Washington Crossing State Park
|Washington Crossing State Park|
|Location||Hopewell Township, Mercer County, New Jersey|
|Nearest city||Titusville, New Jersey|
|Area||3,575 acres (1,447 ha)|
|Administered by||New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry|
- 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 Washington Crossing and Titusville sections 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. It is supported by the Washington Crossing Park Association, a friends group which works to preserve, enhance and advocate for the park.
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.
Inside the park is the Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre, an outdoor theater with seating consisting of wooden benches.
Washington Crossing Visitor Center Museum
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. 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
The Johnson Ferry House, an 18th-century farmhouse and tavern near the Delaware River, was owned by Garret Johnson, who operated a 490 acres (2.0 km2) plantation and a ferry service across the Delaware. It was likely used by General Washington and other officers at the time of the Christmas night crossing of the Delaware. 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 and Observatory
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
Goat Hill Overlook is a 213 acres (0.86 km2) 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.
- Washington's Crossing
- List of New Jersey state parks
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Mercer County, New Jersey
- Official website
- "Ten Crucial Days". Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area and Association.
- Danilov, Victor J. Famous Americans: A Directory of Museums, Historic Sites, and Memorials Scarecrow Press, 2013 https://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
- Department of Environmental Protection
- "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 acres (0.86 km2) scenic property in West Amwell Township, Hunterdon County.
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