The Battle of Monmouth marked a crucial turning point in the American Revolutionary War.
On a blistering hot day on June 28, 1778 the land that is now Monmouth Battlefield State Park was the site of one of the longest battles of the American Revolutionary War. Here at Monmouth, Washington restored a reputation battered by defeats in 1777. In the day-long battle in the hills, wood lots, farm fields and meadows, the main Continental Army, retrained at Valley Forge, repulsed attacks by the main British Army. By the end, over 600 men were dead, dying or wounded and the Continental Army held the field.
One of the largest battles of the American Revolution took place in the fields and forests that now make up Monmouth Battlefield State Park. The park preserves a splendid rural 18th-century landscape of hilly farmland and hedgerows that encompasses miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, picnic areas, a restored Revolutionary War farmhouse and a visitors center. Today, the Battlefield is peaceful where wildlife abounds in the woods and marshes, the fields produce crops of corn, wheat and soybeans, and a pick-your-own orchard. Take a "history hike" and see where the battle was fought, take a shady stroll along a woodland path or traverse meadows watching for red fox, songbirds or red-tailed hawks.
The park offers areas designated for biking.
During the winter months, visitors may ski cross-country through the vast, hilly farmland.
25 miles of farm roads, paths and field edges await the history buff and hiker. Trails vary in length from a half mile to several miles and many interconnect. Visitors can wander the battlefield following the footsteps of Revolutionary War soldiers.
Visitors may explore the park on horseback on one of many designated trails.
The park offers areas designated for mountain biking.
These are the fields of battle. In 1778, seven families farmed these acres. Now, one man with modern machinery raises grain, while the Battleview Orchard, in season, you can pick and purchase strawberries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apples and pumpkins. Former hay fields and archaeologically sensitive sites are managed to provide shelter for grassland birds and small mammals. For orchard information, please call 732-462-0756.
In early 1778, an alliance between France and the new United States of America forced the main British Army to abandon the rebel capital of Philadelphia to concentrate their forces in New York City. As the British marched across New Jersey, the main Continental Army marched from Valley Forge to intercept them. At Monmouth, a Continental Army attack on the rear of the British column failed, but when the British counter attacked, they were bloodily repulsed. After a 3-hour cannonade – the largest field artillery duel of the war – the British were forced to withdraw. The Continental Army and Washington had won a major psychological victory.
Three 18th-century farmhouses survive on the battlefield. One, the Craig House, has been restored. As the battle neared, the Craigs loaded their possessions onto wagons and with their children and slaves fled to safety. The dwelling's Dutch-framed kitchen dates from 1746, while the two-story addition is English-framed. The barn dates from the 2nd quarter of the 19th century. Open limited weekend hours. For additional information, please call 732-462-9616.
Annually, on the third weekend in June, Revolutionary War re-enactors gather at Monmouth to commemorate the anniversary of the battle. Visit their encampments, pass pacing sentries and see enlisted men cleaning their weapons or idling away their time gambling. Watch the women of the army cook, mend and launder. At the parade ground, see soldiers drill or artillerists fire their cannon. Keep an eye on your children or the recruiting sergeant may have them drilling with wooden muskets. During the battle, the hills will again reverberate with cannon and musket fire as columns of troops maneuver, form line and charge.
The Visitor Center stands on top of Combs Hill, a site once commanded by the Continental Army artillery. Enter the exhibit galleries and discover more about the battle and the men and women who fought it. How did George Washington outwit the British? See for yourself by watching the battle refought in fiber-optic animation on a three-dimensional terrain model. Discover the real "Molly Pitcher" and learn how battlefield archaeologists found evidence of her. Eighteenth-century portrayal and letters, modern paintings, maps and audio-visual programs bring into focus the heroism and horror of the battle.
During the 1990s, public and private sources funded extensive battlefield restoration. The Craig farmhouse and the exterior of the 1745 Rhea-Applegate dwelling were restored, and the core of the battlefield was rehabilitated with the reconstruction of Revolutionary War fences, lanes and a woodlot.
The battlefield landscape can be explored from parking areas at the visitor center, along Monmouth County Route 522 and Wemrock Road. Hiking the battlefield, visitors will discover that the battlefields remain a working landscape with crops such as corn and soybean being grown by one farmer, as well as an orchard that grows a variety of apples, peaches and more. Grasslands and fallow fields are managed to provide shelter for grassland birds and small mammals.
While strolling the grounds, visitors can learn more about the battle through wayside exhibits located on Perrine Hill, Combs Hill and the Battlefield. Or pick up one of two detailed self-guided hiking tours in the visitor center, produced by the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield.
A portion of Monmouth Battlefield State Park is available for special deer hunting only. For information about hunting, refer to the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Digest (link is external) or contact the park office.
Picnic areas are located near the Visitor Center. Facilities include picnic tables, charcoal grills, water and restrooms. Charcoal fires must be confined to the metal grills provided or to grills brought by the picnicker.
To the west of the picnic sites, there is playground equipment and a ten-acre open field available for kite flying or informal games.
During wintertime, visitors may go sledding at their own risk through the vast, hilly terrain.
The park offers educational programs about the battle, as well as other area related history topics. Call (732) 462-9616 for more information.
The park offers a variety of interpretive programs about the battle and battlefield. Call (732) 462-9616 for more information about booking group programs.
The Friends of Monmouth Battlefield offer guided hiking tours monthly and self-guided tours of the battlefield are facilitated by detailed hiking guides available in the Visitor Center. While strolling the grounds, visitors can learn more about the battle through wayside exhibits located on Perrine Hill, Combs Hill and along the trails throughout the Battlefield.
The Monmouth Battlefield State Park recreational facilities are partially accessible for persons with disabilities. Please contact the park office at 732- 462-9616 for further information regarding disability access needs. Text telephone (TTY) users, call the NJ Relay & CapTel Service at 711 or 1-800-852-7897 for English or 1-866-658-7714 for Spanish.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
Recreational use of ATVs is not permitted on NJ State Park Service property. This includes state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. Thank you for your help in protecting New Jersey’s natural and historic resources. [N.J.A.C. 7:2-3.4(d)]
State law prohibits the smoking of tobacco and use of electronic smoking (vaping) devices in all state parks, forests, historic sites, recreation areas, golf courses and marinas. [N.J.P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-56)]
Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in state parks, forests, recreation areas, golf courses, marinas, natural areas, historic sites, and preserves. [ N.J.A.C. 7:2-2.6 ]
Keep Your Park Clean and Green
Protect plants and animals and care for your parks by taking your trash with you. Whatever you carry into the park, plan on carrying it out too. It’s like crowdsourcing trash management! Bring a bag or two for trash, recycling and cleaning up after your pet. There are no trash receptacles in this park. Thank you!
Pets must always be on a leash no longer than six feet in length and under the control of the owner. Please clean up after your pets.
Use insect repellent, wear light-colored clothing, tuck pants into socks, stay on trails, check yourself when you get home, shower and wash clothes immediately.
Be Bear Aware
Black bears are found throughout New Jersey. Do not approach or attract bears by making food available. Feeding bears is dangerous and illegal. Never run from a bear! To report an aggressive bear, call 1-877-WARN-DEP (1-877-927-6337) immediately. Please report any damage or nuisance behavior to the park office. Visit the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife at www.njfishandwildlife.com for additional information on bear safety.
20 State Route 33
Manalapan, NJ 07726
Gate 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Visitor Center 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Entrance Fee None