Tillmanes Ravine

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In 1907 the New Jersey Forest and Park Commission
purchased 5,432 acres of land in the northwest corner of
the state and named it “Stokes State Forest” in honor of
Governor Edward Stokes who had 500 acres. Some of the
tracts included in the original purchases were acquired
for one dollar per acre. subsequent acquisitions have
slowly increased the total land area to it’s present size
of over 17,000 acres. Stokes State Forest is managed as
a multi-use forest with the primary functions of
protecting the natural resources while serving the public
Within Stokes State Forest lies some of the finest
mountain scenery, clearist fresh water streams, and
natural scenic areas in new jersey. The area is enriched
with history, abounds with a vast diversity of flora and
founa, and offers many forms of recreational activities.
Stokes Forest is considered a Temporate Deciduous
Forest. Temporate Forests occur thoughout midlatitudes
where their is sufficient moisture to support the growth
of large trees. These trees drop their leaves before
winter, when temperatures are too low for effective
photosynthesis and water lost by evaporation is not
replaced from frozen soil. Many Temporate Forest mammals
also enter a dormant state called hybernation, and some
birds fly south to warmer climates. Virtually all the
original Deciduous forests in north America were
destroyed by logging and land clearing for agriclture and
urban development. This is one of the reasons why Stokes
State Forest is such a special place.

Within Stokes State Forest is a place called
Tillmans Ravine Natural Area. Natural Areas are Defined
as areas of land or water which have retained their
primeval character, although not necessarily completly
natural and undisturbed, or have rare or vanishing
species of plant and animal life, or have similar
features of interest which are worthy of preservation for
the use of visators. This is one of New Jersey’s
picturesque natural areas and is visited by thousands of
people throughout the year. Taking any one of the trails
will lead down to Tillman Brook which originates from a
spring in the Kittatinny Mountains to the east. The
stream flows swiftly past the massive red shale and sand
stone walls that have been carved out by years of
erosion. The tall canopy of eastern hemlock and tulip
trees along with spreading Rhododendroms blanket the area
Hopefully with New Jerseys strict conservation laws
Tillmans Ravine and the rest of Stokes State Forest will
be there for future genertions to enjoy.

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