NOTES FROM A MUSKY TRAIL HIKER #4: Perfectly Imperfect

A regular blog sharing a biology observation from my hike on the Musconetcong Wildlife Management Area trail in Asbury. Walk along the more wooded part of the Musky Trail and you will come across the magnificent tree shown in this photo. There was no angle I could take this picture from that shows the eight – yes, eight – trunks it has. That was the dead giveaway that it was a silver maple since they often have multiple stems. While they can live to be 130 years old or more, this once prized landscaping tree fell from grace over the years because of its structure. It is a fast-growing tree that provides great shade, but its limbs are weak and prone to breaking in high winds and ice storm

Hats? Rags? Snuff? How one town on the Musconetcong River Evolved

We don’t always recognize the historical treasures in our own backyard. One such example is New Hampton, a section of Lebanon Township, situated on the Musconetcong River, with interesting stories to tell. This tiny hamlet is packed with history and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This nearly 300 year old settlement (one of the oldest in the region) is located adjacent to the colonial road that ran from Trenton to the Oxford Furnace (today’s Route 31). Its taverns and hotels served weary travelers. Other businesses included a general store, tailor, blacksmith, and cooper. These businessmen traded with the local Native Americans, supported valley farmers, and facil


A regular blog sharing a biology observation from my hike on the Musconetcong Wildlife Management Area trail in Asbury. Could there be a more perfect animal for the Musky than the muskrat? It just seems to have been named for us, but muskrats are all over the US, not just New Jersey. And they are rodents, but not rats. The “musk” part, of course, has nothing to do with our river, but rather, with the musky scent they give off to mark their territory. The word “Muskrat” is derived from the Lenape tribe – known to have moved about the Musconetcong Valley – who called them “moskwas”. On my near-dusk trail hike one evening, I ran into Muskrat Suzie. She and Muskrat Sam had been reported doing th

Educational Trail Wildlife Survey

MWA’s Education Trail is a great place to celebrate National Trials Day on June 8, 2020! Over the last two years you might have noticed that our Education Trail has been revitalized; it has been re-cleared, re-routed, and re-blazed. A few new trails have also been created, and soon, you will see the addition of new educational signs. It is no doubt this is the best spot to walk along the Musconetcong River. But, we need your help to make it even better! The Education Trail is home to many different species of plants and animals, and we would like to better understand who and what they are. We will be using the iNaturalist App to complete this survey. All you need to do is download the A

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Musconetcong Watershed Association

10 Maple Avenue, P.O. Box 113

Asbury, NJ 08802

The Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA) is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and improving the quality of the Musconetcong River and its Watershed, including its natural and cultural resources.

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(908) 537-7060