Delaware Valley Fern and Wildflower Society

2013 Field Trip Schedule


Please note that all field trips begin at 10 AM at the appointed meeting place, unless otherwise stated in the description.    Some trip leaders request that you notify them that you will be participating, as noted in the trip descriptions.    Please feel free to provide feedback or comments that may enhance our offerings to the coordinator, David Lauer, at


If anyone is interested in carpooling, please let me know at the above email address at least 2 weeks before the trip, and include your name, contact information and place where you are located.  I will send out a trip announcement the week before each trip, and will include the information within that announcement of anyone seeking partners to carpool with.  


Many of these trips are being held jointly with the Philadelphia Botanical Club (PBC).  The PBC will be hosting additional trips, so feel free to check their website ( for additional opportunities.



April 13 (Saturday):  Shenk’s Ferry, Lancaster County, PA


This is an informal trip to one of the best local concentrations of spring wildflowers.  As described on PPL’s website, “Shenk's Ferry Wildlife Preserve is one of the most impressive wildflower areas in the eastern United States and certainly one of the most popular natural locations in Lancaster County. PPL takes pride in preserving the glen as a wildflower sanctuary. Located just north of Pequea along the Susquehanna River in southern Lancaster County, the 50-acre glen surrounds Grubb Run off of Green Hill Road.  The main wildflower trail is approximately 1 mile long and follows Grubb Run along easy walking path on fairly flat terrain. At least 73 species of flowers bloom from mid-March until the end of May. More than 60 other species of flowers bloom during the summer and fall. Some of the more common flowers include Dutchman's breeches, wild geranium, wild ginger, Virginia bluebells, mayapple, trillium and spring beauty.”  This trip is informal, and joint with the Philadelphia Botanical Club


Directions:  Go south through Lancaster on Route 272, and then southwest on New Danville Pike (Route 324), and go through the town of Conestoga.  At the post office veer left onto River Corner Road.  In 1.3 miles you will cross River Road and the name changes to Shenks Ferry Road.  At the “T” intersection with Green Hill Road, turn left,  head downhill and under the railroad through the tunnel.  About 200 feet ahead, bear left and drive to the parking areas near the stream crossing.


Leader: David Lauer,, 215-622-0852



April 21st (Sunday):  Trillium sp. Collection, Clarksboro, Gloucester Co., NJ, 1 – 5 PM


Please note the time for this trip.  This is a joint field trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club to view John Gyer’s collection of Trillium species at his “Fern Hill” Property. John, one of our long-term members, has been gardening at Fern Hill since 1960. This garden is dedicated to the propagation of Trilliums and other species. The oldest propagation area is below a seep and is bordered by Ostrich Fern and a showy Asian skunk cabbage, Lysichiton camtschatcensis. A grove of white pine planted in 1966 houses a patch of self-sown Cypripedium acaule in the accumulated pine duff. A stream provides a setting for Tibetan hellebores. Away from the stream, pecan trees are a canopy for mosses and crane-fly orchids. The slope toward the house is a moss garden planted with blueberry bushes and Magnolias (grandiflora & asheii) and dove tree. There is a deciduous azalea border with hollies interspersed (yellow- berried and red). There is an old silted in pond—now dry—that was the site of Jessup's Mill in the mid 1800's. Up toward the house lies the first efforts at woodland gardening - now mainly spring bulbs with Cyclamen and a nice growth of 3 species of Oriental ginger. Please note that this is NOT a manicured display garden. Some storm damage etc. from Hurricane Sandy may be in evidence and should be politely ignored!

Directions: The address is 243 Jessup Mill Road, Clarksboro NJ 08020. From the Commodore Barry Bridge take the first exit labeled for Camden - North on Route 130. This will merge into I-295. Go to Exit 18 of I-295. At the light at the top of the ramp rurn right, then take the next right onto Cohawkin Road. Go through Clarksboro, pass a large cemetery on the right, and then across the NJ Turnpike. IMMEDIATELY across the turnpike turn hard left onto Jessup Mill Road. At the bottom of the hill on the right there will be a gravel drive flanked by an American flag and a post with barely visible numbers 243 but no mailbox. There is a deer fence about 100 feet in from the road. Go to the top of the drive and park anywhere there is room.

Heading South on I-295, take exit 18 and refer the the directions above. 


Leader:  David Lauer,, 215-622-0852.  Please email me if you plan to attend this trip.



April 27 (Saturday): Introduction to Spring Flora, Crosswicks Creek, Mercer County, NJ


This trip is for people who are just getting started in botany or who aren't familiar with the plants of this area. The floodplain of Crosswicks Creek and adjacent bluffs are good areas for spring wildflowers, such as spring beauty (Claytonia virginica), Virginia bluebell (Mertensia virginica), spiderwort (Tradescantia virginica), and wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia). As we identify the wildflowers, we'll review some basic methods of plant identification. The floodplain may be somewhat muddy, so be prepared.  A joint field trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club


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.   A joint trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club


Leader: Janet Novak,; cell 215-534-6700



May 11 (Saturday): Franklin Parker Preserve,  Chatsworth, Burlington Co., NJ


Car caravan tour of the Franklin Parker Preserve, a tract of land that includes 9200 acres of natural forests, a segment of the Wading River, various stream corridors, reservoirs, open wetlands, restored wetlands in former agricultural areas, maintained upland meadows, and shrublands. It contains passive use nature trails and several nature observation platforms. There is an extensive road network, a former airstrip, agricultural outbuildings, and small sand, clay, and gravel excavation sites. The preserve is surrounded by large contiguous areas of mostly state forestland, except for large cranberry farms and pine plantations to the south, and the village of Chatsworth in its center. The preserve is closed to motorized traffic by the general public. We will drive to at least a half dozen sites and explore these on foot. Most of the vegetation communities will be characteristic Pine Barrens. Others are of interest because they represent various stages of a restoration plan that is being implemented in former commercial cranberry bogs.   A joint trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club


DirectionsFrom the intersection of County Rt. 563 and County Rt. 532 (the center of Chatsworth), go west on Rt. 532 about eight tenths of a mile. The entrance to FPP will be on your left.


Leader: Russell Juelg,, 609-654-6455



May 18 (Saturday):  Bartram’s Garden and American Society of Botanical Artists Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA


This is a return trip to view the flora of Bartram’s Garden, “America’s first botanical garden,” and home to John and William Bartram, under the guidance of the Curator Joel Fry.  A highlight of the day will be a visit to an exhibition prepared by the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) of contemporary botanical art inspired by the Bartrams,     See the web site:


Directions:  From the west, via I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway): Travel east and south through Center City to Exit 346B, Gray’s Ferry Avenue. Bear left on exit ramp and turn left at light on to 34th Street/University Avenue. At next light turn right on Gray’s Ferry Avenue and cross Schuylkill River. Take first left on to Paschall Avenue. Turn left at next light on to 49th Street and around bend on to Gray’s Avenue. Follow trolley tracks and bear left at fork on to Lindbergh Boulevard.  Just beyond 54th Street sign and immediately after crossing railroad bridge make sharp left turn into entrance, which is not visible until after crossing bridge.  By public transit: take SEPTA 36 Trolley from Center City or University City to 54th & Lindbergh Blvd. Walk across railroad bridge and turn left to entrance for Bartram’s Garden



Leaders:  Joel Fry, 215-729-5281 x106, and Robin Jess,



Sunday, June 16 (Sunday):  Glen Onoko, Jim Thorpe, Lehigh Gorge, Carbon Co., PA


This is a particularly rugged area for hiking, so be prepared.   It is not for the frail or faint of heart.  We will ascend the moist, cool, hemlock-shaded ravine of Glen Onoko to emerge on the xeric Broad Mountain plateau, covered with an acidic forest and ericaceous understory. Attractions include Huperzia porophila, Asplenium montanum, and Drosera sp. growing on sandstone ledges. We will also look for Streptopus amplexifolius (twisted stalk).   Asplenium bradleyi may be a possibility. For those who are not up to the strenuous climb, a stroll north along the rail-trail to enjoy some of the ferns in the retaining wall is possible.  A joint trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club


Directions: Directions: Take the Northeast Extension (476) north from Philadelphia. Leave 476 at exit 74 (Mahoning Valley) and go left onto US 209 south (toward Lehighton). Follow 209 to Jim Thorpe. Immediately after driving through Jim Thorpe (stoplight, railroad station), turn
right on Route 903 (River Street) and cross the bridge over the Lehigh River. Go up the hill on 903, and where 903 turns right as North St at the top of the hill, stop and go straight on Main Street. Follow Main Street down into a hollow, ascend, and turn left when you see the sign
for Lehigh Gorge State Park. Follow the park road along the river and across it to a loop and parking at the end.

Leader: Chris Hoess,, phone: (267) 918-6803.



July 7 (Sunday):  Workshop - Botanical Printing


This is a new type of workshop for us.   We will spend 2 ˝ hours with Laura Bethmann, author of Hand Printing From Nature, learning the art of making prints of ferns and wildflowers from fresh specimens.  Excerpts from her blog:

“Experience is the real thing. Breathing in the teeming, earthy fragrance of a spring morning is an ordinary, sensory experience. Dipping bare feet into a rushing stream or examining faceted crystals on a frosty windowpane are common experiences that, if we pay attention, have the power to awaken a profound place of beauty within us. We have the capability to recognize the beauty and mystery of nature because beauty and mystery are at the heart of our being. It is in all the life around us – it is us.

When we’re hand-printing nature and reveling in all her shapes and patterns, we begin to notice similarities within the seemingly different: how wood grain looks like the ripples on a pond, how a cut lemon is like a daisy. The patterns of nature — branching, radiating, turbulence, and spiraling, to name a few — recur in different forms.

The branching pattern we see in trees is typical of vascular systems. It is found in leaf veining and root growth in plants, and in lung structures and blood circulation in animals. Colonies of bacteria, ice crystals, water channels, and lightning all exhibit branching patterns.

Radiating or explosion patterns take place in stars and volcanoes and can be seen in the streaming rays of the sun, yet the explosion pattern also occurs in diminutive flowers. From a daisy’s golden center disk burst radiating petals. Named because it mimics the sun, daisy comes from its Old English name, “day’s eye.””


There is a $25 fee for participation, payable at the door, and this includes all necessary materials.  We will gather fresh specimens on site.    Please register by email before June 23 with David Lauer,



Directions:  Please contact for directions.


Leader: Laura Bethmann,,          609-296-7219



July 20 (Saturday): Crow's Nest Preserve, Chester Co. & Berks Co., PA


One of an ongoing series of trips over several years to complete a comprehensive botanical portrait of this Natural Lands Trust (NLT)  preserve in the French Creek area. Crow's Nest is one of over 40 preserves owned by NLT,  is composed of some 600-plus acres, and has been managed  by for about 17 years with removal of invasive species, deer population control and fire management. It is considered to be part of the "Hopewell Big Woods," an area  of about 73,000 contiguous acres of woodland. A joint field trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club


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 (email: & phone number: 610-701-8685.




August 3 (Saturday): Fern Identification Workshop: Beyond the Basics


In this workshop, we tackle the identification of some moderately difficult ferns. A particular focus will be the small rock-loving ferns, such as Woodsia obtusa, Pellaea species, and Cystopteris species. We will also cover distinctions between Dryopteris species, though we will not cover Dryopteris hybrids in any detail. Participants are expected to have a grasp on the basics of fern identification, such as knowing where to find sori and being able to distinguish the common genera (e.g. Athyrium, Dryopteris, Osmunda). The workshop will start indoors, where we'll study fern fronds. We will then proceed into Fairmount Park to see the ferns in their habitats. Bring a hand lens. If you have any ferns you want identified, bring a frond. The workshop will end at approximately 1 PM.


Location and Registration: The workshop is limited to members of the Philadelphia Botanical Club and the Delaware Valley Fern and Wildflower Society. The workshop is free, but you must register with the leader by July 27. Participation will be limited to 20.  Directions to Cedars House in Fairmount Park in northwest Philadelphia (Not “The Cedars” in the main portion of Fairmount Park) will be sent to registrants.


Leader: Janet Novak, 215-248-2642 or





August 9 through 12 (Friday through Monday):  Ferns of Vermont


This is a joint trip with the Delaware Valley Fern and Wildflower Society, and comes one week after Janet Novak's fern workshop.    Here's a chance to test your pteridophyte mettle!   Vermont has a diverse fern flora (see Mike Rosenthal's web site:   'Fess up – have you ever seen “Miss Woolson's Spleenwort?”


Friday – Afternoon: Trip for early arrivals to Mt. Aeolus in Dorset. Plants to see: Cystopteris bulbifera, C. tenuis, Matteuccia struthiopteris, Asplenium ruta-muraria and many others. Although it will be late in the season for them, we may also see two moonworts that are not known from any other location in the eastern US: Botrychium ascendens and B. campestre.

Saturday – Morning: Visit our home gardens. Plants to see: about 80 native Vermont ferns and Lycophytes including some rare Dryopteris hybrids.

Lunch: Wayside Country Store

Afternoon: (Less strenuous) Sharon will take a group to a garden in East Arlington. You’ve got to see this to believe it!

(More strenuous) Mike will lead an Isoetes (quillwort) foray in Windham County. We’ll visit the site of the newly discovered I. viridimontana at its only known location in the world. Carl Taylor recently submitted the article on it to the American Fern Journal. Look for it there in the near future.

Sunday - Travel day to Morrisville in northern VT. We’ll stop at a few sites (to be determined) along the way and we’ll visit Cadys Cove Nursery in the afternoon.

Monday- Morning: Trip to Barr Hill for Diphasiastrum x sabinifolium, D. complanatum, Spinulum canadense, etc.

For those who can stay a little longer, trip to the Connecticut River area for Diphasiastrum x verecundum, Botrychium multifidum, Isoetes riparia, I. echinospora, and their hybrid, I. dodgei.

Accomodations: Please make your own. Here are some suggestions. Friday and Saturday night in the Arlington area: Candlelight Motel (, or Arcady at Sunderland Lodge (, or Camping on the Battenkill ( Sunday night in Morrisville: Sunset Motor Inn (


Directions:  Contact the leader (Schieber) for meeting place and time.


Leaders:  Jack Schieber,,  215-357-3720, David Lauer, 215-622-0852,  and Mike Rosenthal, 


August 24 (Saturday):  Sadsbury Woods Preserve, Chester Co., PA


This 513 acre Natural Lands Trust preserve includes one of the largest remaining unfragmented woodlands in Chester County.    It is an important habitat for interior nesting birds and small mammals, and has an excellent variety of ferns and flowering plants.   For additional information and a trail map, go to:


Directions:  From the Philadelphia area, take route 202 South from the intersection with the Schuylkill Expressway and the Pennsylvania Turnpike and travel southwest towards Exton, where you should enter the Route 30 bypass.   Follow the bypass to the very end where it merges with Business Route 30, past Coatesville.    Immediately after the merge, you will turn right onto Compass Road.  See the trail map at for detailed directions, or click here:,-75.912952&spn=0.034388,0.065832.   Travel north on Compass Rd, bear right onto Skiles or Scroggy Drive and follow that to the “T” intersection with Old Wilmington Rd.  Turn right again, and after a short distance, turn right onto Northwood Drive.   Proceed a short distance to the sign and parking area for the preserve.   


Leader:  David Lauer,  215-622-0852 (cell) and   


September 8, (Sunday): Milford Bluffs, Hunterdon County, NJ


We will visit the Thomas F. Breden Preserve at Milford Bluffs, across the river from Upper Black Eddy, PA.  View a map of the preserve at  As described on their website, the preserve is famous for its breath-taking views of the Delaware River and beyond.  Included in the preserve are approximately 13 acres that include the hot dry microclimates on the high westward facing red shale bluff.  This feature is specialized habitat for some of New Jersey’s rarest plants. Cheilanthes lanosa, the hairy lipfern, is common on the cliff edges. A curiosity for Hunterdon County, but not rare within the state, are the prickly pear cactus found growing roadside at the base of the cliff. We will visit the base of the cliffs, below the preserve, after lunch.   The preserve, which sits atop a plateau, includes woodlots, old fields and a hemlock-shaded trout stream. The Trust works to manage old fields to benefit grassland songbirds such as the bluebird, meadowlark and bobolink. Periodic brush hog mowing and incorporating prescribed fire for management on over 30 acres of old fields helps keep the openings in various stages of succession.   A joint trip with the Delaware Valley Fern and Wildflower Society.

Directions:  Drive north out of Milford NJ, (across the bridge from Upper Black Eddy, PA on River Road,Rte 32) on route 519 for approximately 1 miles, and look for a small gravel road marked with a  newspaper box on the left. One of our members should be stationed there by 9:40 AM to guide you in.  Turn left and follow the gravel road to the parking area.

Leaders:  Doug Kligman,  484-432-0794 (cell)



September 15 (Sunday): Plant families in the field; Delhaas Woods, Bucks County PA

If you never learned the characteristics of the plant families—or if you need to relearn them after the recent taxonomic changes—this trip is for you. Using examples found in the lovely coastal-plain site of Delhaas Woods, the leader will demonstrate how to identify some important plant families, emphasizing the Angiosperms (flowering plants). If you want to study the subject beforehand, the following resources are recommended:

The Tree of Life project:

Angiosperm Phylogeny Website:

Haston, Elspeth, et al. "The Linear Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (LAPG) III: a linear sequence of the families in APG III." Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society 161.2 (2009): 128-131.

Christenhusz, Maarten, et al. "A new classification and linear sequence of extant gymnosperms." Phytotaxa 19 (2011): 55-70.

Christenhusz, Maarten, Xian-Chun Zhang, and Harald Schneider. "A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns." Phytotaxa 19 (2011): 7-54.

A linear classification of Angiosperms:

A linear classification of lycophytes, ferns and gymnosperms:

Directions: Meet at the parking lot of the Silver Lake Nature Center, 1306 Bath Road, Bristol, PA. From I-95 North, take exit 40 for PA 413 North. At the end of the ramp, turn left onto 413 North. After 0.6 miles, turn right onto Ford Road. Proceed 0.3 miles and bear right onto Bath Road. The Nature Center will be on your left after 1.3 miles.

Leader: Alina Freire-Fierro,, 267-231-7078 (cell).


September 28 (Saturday): A Bartram Tour Through The New Jersey Pine Barrens

This tour will follow the explorations of colonial botanist John Bartram in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Bartram’s more distant trips to New York, New England, Pittsburgh, Florida and the South are better known, but Bartram collected plants in southern New Jersey and the Pine Barrens from the beginning of his work as a botanist, making collections from Egg Harbor, Cape May, and “the sandy barren deserts” of the Pine Barrens, today called The Plains. John Bartram probably traveled and collected in New Jersey in almost every year of his adult life and the Pine Barrens remained a continuing source for the Bartram family seed trade. John Bartram grew Pine Barrens plants in his botanic garden, including what he called “the grassy plant” Xerophyllum asphodeloides and the “autumnal gentian of the desert” Gentiana autumnalis. We will visit the following locations with plants Bartram was known to collect:

Whitesbog, where modern blueberry cultivation began. Elizabeth White experimented here in the early 20th century with the cultivation and naturalization of the Bartram discovery—Franklinia alatamaha.

The Plains (and a remnant passage of the “Keith Line,” a late 17th century survey cut made to define “East” and “West Jersey).

Cedar Bridge Road, an eighteenth century route through the Pines.

Little Egg Harbor Meeting, at Tuckerton, part of the Quaker settlement founded here in 1702.

Seven Bridges Road” or Great Bay Boulevard and the bay beaches where some of the maritime plants Bartram collected are found. (One of his earliest collections included beach pea, Lathyrus maritimus, which reaches its southern distribution limit here).

Directions: Meet at Whitesbog Village, off County Road 530, just west of its intersection with Route 70, Burlington County, NJ.

Leaders: Joel T. Fry, Curator, Bartram’s Garden, 215-729-5281 x106, and Bill Cahill,, 609-694-4400.




October 4 - 6 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday):  John Burroughs' Slabsides and the Esopus Gorge, West Park, NY.


John Burroughs was a prolific writer in the late 19th and early 20th century and he popularized the study of botany and other aspects of nature for common folk in the post civil ware era.   Along with John Muir, he was one of the “two Johns,” (they resembled each other physically) and his camping trips with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone  attracted much atttention.   His writing cabin “Slabsides” was built in 1895 and still exists as a national historic landmark within the 170 acre John Burroughs Sanctuary.   The cabin is open for visitors on Saturday, October 5, when we will visit and botanize within the Sanctuary.  On Friday afternoon and Sunday morning we will explore the nearby Esopus Gorge with the assistance of Sam Adams, a local botanist.  A joint trip with the Delaware Valley Fern and Wildflower Society


Directions:  Please contact the leader for car pooling, meeting place and lodging information.


Leader:  David Lauer,, 215-622-0852.




December 8 (Sunday): Winter Botany; Spring Mountain and the Perkiomen Trail, Montgomery County, PA

Spring Mountain is a small peak composed of diasbase, a volcanic rock that gives rise to a rich soil and, often, a rich flora. We'll go through meadow and rocky woods, seeing what we can identify in winter.

Directions: From Schwenksville, take route 73 north. At the edge of town, turn right on Park Ave./Schwenksville Road (at the light with Ortino's Restaurant on the corner). After 0.3 mile, make a sharp left onto Cedar Road. Take 1st left into a large parking lot.

Leader: Janet Novak,; cell 215-534-6700