Cool, shaded, wet and damp, the Mountain Lake Bog Preserve is steeped in botanical history. Located at the outlet to Mountain Lake, the bog is a densely vegetated peat wetland formed along the banks of Mountain Lake Brook. One of the best examples of a black spruce and tamarack plant community grows among the sphagnum moss. Swamp white oak, black gum and red and silver maple can also grow in the deep wet soils. A unique glacially formed wetland, Mountain Lake Bog has attracted naturalists and leading botanists as early as the 1800s to look for rare plants more often found in northern states. Nathaniel Lord Britton, founder of the New York Botanical Garden and author of the Illustrated Flora of the Northeast, did extensive surveys here in 1880s. Mostly unchanged, naturalists still explore the bog in hopes of discovering any number of rare and beautiful plants including leathery grape fern and bog willow. Beaver dams create small impoundments where mallards and wood ducks feed and rest during fall migrations.
Recently the Trust, in cooperation with the North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D) as well as Liberty Township Environmental Commission, completed a successful wetland restoration. Using grant funding from RC&D a two-acre area of mowed grass, old stumps and trash was cleaned up and returned to a more natural habitat condition. Dumpsters were loaded with old stumps and scrap metal, which had filled in areas of bog, resulting in impacts to streamside habitat. Conservation experts designed a stream bank restoration plan using native plant materials intended to create shade and reduce erosion. Students from Warren County New Jersey Youth Corp planted over 100 trees and shrubs including sycamore and red osier dogwood. Native warm season grass was also incorporated into the design to diversify the available habitat.
Due to the wet bog conditions, the preserve offers little usable access for the general public. Parking is limited. However access to hiking trails within Jenny Jump State Forest can be found near the north end of Mountain Lake. The Trust allows registration for deer hunting at this preserve.