Morristown National Historical Park is a park rich in history extending back to the Revolutionary War era. The natural areas served as winter encampment sites for General George Washington's American Continental Army between 1779-1780. On March 2, 1933, Morristown became the third historic park added to the National Park Service, the first titled a National Historical Park, incorporating Ford's Mansion, Jockey Hollow and the site of Fort Nonsense.
Morristown National Historical Park's total of 1,705 acres are predominantly deciduous forest, but also includes open fields, and a mixture of wetlands including one permanent pond, numerous seeps, small streams, and a half-mile section of the Passaic River.Its forests are comprised primarily of mixed oak, sugar maple-hardwood, hemlock-hardwood, and chestnut oaks. The park is underlain by Precambrian gneiss and granite rock and Mesozoic siltstone, shale and sandstone sedimentary rock below the extension of late Wisconsinan glaciation, the last glaciation to affect New Jersey. These rock foundations are among the oldest in New Jersey, formed between 1.3 billion and 750 million years ago, and collectively create valleys flanked with high ridges and an erosion resistant environment resulting from the Precambrian rocks.
The park has 27 miles of hiking trails winding through mature forests which Washington's Army utilized to construct a "log-house city" of over 1000 soldier huts and successional forests which have regenerated on agricultural fields abandoned in the 19th and 20th centuries. The mosaic of fields and forests found in the park are interwoven with a wide variety of natural resources containing significant plant and animal communities.
Long Term Monitoring Programs in the Park
Park Basline Inventories
The Inventory and Monitoring Program provides guidance, funding, and technical assistance for parks to complete a set of 12 baseline, or "basic", natural resource inventories. These basic inventories are common to all parks with significant natural resources, and are intended to provide park managers with the minimum information needed to effectively manage the natural resources of their park.
Park Species ListsSpecies lists are available from NPSpecies, the National Park Service's tool for documenting park biodiversity. Keep in mind that these species lists are a work-in-progress. Changes and updates are made as more species are shepherded through a rigorous vetting process. The absence of a species from a list produced with the tool below doesn't necessarily mean the species is absent from a park.
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Non NPS Citizen Science Opportunities in the Park
Bird observations from eBirdMorristown NHP has been set up in eBird as a birding "hotspot". Help the park bolster bird data by adding your bird obsevations to eBird when you visit the park. View recent and historic bird observation in Morristown by clicking here.
You can also download and print off a Bird Checklist for the park. The bird list was created using data from the volunteer run NETN Breeding Landbird Monitoring program, eBird observations, and NPSpecies information.
Species observations from iNaturalist
Morristown NHP Science Stories
Last updated: January 13, 2020