Harriman Hikers has received information indicating intention by New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine to close High Point State Park (as well as a number of other NJ State Parks) as part of 2008 NJ State budget cuts.

High Point State Park is remarkable in many ways including (from NJ DEP High Point State Park page):

  • There are 11 named and marked trails in High Point State Park, in addition to a stretch of the Appalachian Trail which transects the area.
  • Winter months find cross-country skiers on the 15 km of groomed trails in the park. Half of the trails are covered by artificial snow. Cross-country skis and other winter sports equipment are available for rent. A blazing fire, hot soup and other hearty food greet visitors at the center on Lake Marcia.
  • High Point Monument – The monument was built through the generosity of the Kusers, in honor of all war veterans. Construction was started in 1928 and completed in 1930. At the top of the 220-foot structure, observers have a breathtaking view of the ridges of the Pocono Mountains toward the west, the Catskill Mountains to the north and the Wallkill River Valley in the southeast.
  • Swimming – The spring-fed waters of the 20-acre Lake Marcia are cool and refreshing for swimmers. The beach is protected by lifeguards and there is a bathhouse and food concession adjacent to the beach.
  • read the rest

The information about the intended closing(s) comes from a number of sources, including the following:

From NJ Division of Parks and Forestry Proposed Budget Summary:

“…The staffing budget would be reduced by approximately $4 million as follows:
Full elimination of services and/or closure would occur at the following areas:
Monmouth Battlefield State Park; Stephens State Park (administered under Hopatcong State Park, which will remain open); High Point State Park; Brendan T. Byrne State Forest (including Indian King Tavern); Round Valley Recreation Area; Parvin State Park; Jenny Jump State Forest; Worthington State Forest; and Fort Mott State Park (including Hancock House).
Partial elimination of services and/or closures would occur at Ringwood State Park (including reduced hours at Ringwood Manor, closure of swimming at Shepherd Lake Recreation Area & Steuben House), D&R Canal State Park (including reduced interpretive services and closure of Bulls Island Recreation
Area) and Washington Crossing State Park (40 percent reduction in interpretive staff – resulting in reduced hours of operation at Clarke House, Johnson Ferry House and the museum)…”

read the rest

If you wish for High Point State Park and other State Park facilities as mentioned above to remain open for public use, you are encouraged to contact the New Jersey Governor’s Office to let your voice be heard as well as seek and become involved in related advocacy organizations.

-HH