2018 Coachmen Pursuit
2018 Coachmen Pursuit
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Although little is known about the first settlers of the Mendham, NJ, area, records show that there was a small community as of the 1730s. In 1740, Ebenezer Byram renovated an old farmhouse into the Black Horse Tavern, which is a historical landmark still standing today. With the new enterprise attracting new residents and travelers, the community grew into a proper town and was officially founded in 1749. Historians speculate that the name is derived from two possible sources: it may be named for a town in Suffolk, England. However, most of the residents in the 1730s and 1740s were Irish and Scotch Protestants, and in those times, they weren’t very fond of their British cousins. The other possibility is it’s an Anglicization of a Native American word, “mendom,” which means raspberries.
Today, Mendham is especially known for a plethora of historic homes and structures. Black Horse Tavern is one of the oldest still-working tavern pubs in New Jersey. The Phoenix House, which a younger building, built in the late 1700s, is another structure still being used today. A former posh Federal-style hotel, it now houses the local Mendham government. Mendham is a terrific place in which to search for a rental RV. It’s under 45 miles to New York City, and it’s also under 45 miles to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Best of both worlds, indeed.
A Mendham travel trailer rental makes it easy to explore the dozens of wilderness parks in the area as well as the majestic Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The closest, Morristown National Historical Park, is a modest 2,000-acre park. In addition to commemorating the infamous winter General Washington and his men endured in 1779, there are almost 30 miles of hiking trails. A few miles of these trails, about 10, are shared with horseback riders. The trails serpentine and wind through mature woods and passes by historical landmarks like Fort Nonsense and General Washington’s headquarters. The Jersey Hollow, an open-space area within the park, has a couple of herds of white-tailed deer. While other wild animals like black bears and coyotes are known to reside in this park, they are rarely spotted.
The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is another scenic park that may intrigue outdoorsmen and nature lovers. Nearly 8,000 acres, it’s home to several endangered and threatened wildlife like the Indiana bat, bog turtle, wood turtle, and blue spotted salamander. In spite of the name, the park has a mix of different terrains, including grasslands, brush, forests, and marshes, of course. Over 15 miles of established trails pass through the drier parts of the park, and the adventurers are welcome to go off-trail. Hip boots are recommended, though. Because this park is a habitat for endangered species, boating and pets are not allowed.
A few short miles to the west, Delaware Water Gap Recreational Area stretches for hundreds of miles along the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border. Affectionately known as the Gap, the park has several hundred miles of hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty. The trails criss-cross through woods, passing by waterfalls, fossil sites (heads up fossil collecting is prohibited without permits), ponds, and scenic vistas. A portion of the Appalachian Trail, roughly 30 miles, cuts through the Gap. Sharing snacks and first-aid supplies with the thru-hikers are encouraged but not required. Bring your Mendham camper rental here as there are a few RV-friendly campsites at the Gap along with several private ones.
When you book an RV in Mendham, NJ, don’t forget to figure out where to park overnight. There are a few campgrounds within a 10-mile radius. The FLA-Net Park Campgrounds in Flanders may be a candidate. A family-run business for three generations, it offers the usual basic amenities like 30/50 amps and full hookups. The campground offers a small fishing pond, which makes catching trout for supper a nice plus.
The spacious 160-acre Panther Lake Camping Resort may be a good option, as well. The sprawling RV resort has some luxury amenities like a hot tub and a swimming pool, a basketball court, and a game room.
In the heart of the suburbs, it’s easy to overlook potential fun and adventure. With a Mendham motorhome rental, getting around to the local sights and activities will be a snap. Tour Mendham and the neighboring towns. Several homes and buildings are historic, dating back to the founding of this country. In Mendham alone, the Phoenix House and Black Horse Tavern are two such examples. The Ralston Cider Mill on the outskirts of a town is the only 19th-century cider mill still operating in New Jersey. Today, both a working cider mill and a museum, it’s open to the public for tours.
The art of making craft beer and wines too dates back to the 17th century. There are several wineries making wonderful wines in the area. The Beneduce Vineyards near Clinton, for example, has won several coveted national awards for their Premium and Signature wines, one of which includes a gold medal awarded by the Beverage Tasting Institute. The tasting room overlooks rolling hills of grape vines.
For thrills and adventure, hop into your Mendham RV rental and zip over to the Land of Make Believe in Hope. This is one of the oldest amusement parks in New Jersey. The high-octane roller coaster rides are anything but rickety and antique, though! The amusement park boasts modern rides like a 360 swing, tower ride, roller coasters, and drenching water slides.
At the end of a long day of sightseeing and adventure, enjoy the setting sun over picturesque New Jersey in your perfect RV rental.