Baldpate Mountain is part of the largest continuously forested area in central New Jersey, the Sourlands Region, stretching across Mercer, Somerset, and Hunterdon Counties. Its mature woodlands, wetlands, and open meadows harbor a rich variety of native trees and shrubs and a diverse bird population. The forests abound with American Beech with their steely-gray bark, Tulip Poplars like tall, straight sentinels, oaks, birches, hickory, cherries and many other species. In spring, the forest floor is brightened by mayflower, columbine, black snakeroot, spring beauties, bunchberry, trout lilies, and numerous other wildflowers. The fringes of the forest and orchard areas offer wild raspberries in early summer, and those who know where to look and what to pick safely can enrich their dinners with a variety of wild mushrooms.
The birdlife of Baldpate attracts amateur birdwatchers and scientists. Its population, too diverse to list here, includes a variety of warblers, wild turkeys, barn swallows, pileated and downy woodpeckers, goldfinches, wood thrushes, and many more.
The animal population on Baldpate includes the expected small residents such as chipmunks, voles, bats, groundhogs, and squirrels, foxes and coyotes, and representatives of the area’s deer population. Black bears have been sighted on occasion as well. The pond and brooks harbor invertebrates, amphibians, and small fish. The rocky outcrops provide cover for various harmless snakes, but naturalists have also found the rarely seen copperhead snake, whose bite can be harmful. Do not reach or step blindly into the rocks in warm weather.
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