Explore the wooded hills of northern Hunterdon County by utilizing the fantastic multi-use trails within the park and enjoy the night sky with the New Jersey Astronomical Association. Voorhees State Park served as a camp for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) from 1933-1941. The CCC planted trees and constructed shelters, picnic areas, and trails throughout the park. Today, Voorhees State Park offers camping, scenic hiking trails and an observatory. The observatory is administered by the New Jersey Astronomical Association.
The land that now encompasses Voorhees State Park is part of a rolling landscape that was once a rural agricultural region, which existed for almost 200 years. The vision for the park was a direct result of Foster McGowan Voorhees, former Governor of New Jersey (1899-1902). Upon his death in 1927, he generously donated his 323-acre farm known as “Hill Acres” to the State of New Jersey to use for forestry demonstration projects. Voorhees State Park was officially established in 1929.
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) History at Voorhees
From 1933 to 1941, about one thousand young men worked at Voorhees and Hacklebarney State Parks in a Depression-era federal agency known as the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC was the brainchild of one of the 20th century's leading figures, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The agency had two goals: to give jobs to unemployed young men, between the ages of 17 and 24 and veterans of World War I, and to undertake thousands of conservation projects across the nation in parks, forests, and historic sites.
When the CCC boys arrived at Voorhees in 1933, they found three relatively undeveloped parcels of land. The park still reflected Governor Voorhees' use of the property as a farm including pastures, woodland, barns and an apple orchard. By the time the CCC boys were finished working eight years later, under the supervision of the National Park Service and the United States army, they had planted trees and built the present-day road systems, shelters, latrines, visitor amenities and trail system; most of which still remains today.
Each CCC company had 200 men although that number was not always maintained. The CCC camp at Voorhees was initially known as Camp #20 or Camp Voorhees. Later it was given the designation of SP#5 with Company 1268 assigned to it. The SP designated State Park and the company number coincided with the Army Corps district.
CCC boys were paid $2.50 every other week: $30 a month and $25 was automatically deducted and sent home to family members or guardians for their support. For many enrollees at Voorhees, the CCC provided vocation and avocational classes. The education program was known as "The School of the Woods" and included job training, current events and access to a camp library.
The staff of Voorhees State Park continues to pursue learning about their CCC history. All former enrollees or surviving family members of Company 1268 are encouraged to contact the Spruce Run park office at 908-638-8572.
CCC history courtesy of Peter Osborne, author
Images of America: Hacklebarney and Voorhees State Parks
Voorhees State Park has eleven multi-use trails that are suitable for a wide range of abilities and interests, including biking and mountain biking.
The fitness circuit, cooperatively installed by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey, combines all the elements of a scientifically designed exercise program in an outdoor setting. The Parcourse circuit is a series of 15 exercise stations spaced along a one mile path. The stations provide opportunities for warming up, stretching, muscle strengthening, cardiovascular conditioning and cooling down combined with walking, jogging and running between stations. The wooded trails have been carefully designed for use by people at every level of fitness and athletic ability.
The park has eleven multi-use trails that traverse 9 miles of the park through deciduous forest, CCC pine plantations and alongside the Willoughby Brook. Most notable among these trails are: Vista Trail, which overlooks Spruce Run Reservoir; Solar System Trail, which begins at the NJAA Observatory and ends at the scenic overlook for Round Valley Reservoir; and a 2.3 mile section of the 150-mile Hunterdon Highlands Trail, which extends corner-to-corner through Voorhees State Park before continuing on at Spruce Run Recreation Area.
Any of Voorhees State Park’s eleven multi-use trails are suitable for cross-country skiing during the winter months. The trails are not groomed. Bring your own skis.
Online reservations can be made at www.camping.nj.gov (link is external).
Our campground is open from April 1st through October 31st for family camping with a limit of six persons per campsite. Two group campsites are available at Voorhees. Each family campsite is equipped with a picnic table, a fire ring with an attached grill and a parking spot for two vehicles. Modern restrooms with showers are located in the center of the campground. A sanitary dump station is available to the Voorhees campers at Spruce Run Recreation Area. Firewood is available for purchase at the Spruce Run Park Office.
All advanced camping reservations must be made online at camping.nj.gov.. Same-day reservations can be made online until 2:00pm. Walk-in reservations are accepted if space is available; call the park office or check the campground's "availability view" tab online the morning of your intended arrival to confirm campsite availability.
Pets and alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the campground.
Tent and/or Trailer
plus a $5 transaction fee
Picnic table, fire ring, lantern hook
Parking for 2 vehicles including trailers.
Limit: 6 people per campsite
Group Campsite A1 site
NJ Resident: $100/night
Picnic table, fire ring, lantern hook
Group Campsite B
NJ Resident: $60/night
Picnic table, fire ring, lantern hook
3 sites (X,Y, Z)
plus a $5 transaction fee
Outdoor picnic table, fire ring, lantern hook.
Small cabin with two bunk beds (sleeps 4),
wood burning stove for heat and an indoor picnic table.
Shelters are without a kitchen, a bathroom, and electricity.
Extra vehicle parking spaces for registered campers are available in the side Parking Lot for a fee of $5 per vehicle per night.
A non-refundable transaction fee of $5 will be charged to the customer for each reservation.
Changes to the reservation that occur prior to the start/check-in date will incur an additional non-refundable fee of $5.00.
Changes to the reservation that occur after the start/check-in date will incur an additional non-refundable fee according to the following:
Cancellations & Refunds
All cancellations will incur a cancellation fee. The cancellation policy for campsites is $40 for NJ Residents, $50 for Non Residents, or a two night use fee (whichever is less) will be deducted from any refund due. The cancellation policy for shelters is a one night use fee in addition to the cancellation transaction fee, these will be deducted from any refund due.
Willoughby Brook is designated as a "Wild Trout Stream" and anglers are required to comply with all applicable NJ Fish and Wildlife Regulation.
Hunting is permitted in designated areas within the park and is subject to New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations. Voorhees State Park follows guidance from Management Zone 8 for white-tailed deer and Zone 9 for turkey hunting.
Several picnic areas with tables and grills are located throughout the park. These picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Two playgrounds, located near the reservable Hoppock Grove and Fields Group Picnic Areas are available to the public when there is not a reservation posted for the day.
Reservable Group Picnic Area:
Larger groups may inquire at the Spruce Run park office regarding the reservable Group Picnic Areas. These spaces each have a covered pavilion with picnic tables, large charcoal grills, a playground, parking and restroom facilities. The Fields Group Picnic Area can accommodate up to 100 people and includes one catch and release fishing pond. Hoppock Grove Group Picnic Area can accommodate 75 people.
Group Picnic Reservations must be made at least five days in advance. Reservations can be made over the telephone using a credit card or by mail using the downloadable Group Picnic Reservation form. Payment in full of the group picnicking fee must accompany this application. Reservations are not permitted on Holidays except as authorized by the superintendent.
Reservable Group Picnic Area Fees:
In 1965, the New Jersey Astronomical Association built an observatory on land leased from the state. The 26-inch Newtonian reflector telescope is one of the largest privately owned telescopes in New Jersey. The public is invited to explore the night sky at programs that are offered year round by the NJAA. Reach for the stars and learn more by visiting the New Jersey Astronomical Association’s website or calling 908-638-8500.
A Special Use Permit is utilized to accommodate a specific activity or event being conducted over a short duration. Special Use activities or events include, but are not limited to: commercial photography/professional photoshoots, litter clean-up days, triathlons, and weddings. Groups of 20 or more persons holding an organized event must complete a Special Use Permit Application.
There are two types of Special Use Permits: Non-Commercial and Commercial. Fees are based on New Jersey residency. A completed application must be submitted to the park where the activity or event is being held at least 90 days prior to the event. If the proposed event is extremely large or complex, at least one-year’s prior notice is recommended.
|Are pets allowed?||Yes, on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Pets are not permitted in the campgrounds.|
|Is there swimming in the park?||There is no swimming allowed at Voorhees State Park. However, Spruce Run Recreation Area will permit registered Voorhees campers to use their beach and swim facilities if swimming is not closed for the summer season. Additional swimming in the area can be found at Round Valley Recreation Area.|
|When is the Observatory open?||The New Jersey Astronomical Association operates the observatory. For days and hours of operation please call the NJAA at 908-638-8500.|
Access for Persons with Disabilities
The Voorhees State Park recreational and historic facilities are partially accessible for persons with disabilities. Please contact the park office at 908-638-8572 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.
251 County Route 513
Glen Gardner, NJ 08826
Voorhees State Park
c/o Spruce Run Recreation Area
68 Van Syckles Road
Clinton, NJ 08809
Gate Open from Sunrise to Sunset.
Park Office Please contact Spruce Run Recreation Area at 908-638-8572.
Entrance Fee None