2012 Keystone Passport
2012 Keystone Passport
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Voorhees State Park is located in the state of New Jersey, just a short drive west of New York, and is a great base for exploring the area when you book an RV in Hunterdon County. The park was established in 1929 when former New Jersey governor Foster M. Voorhees donated his 325-acre farm to the people. Since then, the park has gradually increased to its current 640-acres.
The area is jam-packed with green spaces, including the Worthington State Forest just to the north and Wharton State Forest near the metropolis of Philadelphia to the south. For fishing and boating, there’s also an abundance of lakes and reservoirs.
The park is popular with hikers and offers eleven trails of varying difficulty, fishing is allowed in the numerous ponds, and there is a campground for camping with an RV. An interesting place to visit in the park is the observatory which is open to the public on selected days. The New Jersey Astronomical Association operates the observatory and offers guided tours and viewings.
If you want to visit the observatory while camping at Voorhees State Park, there is a marked trail with reflective markers visible at night that connects the two sites. It is a short walk, at just 0.12 miles, so perfect for enjoying an evening of stargazing at the observatory.
The longest hike is the Highlands Trail at just over 2.3-miles. It is part of the 150-mile trail through New Jersey and links with many of the other trails in the park. Most of the other trails are under 1-mile long, but many are connected to form loops around the park. Ask for a trail map at the ranger's office.
By combining many of the shorter trails, it is possible to create a loop of almost four miles, taking in a range of terrain. The trails are dog-friendly but must be kept on a leash at all times.
Fishing in the park is limited to a number of small ponds where you can catch bass and bluegill. Less than a mile away is the large Spruce Run Reservoir where almost 30-species of fish can be caught, including trout, catfish, and perch. You’ll also find plenty of parking for your RV rental.
Although there are small ponds in the park, swimming is not allowed. However, you can swim at the Spruce Run Reservoir where there is a dedicated swimming beach with lifeguards and changing facilities.
The campground at Voorhees State Park provides eight sites suitable for rental RVs of various length. All the sites are back in and have a fire-ring and picnic table.
There are modern toilet and shower facilities available, plus a dump station for RV waste and drinkable water points. This is a basic campground, with few facilities, but offers a peaceful location to enjoy the countryside and nature.
It is worth noting that alcohol is prohibited in the park, and pets are not allowed in the campground.
For an interesting evening you don’t need to venture far, just take the short walk to the Paul Robinson Observatory, located in the park. Here, you can view the largest public telescope in New Jersey, the 26 inch Cassegrain Telescope. The center also has a museum with many exhibits and a bookstore. On Saturday evenings, the volunteers will give you the chance to observe the planets and galaxies through the telescope. The observatory is run by volunteers and is non-profit, so they welcome any donations.
In the nearby town of Clinton, just a short drive when you are RV camping at Voorhees State Park is the Red Mill Museum Village. The historic Red Mill grist mill is at the heart of the village and was built in 1810. It has operated as a textile mill, wool processing plant and a basket factory over the decades before conversion into a museum in 1965.
The village now consists of several buildings, some of which have been moved here, including a one-room schoolhouse, private homes, and carriage sheds. At the center of the museum are more than 40,000 industrial, agricultural, and personal artifacts depicting life throughout the years in the area. A fascinating place to visit.
While you are in the area in July, look for the Black Potatoe Music Festival held in Clinton annually since 1997. The four-day festival is packed with musicians from folk to blues and anything in-between. Definitely worth checking out if you happen to be camping at Voorhees State Park in the middle of July.