Spring 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, 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 5/26 - 9/3 (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
PINE BOARD BIRDHOUSES (6 - 11 yrs. old) Saturday April 7, 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(exact change please). Advanced registration required.
GEOCACHE WASHINGTON CROSSING STATE PARK ( preteens – adult) Sunday April 15, 1:30 – 4:00 p.m. Geocaching is a high-tech update on the old-fashioned scavenger hunt game, which utilizes GPS (global positioning system) technology to locate objects hidden in the park. Participants will learn how to obtain information and hints from the Geocaching.com website, on the location of dozens of geocache sites in and around the state park. They will then use handheld GPS devices to go out and find as many caches as possible. Once a cache is found, participants typically will sign in on the log contained within and then take an object from the cache box after leaving a trinket for subsequent geocachers. Participants should bring a pocket full of trinkets to exchange when they locate caches. Trinkets can include small toys and balls, plastic jewelry, pens, pencils, scratch pads, patches, action figures, coins, etc. A limited number of GPS navigation devices will be made available to participants on a first come, first served basis. Bring your own handheld GPS device or smart phone with Geocaching app installed if you have one. Fee: 2.00/person. Advanced registration required.
SPRING LIFESTYLES OF THE LOCAL NATIVE AMERICANS (all ages) Sunday April 22, 1:30 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 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
FULL MOON BIKE HIKE (pre-teen-adult) Sunday April 29, 8:15 p.m. Take a guided night time bicycle ride, by the light of the Flower Moon, up the Delaware & Raritan Canal Towpath toward the Lambertville wing dam (approx. 13 miles round trip). Meet at the Nelson House parking lot. Bring your own bike, bike light and helmet. Advanced registration required. Call the Nature Center for directions. Free.
WILD EDIBLE PLANTS (3 yrs. - adult) Sunday May 6, 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, under 6 yrs. Free. (exact change please). Advanced registration required. To register and pay for the event please contact the WCSP Visitor Center/Museum at (609) 737- 0623.
HIKE THE ROCK HOPPER TRAIL (preteen - adult) Sunday May 13, 1:30 – 4:30 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 trailhead. Advanced registration required. Call the Nature Center. Free
BALDPATE MOUNTAIN HIKE (pre-teen – adult) Saturday May 19, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. We will take the Summit Trail from its trailhead on Fiddlers Creek Rd. Meet at the parking lot by Niederer’s Pond (Church Rd). We will carpool to the trail. Advanced registration required. Free.
SOLAR OBSERVATION ( all ages) Saturday May 26, 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 28, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
FAMILY NATURE WALK (all ages) Sunday May 27, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Join us for an informal naturalist-guided trail walk. Park vehicle entrance Fee: $5.00/vehicle.
GOAT HILL OVERLOOK HIKE (8 yrs. - adult) Saturday June 2, 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. Free.
HOPEWELL VALLEY COME OUTSIDE AND PLAY - POND STUDY (all ages) Thursday June 7, 4:15 - 5:30 p.m. Kids will use pond nets to collect and examine the various organisms that inhabit our pond. Meet at the pond by the park service entrance off of Brickyard and Church Roads in Titusville. Call for directions: (609) 737-0609.
SPRING/SUMMER BIRDS OF THE PARK (all ages) Saturday June 9, 8:30 a.m. Come and join Franta Broulik of Washington 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.
STREAM STOMP (6 yrs. - adult) Sunday June 10, 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. Park vehicle entrance Fee: $5.00/car.
CANE POLE FISHING (4 yrs 12 yrs.) Sunday June 17, 1:30 – 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 Niederers Pond on Church and Brickyard Roads. Rain date: Saturday June 23, 1:00 p.m. Advanced registration required. Free.
COMPASS BASICS (9 yrs - adult) Sunday June 24, 1:30 - 3:30 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. Park vehicle entrance Fee: $5.00/car.