Washington Crossing State Park

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Washington Crossing State Park
Washington Crossing NJ State Park Delaware River looking across to Pennsylvania.JPG
Crossing site, from the New Jersey side, looking west to Pennsylvania across the Delaware River.
Location Hopewell Township, Mercer County, New Jersey
Nearest city Titusville, New Jersey
Coordinates 40°18′17.76″N 74°51′24.82″W / 40.3049333°N 74.8568944°W / 40.3049333; -74.8568944Coordinates: 40°18′17.76″N 74°51′24.82″W / 40.3049333°N 74.8568944°W / 40.3049333; -74.8568944
Area 3,575 acres (1,447 ha)
Official website

Not to be confused with Washington Crossing Historic Park, a Pennsylvania state park across the Delaware River near Yardley, Pennsylvania

Washington Crossing State Park is a 3,575-acre (14 km2) state park in the U.S. state of New Jersey that is part of Washington's Crossing, a U.S. National Historic Landmark area. It is located in the Titusville section of Hopewell Township in Mercer County, north of Trenton along the Delaware River. The park is operated and maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.

The park includes the site of Washington's crossing of the Delaware at Johnsons Ferry. This is where General George Washington and a 2,400-man detachment of Continental Army troops crossed the river overnight on December 25, 1776, and into the morning of December 26, 1776, in order to make a surprise attack on Trenton, a move that would prove to be a turning point in the American Revolutionary War.

This park area, together with Washington Crossing Historic Park on the Pennsylvania side, comprise the Washington's Crossing National Historic Landmark.

Inside the park is the Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre, an outdoor theater with seating consisting of wooden benches.

Goat Hill Overlook, located nearby in West Amwell Township in Hunterdon County, is administered by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry as part of Washington Crossing State Park.

Washington Crossing Visitor Center Museum[edit]

Volunteers displaying uniforms and informing visitors about the life of a soldier.

The Washington Crossing Visitor Center Museum focuses on the American Revolution and the military campaign known as the "Ten Crucial Days" from December 25, 1776, through January 3, 1777.[1] During this time the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River, and the Battle of Trenton, the Second Battle of Trenton and the Battle of Princeton occurred. The museum houses over 700 period objects.

Johnson Ferry House[edit]

The Johnson Ferry House.

The Johnson Ferry House, an 18th-century farmhouse and tavern near the Delaware River, was owned by Garret Johnson, who operated a 490 acre plantation and a ferry service across the Delaware.[2] It was likely used by General Washington and other officers at the time of the Christmas night crossing of the Delaware.[3] Several rooms are furnished with period pieces, and there is an 18th-century kitchen garden. On weekends, living history demonstrations are frequently held.

Nature Center & Observatory[edit]

The Washington Crossing State Park Nature Center offers nature education programs are for schools, youth groups, community organizations and visitors to the park. The center is open Wednesday through Sunday, year round.

Nearby is the John W. H. Simpson Observatory, which is operated by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton. The observatory houses two telescopes: a 6.25-inch Hastings-Byrne refractor and a 14-inch SCT. The observatory is open for public observing led by association volunteers on Friday nights April through October from 8 pm to 11 pm weather permitting. Observatory phone: 609-737-2575.

Goat Hill Overlook[edit]

Sign marking army route.

Goat Hill Overlook is a 213-acre scenic preserve administered as part of nearby Washington Crossing State Park. The DEP’s Green Acres program purchased the Goat Hill Overlook property in 2009 for $4.5 million from Constructural Dynamics Inc. of Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. The company acquired Goat Hill Overlook from the Boy Scouts in 1983 and originally intended to use the land for mining operations. That plan was later changed in favor of constructing a residential development complex at the site. In addition to views of the Delaware River, the property features a prominent rock, known as Washington Rock. According to local legend, General George Washington used the views from Goat Hill Overlook to assess battle conditions during the Revolutionary War. The site also offers miles of hiking trails and contains a variety of wildlife and plant species.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ten Crucial Days". Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area and Association. 
  2. ^ Danilov, Victor J. Famous Americans: A Directory of Museums, Historic Sites, and Memorials Scarecrow Press, 2013 http://books.google.com/books?id=kWsrAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA206&dq=johnson+ferry+house+garret&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WDxtUsO3O-LCyQHa8IC4Bw&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=johnson%20ferry%20house%20garret&f=false Retrieved October 27, 2013
  3. ^ Department of Environmental Protection
  4. ^ "DEP Preserves Scenic Acres Along the Delaware River" (Press release). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. 2009-10-14. "Department of Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Mark N. Mauriello today announced the preservation of a 213-acre scenic property in West Amwell Township, Hunterdon County." 

External links[edit]