Delaware Valley Fern and Wildflower Society

2012 Field Trip Schedule

All field trips begin at 10 AM unless otherwise specified.

For questions, email



Sunday, April 22  Spring Wildflowers Along Crosswicks Creek, Mercer County, NJ

The floodplain of Crosswicks Creek and adjacent bluffs are good areas for spring wildflowers, such as spring beauty (Claytonia virginica), toothwort (Cardamine concatenata), spiderwort (Tradescantia virginica), and wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia). The floodplain may be somewhat muddy, so be prepared. Bring bug spray and a beverage.

Directions: Meet at Bordentown Township's Northern Community Park on Groveville Road, located between Routes 130 and 206. Take Route 130 north (from Bordentown, NJ) or south (toward Bordentown, NJ); turn onto Groveville Road and drive approximately 1/2 mile to the park entrance on the right. Alternatively, the park can be accessed from Route 206 northbound from Bordentown (though not conveniently from 206 southbound, as Route 206 is a divided highway here). About a mile north of the junction with Route 130, turn right onto Groveville Road and drive approximately 1/2 to the park entrance on the left. 

Leaders: Janet Novak (; 215-534-6700) and David Lauer (


Saturday, May 5;  Nottingham Park Serpentine Barrens,  Chester Co., PA

Nottingham Park is on one of the largest serpentine barrens in Pennsylvania. In addition to observing the spectacular spring wildflowers there, including Phlox subulata and Cerastium arvense v. villosum, we will examine the less showy but unique flora of the grasslands and woodlands including a number of uncommon and rare grasses, sedges, trees, and shrubs.  Bring lunch. 

Directions: From the north, take the Route #1 bypass to Nottingham, exiting at the Route #272 interchange. At the first traffic light (0.1) mile, turn right on Herr Drive, then right on Old Baltimore Pike, then right again on Park Road. After crossing over Route #1 go approximately 0.8 miles to the main entrance to the park. We will meet near the plantings.  Good walking shoes are recommended.

Leaders: Janet Ebert, Jack Holt (, 610-459-0585)


Sunday, May 6:  The Genus Amelanchier,  Long Pond, Monroe Co., PA,  A joint field trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club

The genus Amelanchier includes native small trees and shrubs known as Juneberry or shadbush. They have brilliant spring flowers and provide and  excellent fruit for wildlife.    We will explore the Nature Conservancy's Long Pond Preserve and nearby areas where we should see several species, including hopefully A. bartramiana, and numerous morphs, including perhaps some previously undocumented entities.  The birding at Long Pond Preserve is exceptional, so bring your binoculars, and be prepared for some wet walking. The trip leader is Dr. Michael Burgess of Morris Arboretum,  a specialist in this genus. 

Directions:  From Philadelphia, travel north to exit 284 on interstate 80 using either the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension or Route 33 North from I-78 between Easton and Allentown.   If arriving at I-80 from the Turnpike, head east.   If arriving at I-80 from Route 33, head west.   From Interstate 80, take exit 284 (PA Route 115). Turn south on 115 towards Effort. After 3.1 miles, bear left at the Long Pond and Pocono Raceway signs onto Long Pond Road. Proceed on Long Pond Road 3.9 miles to a T-intersection and turn right onto Kuhenbeaker Road. After approx. 1.5 miles drive over a bridge and park immediately on your right.

Leader: Michael Burgess; 267-273-8838


Sunday, May 13; Learn the Spring Wildflowers at Sourland Mountain Preserve (Somerset County, NJ) A joint field trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club

This trip is for people who are just getting started in botany or who aren’t familiar with the plants of this area. Sourland Mountain is an excellent starting point, since it offers a large number of wildflowers. As we identify the wildflowers, we’ll review some of the basic methods of plant identification. We’ll also review several field guides for this area and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. The trails at Sourland Mountain are somewhat steep and rocky, so wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots.
Directions: Meet at
10 a.m. at the trailhead parking lot. From New Jersey Route 206 Northbound: Follow Route 206 through Princeton and Montgomery. Traveling up a small ramp, make a left onto Route 601. Follow Route 601 for a half mile, and make a right turn onto East Mountain Road by Carrier Foundation. Drive one mile, then you will see the Sourland Mountain Preserve entrance sign on the left.
Leader: Janet Novak,; 215-534-6700 (cell)


Saturday June 9: Crow's Nest Preserve, Chester Co. PA.   A joint trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club.

Crows Nest preserve is a 600 acre tract that is close to French Creek State Park in PA and that falls within what has been called the “Big Woods.” in that part of the state west of Philadelphia.    It has been preserved by the Natural Lands trust and contains a wide variety of habitats in addition to mature forest.   The Crow's Nest Preserve, one of over 40 preserves owned by the Natural Lands Trust of PA, is composed of some 600-plus acres in the 73,000 acre “ Hopewell Big Woods. “

Directions: From the King of Prussia area/Philadelphia, PA region, take Route 202 south to the Route 401 exit. On Route 401 continue west, on through the Route 113 intersection, continuing on to its intersection with Route 100. Now turn right and north onto Route 100, going several miles to its intersection with Route 23. At the Routes 100 and 23 intersection, turn left and west. You will go about 6 miles, looking for the Warwick Campground sign at Trythall Road and Route 23. Before seeing the campground sign you will pass through the small town of Knauertown on Route 23, going uphill to the campground sign. At Trythall Rd., turn right and proceed a short distance to Harmoneyville Road. At this intersection turn left, and very shortly you will see Piersol Rd on your right. Turn in there, passing a barn and house to quickly see a parking lot with a Natural Lands Trust sign. Pull in there and walk from the parking lot to the BARN. Come in. We wil meet there first for a quick outline of this field trip. 

Leader: Paul Schubert (; 610-328-2759).



Saturday June 16;  Bog plants of the NJ Pine Barrens  A joint trip with the Native Plant Special Interest Group of the Hardy Plant Society

The New Jersey Pine Barrens is famous for pygmy pine forests, but the highest plant diversity (and the most beautiful flowers) are in its bogs. This is your chance to see these native bog plants... without getting your feet wet. We will start by visiting two wetlands in the area of Chatsworth, New Jersey. The trip is timed for peak bloom of the orchids Pogonia ophioglossoides and Calopogon tuberosus. We’ll also see sundews, pitcher plants, a few clubmosses, and the famous curlygrass fern (Schizaea pusilla). This “wild” part of the trip will be easy walking on good trails and boardwalks. The total walking will be less around a mile. For the “tame” part, we will visit the private garden of Bill Smith. Bill has a stunning collection of bog plants from eastern North America: orchids, every species of pitcher plant, and some rare and little-known beauties such as Plymouth rose gentian (Sabatia kennedyana) and bog asphodel (Narthecium americanum). If you wish, you can bring a picnic lunch to eat at Bill’s. Ticks and chiggers are common in the Pine Barrens, so come prepared with bug spray. Also bring sunscreen, a beverage, and, if you like, a lunch.

Directions: Meet outside the office of Brendan Byrne State Forest. From Pennsylvania or western New Jersey, get onto state highway 70 eastbound (exit 34A from I-295). Continue to follow 70 east through the traffic circle where routes 70 and 206 intersect. After 7.8 miles, you’ll come to the second traffic circle; take the first exit from the circle onto 72 east. After 1 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, take the first right, then almost immediately turn left into the Forest Service office parking lot.  Please sign up with the leader,

Leader: Janet Novak: or 215-534-6700.



Saturday July 7, 2012;  Workshop: Basic Fern Identification.  A joint workshop with the Philadelphia Botanical Club

In this workshop, you can learn to identify the most common ferns of our area. We will go over the characteristics that distinguish fern species, using fresh fronds as examples. We will also work on identifying ferns in the field by taking a walk along the Wissahickon Creek, and area that offers a good variety of fern species. No prior experience with fern identification is required. No equipment is necessary, but if you have them, a fern field guide and a hand lens will be helpful. If you have any ferns you want identified, bring a frond. The workshop will end at approximately 1 PM.

Registration: The fee for the workshop is $10 for members of the Philadelphia Botanical Club or Delaware Valley Fern and Wildflower Society and $20 nonmembers. Participation will be limited to the first 20 registrants, so register as soon as possible with the leader, but before July 1.
Directions: Cedars House in Fairmount Park in northwest Philadelphia. Directions will be sent upon registration.

Leader: Janet Novak, 215-248-2642 or



Saturday July 21:  Fern Garden tours   Leaders:  Jack and Rosemarie Schieber

We will meet at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve at 10 AM.   At 11:45 we will drive to  the gardens of Jack and Rosemarie Schieber where we will view their  extensive fern and wildflower collection and have lunch.  Please sign up in advance with the Schiebers

Directions: (to Bowman’s Hill):  The Preserve is situated on the north side of Bowman's Hill, approximately 2.5 miles south of New Hope, PA at 1635 River Road (PA Rte 32).

Leaders:  Jack and Rosemarie Schieber 215-357-3720 and David Lauer (



Sunday, August 19th;   Southern Bucks County coastal plain forest; Delhaas Woods

Delhaas woods, adjacent to Silver Lake County Park and located east of the former Delhaas High School, is one of the largest remaining stands of coastal plain forest in Pennsylvania.    The trip will be led by Lauren Spitz, who recently completed the native plants of PA internship at Morris Arboretum and who studied the flora of this tract extensively during her internship

Directions: Meeting place will be the parking lot of Silver Lake Park Nature Center, 1306 Bath Road | Bristol, PA 19007, on the east side of Bath Road just north of route 13.  A map can be downloaded at  

Leaders:  Lauren Spitz and by David Lauer (; 215-764-6039). 


Saturday August 25;  Bartrams Garden,  Philadelphia, PA. This is a joint field trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club

Bartram's Garden is located on the banks of the Schuylkill River in West Philadelphia, and was the home of John Bartram, royal botanist to King George III, and his son William.  The Bartrams corresponded with and entertained some of the most important scientific and political figures of the 18th century in our own country and abroad.   It is a miracle that the house and grounds have survived, and that both are being wonderfully preserved and interpreted today. Franklinia should be in bloom.  We will be guided through the grounds by Joel Fry, Curator at the Gardens.

Directions: We will meet at the administrative building (first building on the left when entering the garden). The garden is accessible by public transportation via the 36 trolley to 54th and Lindbergh Ave (then cross railroad bridge to Garden entrance on first left.) For additional driving directions, please see:
Leaders: Joel Fry, Curator; 215-729-5281, and David Hewitt )


Saturday, December 1, Fulshaw Craeg Preserve, Montgomery Co., PA


The Fulshaw-Craeg Preserve in southern Montgomery County features lovely scenery and a diverse flora. Many of the plants are still identifiable in winter from their distinctive fruits or other features. We will have a chance to try to identify a wide variety of plants in the preserve’s various habitats, which include boulder field, wet meadow, dry meadow, and woods. Because we will have to ford a creek, I recommend wearing wading boots or waterproof hiking boots and perhaps bringing a hiking stick. The trip will last until around 1 PM. This is a joint trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club.   Heavy rain or snow may cancel the trip; any cancellation will be posted on the PB club’s field trip page ( by 7 AM on the day of the trip.    Directions: Meet at Unami Creek Park in Sumneytown. From the Philadelphia area, take 476 north to exit 31. At the exit, bear right to get onto highway 63 west towards Harleysville. Drive 8.2 miles (into Sumneytown), then turn right at the fork onto Geryville Pike. Drive 0.2 miles, then turn right onto Swamp Creek Road. Unami Creek Park will be almost immediately on your right; park in the parking area along the road. We will carpool the short distance to the preserve. Leader: Janet Novak, or 215-534-6700 (cell)