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There are 6 National Park Service Sites in New Jersey. Two of these sites are shared with the state of New York.
NPS in New Jersey
- Gateway National Recreation Area
- Great Egg Harbor Scenic and Recreational River
- Morristown National Historical Park
- Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
- Statue of Liberty National Monument
- Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Gateway National Recreation Area
This national recreation area is shared by the states of New York and New Jersey. It spans over 26,607 acres in area and is focused around the Port of New York and New Jersey. As one of the units of the national park services in New Jersey and New York, the governing body for this property is the US National Park Service.
There are three main units of the national recreation area, namely the Jamaica Bay Unit, Staten Island Unit and the Sandy Hook Unit. Moreover, the property receives more than 10 million tourist visits each year. This is due to the wide array of recreational opportunities that is unique for its urban environment. Some of these recreational activities include boating, hiking, swimming, camping and bird watching, to name a few.
Great Egg Harbor Scenic and Recreational River
This 55-mile long river is located in southern New Jersey. It is one of the major rivers that pass through the Pinelands wherein the river joins the Atlantic Ocean through the Great Egg Harbor. Thus, the river was named after this harbor. The entire river spans through three counties in New Jersey: Gloucester, Atlantic, and Camden.
In 1992, the Great Egg Harbor Scenic and Recreational River were designated as part of the National Wild and Scenic River system. This included the main river itself and all of its tributaries. The Great Egg Harbor River is deemed as the longest canoeing river in the Pinelands.
Morristown National Historical Park
This national historical park is one unit of the national park service sites in New Jersey. It is located in Morristown, New Jersey and encompasses four important historical sites during the American Revolutionary War era. These sites include the Jockey Hollow, Ford Mansion, New Jersey Bridge Encampment site, and the Fort Nonsense. The property was established as a national historical park in 1933; hence, this was the first historical park in the country.
Jockey Hollow was the encampment site of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Meanwhile, Fort Nonsense was believed to be the site of a signal fire due to its hilltop overlooking location of the entire Morristown. Meanwhile, Ford Mansion is where George Washington and the Continental Army used as headquarters during the “hard winter” or the coolest winter ever recorded in New Jersey. Meanwhile, the encampment site in New Jersey Bridge was used by over 1,300 soldiers during the winter of the late 18th century.
Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
Paterson Great Falls is a unit of the national park service sites in New Jersey because it is the first planned industrial city in the US. It is also the location of one of the largest waterfalls in the country. Hence, the establishment of the site as a national historical park aims to preserve the Paterson Great Falls and the Passaic River, along with the historic structures, buildings, and raceways nearby.
During the time of the American Industrial Revolution, it was Alexander Hamilton who spearheaded the rise and development of Paterson as a city. Using the water power from the river and falls, he developed a labor movement and valued the contributions of immigrants to facilitate development. At that time, his aim was to replicate the industrial revolution that England was experiencing around that same time period.
Statue of Liberty National Monument
This unit of the national park service sites in New Jersey is also shared with the state of New York. It comprises both Liberty Island and Ellis Island. The site’s main feature is the Liberty Enlightening the World, or more popularly referred to as the Statue of Liberty. It is managed by the National Park Service under the National Parks of New York Harbor office.
The site was declared a national monument in 1924 under the authority of President Calvin Coolidge. It is also listed under the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. There are approximately 4 million people who visit this national monument each year.
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
This national historic park completes this list of national park service sites in New Jersey. The site is located at 37 Honeysuckle Avenue in West Orange, New Jersey. It consists of the laboratory and residence of Thomas Edison. For over 4 decades, this laboratory has impacted the lives of people worldwide. This laboratory produced several of Thomas Edison’s inventions including the motion picture camera, sound recordings, phonographs, nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery, silent and sound movies among other things.
Initially, Thomas Edison’s home and laboratory were recognized as two separate site entities. The home was designated as the Edison Home National Historic Site while the laboratory was then known as the Edison Laboratory National Monument. In 1962, both sites were merged as Edison National Historic Site before it was eventually renamed Thomas Edison National Historical Park in 2009.
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