1114 Bushkill Center Rd. Nazareth, PA 18064 | 610-759-1250

Parks & Recreation - Parks & Trails

Bushkill Township

Bushkill Township Park
The Bushkill Township Park began with the purchase of 29.2 acres in October of 1984. From this original tract, 12 acres have been developed into nine ball fields, a youth playground area, a parking lot, and a pavilion donated by the Lions Club available to the residents of the Township for picnics and outings. Thanks to Eagle Scout projects, we have approximately 2,000 feet of nature trails in our woods for the public enjoyment.

In March of 1999, another 15.2 acres was added to the park. This land is in the development stage, and includes the addition of another 33.2 acres for possible soccer fields, tennis courts, additional nature trails and picnic areas, and a recreation building.

The Bushkill Township Park is located at 1114 Bushkill Center Road, directly across the road from the Township Building and Police Headquarters.

The park facilities are available for township residents at no fee, on a first come, first served basis, for personal use only. Any person/organization looking to reserve or rent the pavilion or an athletic field must contact the Township office at 610-759-1250 to schedule events and obtain necessary information and/or permits.

Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail (AT) is more than 2,175-mile long footpath stretching through 14 eastern states from Maine to Georgia. Conceived in 1921 and first completed in 1937, it traverses the wild, scenic, wooded, pastoral, and culturally significant lands of the Appalachian Mountains.
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The Appalachian Trail runs along the northernmost border of Bushkill Township, along the top of the Blue Mountain Ridge. Local parking areas and trail heads may be found at the Wind Gap and Smiths Gap road crossings of Blue Mountain.

State Gamelands
Bushkill Township includes approximately 1.8 square miles of State Game Land No. 168A located along the slopes of the Blue Mountain Ridge along the northern border of the Township. State Game Lands are open to the public for hunting, hiking, flora/fauna observation, and other forms of passive recreation. For more information about State Game Lands, including hunting licenses, please visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
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Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
The 1,168-acre Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center offers programs for pre-school through college students. Center staff also provides community programs on many subjects like natural and cultural history and outdoor recreation.

The famous Henry Rifle was once made here. The Jacobsburg National Historic District lies almost entirely within the center property and gives visitors insight into a colonial gun manufactory.

Visitors also enjoy Henrys Woods, an old growth forest surrounding Bushkill Creek and laced with hiking trails.

Jacobsburg is a partner in the Lehigh Valley Greenway, which seeks to engage state and local governments and non-profit conservation groups to promote land conservation and education.

Click here for a map of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center which shows trails and other park amenities. Click here for a Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center Recreation Guide.

For more information about the park and its programs, please visit the following website www.dcnr.state.pa.us or contact the park office at 610-746-2801.

Jacobsburg National Historic District & Boulton Historic Site
The Jacobsburg National Historic District encompasses the eastern side of the center lands and lies almost entirely within the boundaries of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center. The district is on the National Register of Historic Places and its story is intertwined throughout the early development and growth of our nation. The history of Jacobsburg focuses on the Henry Family and their small arms industry, which played a key role in the American Industrial Revolution.

The first of the Henry gunmakers, William Henry I, opened his gun factory in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1750. He became an Armorer for the Braddock Campaign of 1755 and for the Forbes Expedition of 1758.

William Henry II established a small gunmaking shop in Christian Springs near Nazareth in 1778. In 1792, Henry II purchased land at Jacobsburg and built a gun manufactory. Henry II acquired the land from the heirs of Jacob Hubler, who in 1740 founded the community from which Jacobsburg draws its name.

Only foundations remain at the colonial village of Jacobsburg and at the Henry's Forge historic site. Henry II erected a forge (bloomery) to supply the gun factory with iron to manufacture guns. In 1812, a larger manufactory was built in nearby Boulton in order to accommodate large government firearms contracts. Three succeeding generations of Henrys produced small arms at Boulton until the late 1800s. Competition from arms companies using mass production techniques made the Henry's handcraft technology obsolete.

The Henrys not only produced firearms for all of our nation's major conflicts from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War, but they also were the primary suppliers of rifles for the largest American business enterprise of the early 19th century, John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company.

The Henry firearm became the most prominent weapon of the western frontier due to its durability, accuracy and relatively low cost.

The Boulton Historic Site, which is administered by the Jacobsburg Historical Society, is located in the southern portion of the Jacobsburg Historic District.

Visitors can explore historic buildings and take a self guiding trail that interprets the life of the Henry Family and the Boulton Gun Works. The Henry Homestead, which was built in 1812, houses the Pennsylvania Longrifle Museum.

The nearby John Joseph Henry House was built in 1832. Contact the center office for a schedule of historical programs or for information on the historic district.

Click here for more information on the Jacobsburg Historical Society.

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