The following is a list of activities being offered through the Nature Center at Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville, NJ. Some programs are offered free without registration requirements; some will require advanced registration or advanced registration and payment of a nominal program fee as indicated below. A gate fee of $5.00 ($7.00 out-of-state) will be charged to motor vehicles entering the park on weekends and holidays 5/27 - 9/4 (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day). All programs will initially meet at the Nature Center unless otherwise indicated. Attendance is limited and is available on a ﬁrst-come, ﬁrst-served basis. Children must be accompanied by an adult. In the event of inclement weather, some programs might be canceled. It is always advisable to call ahead before coming out. These events are intended for families and individuals only. Programs for scouts, schools and other groups are scheduled separately by special arrangement. For additional information, please call us. Nature Center Phone : (609) 737-0609
SPRING LIFESTYLES OF THE LOCAL NATIVE AMERICANS (all ages) Sunday April 2, 1:30 p.m. Jim Wade, former ar-chivist 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 spring season, focusing on the activities of community fish gathering, hunting and village life. The program will include a slide presentation and Native American artifacts will be on display. Free
PINE BOARD BIRDHOUSES (6 - 11 yrs. old) Saturday April 8, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. With the breeding season underway, several species of common cavity-nesting backyard birds will be looking for places to nest. Come out and build a simple nest box that will accommodate these feathery critters. Bring your own hammer. Fee: $7.00 per box. Advanced registration and payment required. To register and pay for the event please contact the WCSP Visitor Center/Museum at (609) 737-0623.
CAVES OF THE GRAND CANYON (All Ages) Sunday April 9, 1:30 p.m. Grand Canyon National Park, in northern Arizona, protects the one of the largest unspoiled landscapes of the United States, the Grand Canyon. Within the 1,900 square mile national park are hundreds of caves that contain significant paleontological and archaeological resources. Join Robyn Henderek, former cave paleontologist for the park, as she describes some of her research correlating paleontological remains with a 4,000 year-old hunting rituals performed in the caves. Free
HIKE THE ROCK HOPPER TRAIL (preteen - adult) Saturday April 22, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. The Rock Hopper Trail in West Amwell Twp., is a relatively recent 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 regis-tration required.Call the Nature Center. Free
BIKE HIKE (pre-teens - adult) Sunday April 30, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Take a guided bicycle ride up the Delaware & Raritan Canal Tow-path toward the Lambertville wing dam (approx. 13 miles round trip). Meet at the Nelson House parking lot. Bring your own bike and helmet. Advanced registration required. Call the Nature Center. Free
WILD EDIBLE PLANTS (3 yrs. - adult) Sunday May 7, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Participants will learn to identify and prepare some of the many native and introduced plants which earlier inhabitants of the area used to supplement their diets. This program will be led by plant lore enthusiast Pat Chichon of Lambertville. Bring a pair of plant clippers and a garden trowel. Fee: $2.00/person. Advanced registration and payment required. To register and pay for the event please contact the WCSP Visitor Center/Museum at (609) 737-0623.
STREAM STOMP (6 yrs. - adult) Sunday May 14, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Come out for a wet hike as we follow a park stream in search of crayfish, salamanders, caddisflys, frogs, minnows and other stream inhabitants. Free
COMPASS BASICS (9 yrs - adult) Saturday May 20, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Participants will learn everything they ever wanted to know about the protractor compass. They will then use their new-found skills to navigate a compass course that will take them over hills, across streams, along trails and through forests to a mysterious hidden site known as “Haunted Hollow.” Bring a protractor compass if you have an instrument of your own. If not, we will provide one. Fee: $2.00/person. Advanced registration and payment required. To register and pay for the event please contact the WCSP Visitor Center/Museum at (609) 737-0623.
SOLAR OBSERVATION ( all ages) Saturday May 27, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. View magnetic sun storms safely through special filters via a telescope. Observe sun spots, solar flares, prominences and other solar phenomena. Learn how these storms can affect the earth as well as other interesting facts about Earth’s closest star. Jennifer and Dave Skitt and possibly other members of the Amateur Astronomer’s Association of Princeton will lead this activity. Clear skies required. Park vehicle entrance Fee: $5.00/car. Rain date: Monday May 29, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Park vehicle entrance fee applies.
FAMILY NATURE WALK (all ages) Sunday May 28, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Join us for an informal naturalist-guided trail walk. Park vehicle entrance Fee: $5.00/vehicle.
BUILD A ROPE BRIDGE (8 yrs. - adult) Sunday June 4, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Participants will be instructed in some basic knots and rope riggings and then use their newly acquired skills to create a functioning suspended bridge over one of the park’s stream ravines. Advanced registration required. Call the Nature Center. Park vehicle entrance Fee: $5.00/vehicle.
HOPEWELL VALLEY COME OUTSIDE AND PLAY – STREAM STOMP (all ages) Thursday June 8, 4:15 - 5:15 p.m. Take a wet hike through the park’s Steele Run in search of salamanders, frogs, fish and a variety of aquatic invertebrates. Note: wear old sneakers or water shoes, be prepared to get wet at least up to the knees. Free
SPRING/SUMMER BIRDS OF THE PARK (all ages) Saturday June 10, 8:30 a.m. Come and join Franta Broulik of Washing-ton Crossing Audubon as we peruse the park for spring and summer resident bird species. Meet at the Nature Center. Park vehicle entrance fee applies $5.00/vehicle.
FAMILY NATURE WALK (all ages) Sunday June 11, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Join us for an informal naturalist-guided trail walk. Park vehicle entrance fee applies $5.00/vehicle.
CANE POLE FISHING (4 yrs 12 yrs.) Saturday June 17, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Come out to the pond and use a basic fishing pole made from a bamboo shoot and rigged to catch bluegills. Any caught fish will be released but you get to take your cane pole home. Meet at the pond on Church and Brickyard Roads. Rain date: Sunday June 18, 1:00 p.m. Advanced registration required Call the Nature Center. Free
GOAT HILL OVERLOOK HIKE (8 yrs. - adult) Saturday June 24, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Goat Hill Overlook is an outlier of Washing-ton Crossing State Park. 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. Call the Nature Center. Free