Updates from the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut Highlands

Focus Areas

Focus Area Name County Description
Depot Hill/Pawling/West Mountain NY (Dutchess and Putnam) This forested upland and rich riverine wetlands complex anchors the northeast corner of the study area and continues north further into Dutchess County and northeast into Connecticut. This focal area was ranked highly in the Conservation Values Assessment.
East Hudson Highlands NY (Dutchess and Putnam) There are large tracts of forested ridges and valleys that could be connected to provide a contiguous expanse between Hudson Highlands State Park on the west to Breakneck Ridge on the north to Clarence Fahnestock State Park on the east and along the Appalachian Trail corridor to Camp Smith in the south. This focal area was ranked highly due to its value for productive forest land, biodiversity, and recreation.
Ft. Defiance Hill and Canopus Valley NY (Putnam and Westchester) This corridor of upland ridges and forested valley connects Anthony’s Nose and Camp Smith in the south with Clarence Fahnestock State Park in the north and includes the Appalachian National Scenic Trail corridor. This focal area was ranked highly due to its value for biodiversity and recreation.
West end of New Croton Reservoir NY (Westchester) There are large tracts of forested uplands (Dickerson Mountain, Salt Hill to Prickly Pear Hill) that would serve to connect Blue Mountain Reservation on the west and Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park on the north and Teatown Lake Reserve in the south. This focal area was ranked highly due to its value for water resources and biodiversity, and secondarily for recreation.
Tuxedo and Arden Farms area NY (Orange) There are some major unprotected lands in high resource value zones adjacent to the existing Sterling Forest and Harriman State parks. This focal area was ranked highly due to its value for water resources, productive forest land, and biodiversity.
Ramapo Mountains and Torne Valley Bergen (NJ) and Rockland (NY) There are some major unprotected lands in high resource value zones surrounding the Wanaque Reservoir that would connect existing State and county parks and forests in these two heavily utilized recreational areas. This focal area was ranked highly due to its value for water resources, biodiversity, and recreation.
Wyanokie and Farny Highlands NJ (Passaic and Bergen) There are some major unprotected lands in nearby Wanaque and Split Rock reservoirs that would connect existing State and county parks and forests in these two heavily utilized recreational areas. This focal area was ranked highly due to its value for water resources and recreation, and secondarily for biodiversity and forest land.
Pequannock Watershed NJ (Morris, Passaic, and Sussex) This critical watershed area serves as the core of the northern New Jersey Highlands and serves as a major hub connecting existing open space areas. Major gaps in conservation protection include the adjacent areas of Sparta Mountain and the Farny Highlands. This focal area was ranked highly due to its multiple values for water resources, forest land, biodiversity, and recreation.
Sparta Mountain/Lubber’s Run NJ (Morris and Sussex) The wooded ridges of Sparta Mountain and Lubber’s Run valley provide an important greenway corridor connecting Mahlon Dickerson Reservation in the north and Allamuchy Mountain State Park in the south. Major gaps in conservation protection include the nearby areas of Mase Mountain. This focal area was ranked highly due to its value for productive forest land, biodiversity, and recreation.
Upper Pohatcong/Pequest area NJ (Warren) These forested ridges and wetlands centered around the Pequest Wildlife Management Area serve as an important ground water recharge, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation area. This focal area was ranked highly due to its value for water resources and recreation and secondarily for its productive forest and farm land.
Scott Mountain/Musconetcong Ridge area NJ (Warren and Hunterdon) These forested ridges and the neighboring productive farmland of the Delaware, Pohatcong, and Musconetcong valleys form a large contiguous area of high-quality rural landscape. This focal area was ranked highly due to its value for biodiversity and productive farmland, and secondarily for forest land and recreation.
Delaware Palisades PA (Bucks and Lehigh) (TBD)
Penn’s Ridge PA (Bucks and Montgomery) Penn’s Ridge is the first major ridge one encounters while traveling westward into the piedmont region from the coastal plain of Southeastern Pennsylvania.  The ridge is covered with mixed deciduous interior forests, and is a source of clean water to the Upper Perkiomen Creek.
Hopewell Big Woods PA (Chester and Berks) (TBD)
Furnace Hills PA (Lancaster and Lebanon) Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area
Susquehenna Crossing The Susquehanna Crossing Focal area is the western portion of the Highlands region including Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna Greenway corridor, one of five Mega-greenways in the commonwealth, pinned between the Sand Hills to the east of the river and the Conewago Mountains to the west of the river. The Sand Hills stands alone as the last bastion of natural resources along the eastern shore of the mighty Susquehanna River, displaying unique geologic features and significant woodlands.  The Conewago Mountains form an arc of peaks that spread along the western shores of the river, containing sensitive natural areas and significant outdoor recreation amenities.
Oley Hills PA (Berks) (TBD)