Friday, October 29, 2010
Where: Hamilton House, Clifton
More Info: The Museum is opened for tours on Sundays from 2-4pm (except for Holidays) from March-December. Tours at other times may be made by calling the Museum - (973)744-5707. There is a suggested donation.
FrugalNJ recently visited the Hamilton House Museum, an 18th century dutch homestead located in Clifton which has more than 200 years of history. Each of the six rooms is furnished to represent different eras of American history and the exhibits reflect that. The house belonged to the Van Wagoner family and was later purchased by the Hamilton family in 1856. It remained with the family until 1970 when the house was eventually moved to its current location in Valley Road. The museum is a great place for children of all ages to learn how people used to live in earlier times. For more information about the house and the various programs offered by the museum, visit the official website here.
971 Valley Road, Clifton
From Rt 46 in Clifton, take the exit for Valley Road
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Where: The Hermitage, Ho-ho-kus
More Info: Park Grounds: 9 - 5pm Monday - Friday, 1-4pm Saturday - Sunday; Guided Tours: Wednesday - Sunday 1:15pm, 2:15pm, 3:15pm. Tours are $7.00 for adults; $5.00 for seniors; $4.00 for children (children under 6 are admitted free of charge). AAA card holders receive a discount of $1 off the adult price.
The Hermitage is a 14-room Gothic Revival home built during 1847-1848 by William H. Ranlett. The building contains remnants of an earlier 18th century house. The Hermitage is set on a five acre estate containing trees that are hundreds of years old. The grounds contain various interpretive displays that illustrate life in the late Victorian era.
During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington accepted an invite to the house from Theodosia Prevost. The estate was in the ownership of various members of the Rosencrantz family from 1807 to 1970. Beginning in 1917 part of the Hemitage functioned as a tea room for the next several years. During the 1920's, the popularity of the Tea Room grew in leaps and bounds. It is now owned by the State of New Jersey and is open all year round to the public.
335 North Franklin Turnpike, Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ 07423-1035
Route 17 (north or south) to Hollywood Avenue exit. Bear left after exiting. Take Hollywood Avenue west to Franklin Turnpike, turn right onto North Franklin Turnpike and go 1/2 mile to The Hermitage on the left.
Garden State Parkway to exit 165, go west 1/3 mile on Ridgewood Ave. to Route 17 North on right. Follow the directions above.
New Jersey Turnpike to exit 16W to Route 3 West, exit at Route 17 North and follow directions for Route 17.
Route 287 to Route 208 South. Exit on Ewing Avenue and turn left onto Route 502 E. Follow Route 502 E. right at the traffic light (Franklin Avenue). Franklin Avenue becomes Wyckoff Avenue. Turn right onto Franklin Turnpike in Waldwick. The Hermitage is on your right.
From New York City: George Washington Bridge to Route 4 West to Route 17 North, follow directions for Route 17.
By train: New Jersey Transit Bergen County/Main Line to Waldwick Station. Walk east 2 blocks. Turn right on Franklin Turnpike and go south about 3 blocks. The Hermitage is on the right.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Where: Kip's Castle, Verona
More Info: The castle is temporarily closed to the public.
Set in a beautiful eleven acre estate bordering the townships of Montclair and Verona, Kip's Castle is an impressive building. It was built in 1902 and competed three years later by Frederick Kip, a textile manufacturer and inventor. His wife Charlotte designed the castle and the grounds. The 9,000 square foot castle contains 30 rooms and is designed to look like a medieval Norman castle. It was originally called Kypsburg. There is also a two story carriage house nearby. According to Wikipedia, Frederick's wife "is credited for the design of the "Kypsburg" building and grounds, cultivating an octagonal rose garden in the southwest corner of the property. After Charlotte's passing in 1926, the estate was sold and went through several owners, including Indian guru Osho in the 1980s, serving as a monastery."
The castle and grounds eventually fell into a state of disrepair. In 1985 the law firm Schwartz, Tobia & Stanziale acquired the property and much needed repairs were carried out. Due to various difficulties obtaining planning permission to develop townhouses on the property, the estate was listed for sale in 2006.
A combination of grants from the NJ Green Acres initiative and various Essex County funds resulted in the estate becoming part of the Essex County Park System. According to the official website, "initial plans for the estate include housing offices for the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, Essex County Open Space Trust Fund, and Essex County Parks Foundation. However, the Castle's true purpose is to evolve into the County's premiere cultural resource center, supporting and promoting arts and culture throughout our region."
The castle is situated on top of First Mountain. Access to the castle is via a long steep drive way. There is a parking lot near the castle. At this time, the castle is temporarily closed to the public. Visitors to the castle will be impressed by the scenic views of New York City.
An online brochure of the site can be found here.
22 Crestmont Road, Montclair/Verona
From the Garden State Parkway:
1. Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 145 for Route 280 West.
2. Proceed using directions “From Route 280.”
1. Take the NJ Turnpike to Exit 15W for Route 280 West.
2. Proceed using the directions “From Route 280.”
1. Take Route 280 to Exit 8B.
2. Follow Prospect Avenue/CR-577 North towards Cedar Grove.
3. This road turns into Pompton Avenue/Route 23.
4. Turn right onto Westover Road.
5. Turn left onto Crestmont Road.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Where: Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, Englewood
More Info: Admission is free. The park is open for hiking every day from dawn to dusk. Building Hours Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Weekends 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Ease Expense $
This is a fun, family friendly hike located in Englewood. We hiked this trail in the winter and the views at the top were still amazing. There is a nature center that contains many interesting exhibits as well as providing programs for young and older children. Picnic areas are provided.
According to the official website "There are many discoveries to be made as you walk along Flat Rock Brooks 3.6 miles of trails. In the spring, wildflowers pop up in unexpected places. You may discover the nest of a Great Horned Owl high in the treetops or see a parade of deer walking by. In the summer sun you will certainly see turtles basking on a log in Quarry Pond and, if you walk along the edge of the pond, you may see a bullfrog peering back at you. In the fall, the woods are rich with color and migrating birds take refuge here on their way to warmer climates. In winter, look for and try to identify the tracks of animals in the snow or mud and notice which birds make Flat Rock Brook their winter home."
From New York City:
Cross the George Washington Bridge. Take Route 4. Exit at Jones Rd. Proceed North (right) on Jones Road one block to Van Nostrand Avenue. Turn right, travel four blocks up the hill to the Nature Center entrance at the end of the street.
From the West:
Take the New Jersey Turnpike North (Route 95 North) Take Exit 71 at Broad Avenue, Englewood. Proceed North (right) on Broad Avenue to second traffic light at Van Nostrand Avenue. Turn right, proceed up the hill, cross Jones Road, and continue four more blocks to the Nature Center entrance at the end of the street.
From the South:
Take the New Jersey Turnpike North (Route 95 North) toward the George Washington Bridge, using local lanes. Take Exit 71 at Broad Avenue, Englewood. Proceed North (right) on Broad Avenue to the second traffic light at Van Nostrand Avenue. Turn right, proceed up the hill, across Jones Road, and continue four more blocks to the Nature Center entrance at the end of the street.
From the North:
Palisades Parkway or Route 9W to Exit 1, Palisade Avenue, Englewood. Turn right, go down hill to Jones Road (left turn), make a left turn onto Van Nostrand Avenue and proceed up the hill to the Nature Center entrance at the end of the street.
Trail map can be found here.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Where: Pochuck Boardwalk, Vernon
More Info: The trail takes about 1 1/2 hrs to complete.
Ease Expense $
Family Fun ===========================================
The Pochuck Boardwalk and bridge is located in Vernon, NJ. Described "as an area of solitude and escape from civilization," the trail offers hikers scenic views across the Appalachian Trail. When FrugalNJ hiked this trail, it was on a very hot day and we were unable to complete it, but we were able to take pictures of the outstanding views of the mountains.
According to NYNJTC.org, "The mile-long boardwalk, with its 110 foot long wooden suspension bridge forms a section of the Appalachian Scenic Trail, between the Pochuck and Wawayanda Mountains. It was built to provide a hikers of all ages and abilities with a safe off-road alternative to the 2.1-mile stretch of narrow, winding local Route 517, formerly the only connection between two sections of the AT."
From southern NJ:
1. Rt 23 North to Rt 94 North
2. Continue on Rt 94 to Maple grange Road
3. Turn west to Canal Road north. Eastern end of Boardwalk begins here.
1. Rt 94 orth to Price's Switch Road
2. Turn left onto Bucky Lane to Boardwalk.
Canal Road and Bucky Lane, off Price's Switch Road.
Note: there is no parking at the western entrance to the Boardwalk. Pedestrian traffic crosses County Route 517 from the western end of the trail onto the Boardwalk.
A map of the trail can be found here.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
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