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Washington Crossing State Park Programs & Events


Autumn Programs
at the Nature Center

The following is a list of activities being offered through the Nature Center at Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville, New Jersey. These events are available to families and individuals only. Programs for scouts, schools, home school groups and other groups are scheduled via phone call by special arrangement. Some of these events will require advanced registration as indicated below.  Attendance is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. All children must be accompanied by an adult.  All programs will initially meet at the Nature Center unless otherwise indicated. In the event of inclement weather, some programs might be canceled.  It is always advisable to call ahead before coming out.  Phone: (609) 737-0609

BACKYARD ASTRONOMY (preteens – adults)  Friday October 3, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. This class will acquaint participants with the celestial sphere and its coordinates, sky maps, constellations/asterisms, and the popular objects viewable from our night sky such as planets and moons, stars, star clusters, galaxies and nebulae, comets, and our Milky Way galaxy. Presented by David Letcher, Gene Ramsey, and Larry Kane of the Amateur Astronomers’ Assoc. of Princeton, the class will be followed by a session of night sky observation at the adjacent AAAP observatory, weather permitting. This presentation will be the first installment of a four-session astronomy seminar to be continued on the following three consecutive Friday evenings (10/10, 10/17 and 10/24). AAAP will issue a certificate of attendance for anyone who participates in all four sessions. Enter the park from the entrance on Bear Tavern Rd (Phillips Farm/ Group Camping Entrance) and follow the event signs to the Nature Center. Advanced registration required.

BIKE HIKE  (pre-teens - adult) Saturday October 4, 1:00 p.m.  Take a guided bicycle ride up the Delaware & Raritan Canal Towpath toward the Lambertville wing dam (approx. 13 mile round trip). Meet at the Nelson House parking lot. Bring your own bike and helmet. Advanced registration required. Call the Nature Center at (609) 737-0609.

TELESCOPES FOR AMATEURS (pre-teen - adult) Friday October 10, 7:30 p.m. This session will trace the historical development of the telescope.  We will also describe the types of telescopes and eyepieces used by amateurs as well as their important properties such as aperture, focal ratio, magnification, and telescope mounts.  The use of binoculars will be described.  Mention will also be made as to which type of telescope is most useful for observing the sun, moon, and planets, as well as stars and star clusters, and deep-sky objects like nebulae and galaxies.. Instructor: David W. Letcher, Amateur Astronomers’ Assoc. of Princeton. Advanced registration required. Enter the park  at the Phillips Farm (group camping) entrance on Bear Tavern Rd. Meet at Nature Center.

PRIMITIVE TECHNOLOGIES WEEKEND (all ages)  Saturday October 11 and Sunday October 12, 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Archaeologists and primitive technologists from throughout the region will be on hand demonstrating and discussing a variety of primitive skills that local Native Americans and indigenous people from throughout the world practiced in prehistoric times. Stone tool making, edible and useful plants, primitive weapon construction, atlatl throwing, and more will all be included.

THE SOLAR SYSTEM (pre-teen – adult) Friday October 17, 7:30 p.m. This class will describe the objects found in the solar system.  These include the sun, the planets and their moons, asteroids, comets, and meteoroids.  Eclipses, both lunar and solar will be explained and described. Instructor: David W. Letcher, Amateur Astronomers’ Assoc. of Princeton. Advanced registration required. Enter the park  at the Phillips Farm (group camping) entrance on Bear Tavern Rd. Meet at Nature Center.

STARS, STAR CLUSTERS, AND GALAXIES (pre-teen - adultFriday October 24, 7:30 p.m. This fourth session of the astronomy seminar will describe the magnitude, distances, and parallax of stars plus the types of star clusters we can see, both open and globular.  The session will conclude with a description of the types and locations of galaxies and nebulae we can view from our backyard. Instructor: David W. Letcher, Amateur Astronomers’ Assoc. of Princeton. Advanced registration required. Enter the park  at the Phillips Farm (group camping) entrance on Bear Tavern Rd. Meet at Nature Center.

NATIVE AMERICANS OF THE AREA OF THE PARK (all ages) Saturday October 25, 1:00 p.m. Jim Wade, former archivist and researcher with the N.J. State Museum will discuss primitive stone tool use by Native Americans in central New Jersey. Emphasis will be on the significance and importance of the Indian way of life during the autumn season, focusing on the activities of fall hunting, gathering and religious ceremonies. The program will include a slide presentation and Native American artifacts will be on display. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis

PARK FOLIAGE HIKE  (9 yrs. - adult) Sunday October 26,  1:30 - 4:30 p.m.  This is a naturalist-guided 3 1/2 - 4 mile hike taking on the park’s natural and historic areas, and several interesting and remote sections of the park during the fall foliage season.  Wear sturdy footwear.  Bring drinking water, a snack and a pair of binoculars

SHELTER BUILDING WILDERNESS SURVIVAL (6 yrs. - adult)  Sunday  November 2,  1:30 - 3:00 p.m.  This program will deal with the fundamentals pertaining to survival when lost in the wild. Participants will construct a weatherproof shelter completely from native materials.
FAMILY NATURE WALK  (all ages) Sunday November 9, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Join us for an informal naturalist-guided trail walk.

HIKE THE ROCK HOPPER TRAIL  (preteen - adult)  Sunday November 16, 1:30 – 4:00 p.m. The Rock Hopper Trail in West Amwell Twp., is a new acquisition to the state park system. It contains mature hardwood forests, agricultural fields and interesting rock outcrops. The terrain is gently rolling and rugged. Wear sturdy shoes and bring drinking water. The hike will be 2-4 miles in length. Meet at the parking lot by Neiderer’s Pond in WCSP. (Church Rd).We will carpool to the trail head. Advanced registration required.

NATURE CENTER CLOSED Thurs. Nov. 27 - Tues. Dec. 2
Have a Happy Thanksgiving

GOAT HILL OVERLOOK HIKE (pre-teen - adult) Sunday December 7, 1:30. Goat Hill Overlook is a relatively new state park acquisition. The 213 acre tract sits on a bluff overlooking the Delaware River in W. Amwell Twp. and boasts commanding views of the Delaware Valley including portions of Lambertville, New Hope and areas north and west into Bucks County, PA. The tract contains extensive hardwood and mixed oak forests, open fields, numerous rock outcrops, a former diabase quarry and hiking trails. We will meet in Washington Crossing at the park pond on Church Rd and carpool to the overlook for an exploration hike. The terrain will be rugged. Wear hiking shoes and bring drinking water. Advanced registration required.

HOLIDAY WREATH MAKING    (all ages) Saturday  December 13, 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.   Participants will construct their own wreaths from evergreen clippings collected in the park.  Advanced registration required after 11/11.

NATURE CENTER CLOSED Mon. Dec. 22, 2014 -  Wed. Jan 1, 2015
Have a Happy Holiday Season




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Last Updated: September 26, 2014

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