” Please click on the link to access the field trip reporting form: TBS Field Trip Instructions

These trip reports, when submitted, will be made available as a year end field trip summary publication. Please click here to view the 2016 Torrey Botanical Society Field Season Review.

I would like to thank all trip leaders for their time and effort in supporting the Torrey field programs.

Happy trails and bountiful botanizing!

Uli Lorimer


The Torrey Botanical Society has scheduled several trips for the 2017 field season, including joint trips with the Philadelphia Botanical Club, the Long Island Botanical Society, the Botanical Society of America’s Northeastern Section, and the Olive Natural Heritage Society, along with several regional BioBlitz events.  Stay tuned, as we will update the list throughout the year.

If you would like to download and print the Field Trip Schedule, we will provide a PDF version soon!

Saturday, April 22, 2017 VAN CORTLAND PARK, BRONX CO, NY  Spring Wildflowers in the Northwest Woods

Led by the Long Island Botanical Society, we hope that this is a well-timed weekend for early spring wildflowers in bloom.  We will walk on the mostly level John Muir Trail starting in the Northwest Woods into the Croton Woods, and returning to the Rockwood Circle where there are bathrooms, near the horse stable parking lot.  If bringing a bag lunch, one can eat here, or drive to the lovely gardens of Wave Hill on the Hudson, 10 minutes by car. Please bring lunch/snack, sunscreen and water. Panax trifoliatus

We will meet at 10:00 am

Directions: From the Major Deegan Expressway (87) to Exit 11, drive down to Broadway (Rte 9) and drive north on B’way, to Mosholu Ave at a traffic light (Horse Stables) make a right and park at the stables.  By subway, take the #1 train to its end at 242nd St & B’way, walk north on B’way (~1 mile) to the horse stables on the right, B’way and Mosholu Ave.  Please contact Kristine by e-mail to register for the walk.

Trip Leaders: Kristine Wallstrom & Tom Fiore E-mail:

Saturday, April 22, 2017 (Earth Day) CROSSWICK CREEK, MERCER CO., NJ  Wild Flower Walk  
Onoclea sensibilisCosponsored by Philadelphia Botanical Club and the Friends for the Abbott Marshlands and Bordentown Township Environmental Commission.

We will meet at 9:30am. The woodlands and Crosswicks Creek flood plain have the best diversity of spring flowering plants and ferns in the Abbott Marshlands.
Directions: Meet at Northern Community Park, Bordentown Township, on Groveville Road, between Rts. 130 and 206. Take Rt. 130 north (from Bordentown, NJ) or south (toward Bordentown, NJ); turn onto Groveville Road and drive to the park entrance. The park can also be accessed from Rt. 206 north from Bordentown; about a mile north of the junction with Rt. 130 turn right onto Groveville Road (note that Rt. 206 is a divided highway in this area).
Leader: Mary Anne Borge (docent at Bowmans Hill Wildflower Preserve and PA Master Naturalist). Contact / info: 732-821-8310.




Hosted by the Philadelphia Botanical Club. On this trip, we will see some highlights of the New Jersey Pinelands in early spring. We will visit white cedar swamp, bog, ponds, andListera australis II pitch pine lowlands. We will also visit a pygmy forest and have views over miles of “the plains” — low pitch pine forest. Plants that will probably be in bloom include Pyxidanthera barbulata (pixie moss), Listera australis (southern twayblade, a small orchid), and some early sedges. Other plants we’ll see are Helonias bullata (swamp pink, in bud), Corema conradii (crowberry), Schizaea pusilla (curlygrass fern), and several carnivorous plants. This trip also offers a chance to botanize with Anton Reznicek, our speaker at the April meeting, who is a superb field botanist. We will visit some wet areas, so high boots are recommended. Bring your lunch; we’ll eat by Pakim Pond, which has the luxuries of picnic tables and restrooms.
Directions: Meet at 10:00 am, at the park office in Brendan Byrne State Forest (39.89506 N, 74.57510 W). Take state highway 70 eastbound. Go through the traffic circle where routes 70 and 206 intersect, continuing on highway 70. After 8 miles, you’ll come to a second traffic circle (Four-Mile Circle). Here, take the first exit onto 72 east. After one mile, turn left into the entrance to Brendan Byrne State Forest (marked by signs saying “New Jersey Fire Service Division B Headquarters” and “Brendan T. Byrne State Forest”). After 0.4 miles, turn right, then almost immediately turn left into the park office parking lot.
Leaders: Janet Novak, or 215-534-6700 (cell), and Mark Szutarski, or 609 694 6866 (cell).



Bombus sp on Ceanothus americanusHosted by the Long Island Botanical Society. Please meet at the entrance to Rockefeller State Park Preserve, 125 Phelps Way, Pleasantville, NY.  There is a $6.00 parking fee unless you have an Empire Pass.  The walk will leave from the entrance down to Swan Lake to Peaceful Path, and then around the lake.  We’ll see common spring wildflowers, the leaders will talk about the park preserves efforts to conserve wildflowers and wild bees. Please bring lunch/snack, sunscreen and water.  After the walk, if the group wants to further explore the park preserve, the leaders will point us in some promising directions. We will meet at 10:00 am.

Rockefeller State Park Preserve can be located on Google Maps. To register contact Al Lindberg by email at or at 516-686-6649.

Trip Leaders: Susan Antenen and Paula Sharp (Wild Bee Photographer)

Saturday, May 20, 2017 BORDENTOWN BLUFFS, MERCER CO., NJ  Kalmia latifolia inflorescence
Cosponsored by the Philadelphia Botanical Club, the D&R Canal State Park, Bordentown Township Environmental Commission, and Friends for the Abbott Marshlands. This walk is scheduled as part of American Wetlands Month. We’ll talk about wetlands where there are views of Crosswicks Creek and the marshes and swamps of the Abbott Marshlands. Laurel will be in bloom. We’ll look for persimmon and American Chestnut. The Bluffs, part of D&R Canal State Park, were once owned by Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother. There will be no wet walking, but note that part of the trail is hilly.
Directions: We will meet at 9:30 am, at end of Stanton Ave., Bordentown Twp. Take US-206 south of I-195; take the first right after Pointe Breeze apartments. Look for Abbott Marshlands logo; the street sign is missing.
Leader: TBA. Contact / info: 732-821-8310.



May 21-25 (Sunday to Thursday) Joint Field Meeting Torrey Botanical Society, Philadelphia Botanical Club, and the Northeast Section, Botanical Society of America

The Limestone Region Of Northern New Jersey

Rhododendron canadense inflorescence detailEach year the Botanical Society of America, The Torrey Botanical Society, and The Philadelphia Botanical Club sponsor a field meeting in different areas of the Northeast United States. The 2017 field meeting will be held in Northern New Jersey in and around the historic town of Johnsonburg. The field meeting will include three full days of field trips, evening programs, all meals, and four nights lodging at the Johnsonburg Presbyterian Center, Johnsonburg, New Jersey. We will visit Kittatiny Valley State Park, Johnsonburg Swamp Preserve, White Lake Natural Resource Area, and several other sites.The Limestone habits in New Jersey are well known, and many of the best have been protected for decades by the Nature Conservancy and various other government and private organization. Our first evening programs will describe the geology of this region. Many of the details are still in the planning stage. Watch this site for updates as the months progress. Registration for meals, field trips, and evening programs only will be available.

For additional information and registration forms contact David Austin, 


Hosted by the Long Island Botanical Society. Join Seatuck Environmental Assn., as we explore the beautiful rolling forests of the Sherwood Jayne Farm, 55 Old Post Rd, East Castanea dentataSetauket, NY. The property, which is owned by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquity (SPLIA), features a variety of forest types and hosts a diversity of wildlife.  We’ll also search for American Chestnut tree sprouts and discuss the work underway to save and restore these former forest giants. We will meet at 9:30 am.

Please bring lunch/snack, sunscreen, insect repellent and water.

Trip Leader: Enrico Nardone, Seatuck Environmental Assn.


Carex folliculataSponsored by the Philadelphia Botanical Club. The Glassboro/Clayton FWMA is a ~3,000 acre tract of public land that surrounds the headwaters of the Little Ease, one of the major Maurice River tributaries. Extensive red maple wetlands are punctuated with relic upland ridges that support an interesting mix of Coastal Plain species. This will be the second visit specifically for sedges and late spring flora. We will focus on adding to the 2016 species list. Anytime is tick time in South Jersey so be prepared with high boots or spray. About 2,000 of the 3,000 acres are wetlands so be prepared for some wet walking as well.
Directions: We will meet at 10:00am,  at the FWMA Parking Lot at the Power Line Crossing, Fries Mill Road, 0.5 mi N Carpenter Avenue. From Philadelphia: Follow NJ Route 42 south into Washington Township (11 miles from base of Walt Whitman bridge to the split with the AC Expressway), bare right off high onto Rt. 42/168, into the “Township” and not onto AC Expressway. Proceed through multiple traffic signals and make right at intersection with Fries Mill Road, approximately 1.5 miles. Follow Fries Mill Road south through 4 traffic signals (last one at Rt. 322). Proceed 0.9 miles south beyond Rt. 322, turn right into roadside FWMA parking lot under power line. Total distance from base of bridge: ~16.5 miles. NJ Residents: Proceed to either Glassboro (west) or Williamstown (east), Gloucester County. Travel on Rt. 322 to the intersect with Fries Mill Road (place name “Downer”). Follow Fries Mill Road south 0.9 miles to roadside FWMA parking lot.
Leader: Joe Arensault, 856-697-6044 or


Mitella diphylla floral detail IIWe will explore the mixed evergreen-deciduous forest of Ken Lockwood Gorge Wildlife Management Area in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, a relatively under surveyed area of the State.  The Gorge is flowed by the South Branch of the Raritan River as it exits the NJ Highlands physiographic province.  The steep slopes of the gorger rise approximately 300 feet from the river bed forming a unique landscape for Hunterdon County, NJ.  The hiking will be moderate as the walls of the Gorge are steep. Prior visits to the Gorge by Torrey members have revealed Asarum canadense, Impatience pallidum, Mitella diphylla, and Rubus odoratus.

Meet in the Voorhees High School Parking Lot, in the far row furthest from the school at 10:00 AM (Address: 256 County Rd 513, Glen Gardner, NJ 08826).  We’ll then carpool a short distance north to the small parking area at the top of the Gorge and will hike down into the Gorge from there.  Terrain is steep, difficulty will be moderate to strenuous.  Late arrivals should call my cell Phone.  Dropped Pin of meeting location for navigation with Google Maps Mobile:


Trip Leader: David Kunz,, C: 201-247-0009

Sunday, June 25, 2017 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM BOWMAN’S HILL WILDFLOWER PRESERVE PHYTOBLITZ, MONTGOMERY CO., PA Senna hebecarpa floral detail-2
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve is hosting a phytoblitz to update the information they use to manage and to educate with their living collection. This 12-hour phytoblitz will focus on plant species found at the preserve. Anyone interested in helping to identify any plant species including trees, shrubs, herbs, ferns, mosses, and lichens (which are not plants, but Bowman’s Hill would like to know which ones they have), etc… is welcome. Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve has over 80 years of education and conservation expertise covering over 100 acres, and this invaluable update will increase their effectiveness in all of the services the Preserve offers. Please note that Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve is hosting three phytoblitzes, across the seasons, to capture as many species as possible in the collected data. Register for this event at or with Regina Moriarty,
Directions: Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve- 1635 River Road, New Hope, Pa. 18938.
Contact: Jason Ksepka:

Meet at 10:00AM at Stone Ridge Towne Centre Parking Lot.

The Pacama Vly is a 315 acre sphagnum wetland surrounded by mixed hemlock – northern hardwood forest. It is one of the few black spruce (Picea mariana) – American larch Sarracenia purpurea detail(Larix laricina) stands in the Catskill region. In this setting a number of plants have been documented, which have not been found in other Catskill stations, including: Appalachian shoestring fern (Vittaria appalachiana), three-leaved false Solomen’s seal (Maianthemum trifolium), and Virginia screwstem (Bartonia virginica). Other notable plants include: smooth alder (Alnus serrulata), wild calla (Calla palustris), black ash (Fraxinus nigra), maleberry (Lyonia ligustrina), black tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica), great rosebay (Rhodondendron maximum), and purple pitcherplant (Sarracenia purpurea). We will be in a wet boggy area so waterproof sturdy footwear should be worn. Bring copious beverage, lunch and insect repellant.

Directions: From the North, take the New York State Thruway to exit 19 – Kingston. Follow Route 209 South toward Ellenville for 14.7 miles to Stone Ridge Shopping Centre on your left. (Look for Emmanuel’s Marketplace sign.) From the South, take Route 17 North to the Wurtsboro/Ellenville exit. Take Route 209 North approximately 30 miles to Stone Ridge. Stone Ridge Shopping Centre will be on your right just after you pass Route 213. (Look for Emmanuel’s Marketplace sign.)

Trip leaders: Uli Lorimer, Paul Harwood (917) 502-8010,

Bombus species on Symphyotrichum dumosumSunday, August 27, 2017 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM BOWMAN’S HILL WILDFLOWER PRESERVE PHYTOBLITZ, MONTGOMERY CO., PA 

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve is hosting a phytoblitz to update the information they use to manage and to educate with their living collection. This 12-hour phytoblitz will focus on plant species found at the preserve. Anyone interested in helping to identify any plant species including trees, shrubs, herbs, ferns, mosses, and lichens (which are not plants, but Bowman’s Hill would like to know which ones they have), etc… is welcome. Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve has over 80 years of education and conservation expertise covering over 100 acres, and this invaluable update will increase their effectiveness in all of the services the Preserve offers. Please note that Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve is hosting three phytoblitzes, across the seasons, to capture as many species as possible in the collected data. Register for this event at or with Regina Moriarty,
Directions: Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve- 1635 River Road, New Hope, Pa. 18938.
Contact: Jason Ksepka:


Saturday, September 16, 2017  RINGWOOD STATE PARK, RINGWOOD, NJ


Humid vista looking into Ringwood ForestBotanical field trips have long been a important activity for the Torrey Botanical Society. These trips not only allow members and the public to see plants in context, but also serve has past records for where and when specific plants grew in our region. The Society held its first Field Day on May 23, 1874 visiting the Ramapo Mountains south of Suffern, NY. In honor of this milestone for Torrey Botanical Society, we will revisit the same vicinity on Saturday September 16, 2017at 10:00 am. The trip will begin on the grounds of Skylands Manor at the NJ State Botanical Gardens and continue into adjacent Ringwood State Forest. We hope to visit wetland, pond, and ridgetop habitats as well as deciduous woodlands. Please come prepared with proper hiking boots, water, and lunch.

Directions: We will meet at 10:00am. From I87 North, to I287/NJ 17 S to Skyline Drive (Exit 57) towards Ringwood, NJ. Follow Skyline Drive (Rte 692) North until it terminates and turn right onto Greenwood Lake Turnpike (Rte 511). Follow 1/2 a mile and run right onto Sloatsburg Rd. Turn right again onto Morris Road, following signs to the NJ State Botanical Gardens. Once at the gardens, proceed to Parking Lot B where the walk will begin.

Trip leader: Uli Lorimer (917 676 6991)


Grasslands and meadows are extremely productive and dynamic ecological communities that are threatened by development, changing land-use patterns, andfire suppression. Xylocopa virginica emerging from Eupatorium hyssopifolium These threats are only amplified in the fragmented landscape of New York City, where grasslands are scattered and underrepresented components of New York’s remaining natural areas.  However, grasslands are the largest component of the Mount Loretto Unique Area, a State-managed nature preserve that overlooks the waters of the Raritan Bay in southeastern Staten Island.  Here we will observe great diversity of Solidagos, Asters, and Eupatoriums in full bloom including the state-threatened Eupatorium serotinum.  We will also search Mount Loretto’s 16 acres of wetlands for the state-threatened Diospyros virginiana, and state-endangered Hydrocotyle ranunculoides, Lemna perpusilla, and Gratiola virginiana, a species that until recently had last been formally documented on Staten Island in an 1879 botanical survey.  This Mount Loretto walk will last 2-3 hours; Bring mud boots, plenty of water, sunscreen, and tick repellant.

Directions: Meet at 10:00 AM in the Mt. Loretto Unique Area parking lot at 6450 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10309. By car from NYC: Take the Verrazano west to Route 440 south. Take exit 3A to merge onto Veterans Rd W; turn left onto Eglewood Ave, right onto Bloomingdale Rd, left onto Amboy Rd, right onto Sharrott Ave, and right onto Hylan Blvd.  Finally, drive 0.6 miles on Hylan blvd. and the parking lot will be on the left.  By bus from the St. George Ferry Terminal: take the S78 bus to Hylan Blvd and Richard Ave. (60-70min bus ride). Walk east on Hylan Blvd for about 2 minutes and the entrance will be on your left.

Trip leaders: Staten Island Museum Research Associate, Ray Matarazzo, and Brooklyn Botanic Garden Assistant Gardener, Will Lenihan,, 929-423-0129

Saturday, September 30, 2017 HARRIMAN STATE PARK, SLOATSBURG, ROCKLAND CO., NYLeafy Liverwort

We will explore the bryophytes of the Reeves Brooke area, including the woodlands surrounding it. Expect to see some interesting aquatic Mosses( e.g., Fontinalis) and stream Liverworts(e.g., Plagiochila) and so many other wet substrate loving bryophytes. With 255 species of mosses documented in the region and no checklists for liverworts in the region, there will be a lot of interesting species we can encounter. Bring lunch and a hand lens.

Directions: We will meet at 10:30 am. Public transportation- Meet in Sloatsburg at RR tracks one block from municipal building. Take N.J. Transit 9:14 Northeast Corridor train from Penn Station; transfer 9:23 at Secaucus Junction for Port Jervis line train which arrives Sloatsburg 10:12. Driving- Municipal Plaza and Mills Street, Sloatsburg, NY 10974

Trip leader: Christian Liriano,, 646-483-4974

Schizachyrium scopariumThe Long Island Native Plant Initiative, Long Island Botanical Society, and Torrey Botanical Society are teaming up to host a fall botanical hike through the grasslands at The Nature Conservancy’s Mashomack Preserve. The day’s botanical journey will begin at the Visitor Center and will traverse a wide diversity of coastal and upland ecological communities en-route to the extensive grasslands within the core of the preserve. Fall is the perfect opportunity to examine, experience, and botanize the unique grassland-dependent flora, as the native grasses and herbs will be at peak bloom, exemplifying the splendor and beautiful vistas of Mashomack’s grasslands. Fall migration may also provide the opportunity to catch glimpses of more uncommon wildlife during this stroll through one of the region’s most beautiful preserves

Please bring lunch, sunscreen, tick/insect repellent, water and wear long pants and sturdy footwear. Please provide yourself extra time for travel by ferry.

To register, please visit:
Note that registration is required and limited, so register early!

Directions: From South Ferry, Greenport: Take Route 114 North for 1 mile to The Nature Conservancy Visitor Center (right hand side of road).
From North Ferry, Noyak: Take Summerfield Place (0.1 mile) off the ferry, turn right on Grand Ave S. (0.3 mile), and left onto Chase Ave. S. (0.1 mile) through Shelter Island Heights, which will naturally transition into Rt. 114S. Stay on Rt. 114S (North Ferry Rd), traveling through Village of Shelter Island to small traffic circle. Take the third exit off the traffic circle, staying on Route 114S. (South Ferry Road). The Nature Conservancy Visitor Center (79 South Ferry Road) will be 0.4 mile south of traffic circle on the left side of the road.

TNC Mashomack Grassland, The Nature Conservancy Visitor Center, 79 South Ferry Road, Shelter Island, Suffolk County, NY

Trip Leaders: Clara Holm (LINPI Board Member and Seed Collection Coordinator, Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank, Green Belt Native Plant Center, Staten Island, NY), Uli Lorimer (Torrey Botanical Society and Native Plant Curator, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, NY)