Great Meadows of Allamuchy, NJ - My backyard
Your adventures begin, turning off Alphano Road onto Youngs Island Road!! IMMEDIATELY, your vision, begins reaching out in all directions, attempting to take in the beautiful panorama presented!! You quickly note that Youngs Island Road, takes on the form of a land bridge, cutting the panorama in half, as it crosses above the lush, wet sod and farm fields. Many drainage ditches and ponds are scattered across the entire area, creating their own unique ecosystems, which means diversity of wildlife! You will also note, this soil is BLACK, often referred by the locals as muck or the mucklands. A brief description about the creation of this site will follow. NOTE: Charlie says, “Within every panorama, there are many smaller pictures!!” This area is definitely full of smaller pictures – keep a sharp eye out & keep your ears tuned in for noises AND KEEP YOUR CAMERA READY!!

The ‘Great Meadows’ of our region where created by the Wisconsin Ice Age. Look at the distant ridges in our photo, that is Jenny Jump State Forest, that ridge was covered by several thousand feet of glacier. The Wisconsin Glacier had its southern terminus in this area. The glaciers created moraines, piles of rock, soil and silt that had been pushed along in front of the grinding ice. Twenty thousand years ago, the ice began to melt and retreat back north, the moraines acted as dams, pooling the melting water into a large lake. The large shallow lake was in existence for many millennia, the black soil of the Great Meadows was created by leaves and other rotting debris settling on the lakes bed. The lakes eventually drained away but this area has always had abundant ground water which is still present today.

The Great Meadows area here has many ecosystems. Forested rock ridges, Pequest River and its riparian woodlands, muckland sod and farm fields along with all the irrigation ditches and ponds, each a unique habitat. This means abundant wildlife! The setting of the raised road gives the visitor great vantage points to monitor activities of wildlife. The telephone poles and wires along the road offer great opportunities to observe many species of birds. Keep in mind that halfway down Youngs Island Road is the abandoned Lehigh & Hudson River RR rite-of-way, now a trail. There is a small area to park a car and walk north along the old RR bed. Allamuchy Township, created a Nature Trail which connects our Town Hall and property to the old rail bed about a mile north of Youngs Island Road.. This trail has kiosks and four benches making it very user friendly for all ages. The Warren Highlands Trail Greenbelt (still in the making) crossing Warren County from P’Burg to the ‘Wild & Scenic’ Musconetcong River will be coming through Allamuchy, from Ghost Lake, Shades of Death Road and using the L&HR RR and Allamuchy Township’s Nature Trail working its way to Allamuchy Mountain State Park. I think you can see there are many wonderful activities and sites ‘Inside Warren’ !!!

Before taking your Photo Tour, keep in mind, I would dare say 90% of these photos were taken from my car!!! Keeping that in mind, along with the above descriptions of this site, I don’t think anyone should be excluded from a nice visit with Nature!!
Enjoy Your Open Space

Charlie Fineran

Director Open Space
Allamuchy Township Environmental Commission – Chairman
Allamuchy Historical Society - President
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