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May 24 - 31

Memorial Day

Next to the Court House and part of its view, a grand War Memorial depicts the names of all known Warren County deceased veterans from World War I to present, with names still being added. The memorial exemplifies the respect, appreciation and gratitude that forged its creation.
There are somewhere around 1,200 historical markers in New Jersey, 500 of them in the Northwest Skylands region. Many are monuments to war veterans from all eras and in all sizes. The Branchburg Veterans Memorial covers six wars at once: the American Revolution, Civil War, Word Wars I and II, the Korean War and Vietnam. In Flemington there is a marker that you can't see from the road in memory of "Vietnam War Dogs and Their Handlers." The Lambertville 8-12 Baseball League erected a memorial to PFC Charles L. Danberry who gave his life serving in the Marine Corp in Vietnam. A block or so away, the graves of Revolutionary War Lieutenant, George Coryell and "one of Gen. Washington's spies," Sam Holcombe, have been marked by the Hunterdon Cultural and Heritage Commission. And John Basilone stands larger than life on a little triangular intersection in the Borough of Raritan, his bronze statue sculpted by a boyhood friend and installed in 1948. Monuments like these decorate Northwest New Jersey in prominent and tucked away places. They are statues and plaques, fine-crafted or natural rock; some are pedestaled and others are so discreet as to appear part of the natural landscape. They all commemorate a part of our history, and often remind us of courageous men and women who have served our country. More...

This Memorial Day Weekend, take advantage of a calendar bursting with intriguing things for you and your family to enjoy. Or check our Day Trip Map for good ideas for recreational enhancement! For the more aerobically inclined, the Outdoor Map shows the way to go.

Pedals to the Medals

Photo: Alan Hartmann
The annual three-day Tour of Somerville Cycling Series culminates every Memorial Day with the fifty-mile Kugler-Anderson race, named in honor of its first winners, Furman Kugler of Somerville (1940, 1941) and Carl Anderson of Clifton (1942). Both men lost their lives during World War II. Furman’s father, Fred “Pop” Kugler, whose strength and skill in his era as a cycling champion were the foundation of the enterprises that informed the rest of his career, advanced the sport of competitive cycling by coaching succeeding generations of cyclists and developing racing bikes. Begun under his direction, the Tour of Somerville has consistently drawn the best racing cyclists in America to the roadways of Somerset County.

Beach Front

Tomahawk Lake
Don't miss the 65th opening weekend at Tomahawk Lake Waterpark in Sparta. Visitors have always loved the immaculate sand bottom sloping gently out to floating rafts. Since those old days, the park has added a mountain of water slides including the “The Apache Plunge”, a 610 foot mammoth flume raft ride for four people along with “Sitting Bull“, a serpentine double flume body slide and “Crazy Horse” racing slide. Back ashore you can visit a large refreshment stand, outdoor beer garden (with live weekend entertainment), an ice cream trailer, a novelty trailer, an arcade, an 18 hole miniature golf course, a putting green and a ball field. For information call the lake office at (973) 398-7777 or check their website.

Heavenly Hues

June brings on the deep pinks of Carolina rose at Jenny Jump.
The wildflower show opens in early spring with small, ground-hugging blossoms only a few inches or so tall. As the season unfolds, the tree canopy leafs out, and wildflowers grow taller, reaching for the sun and no longer held back by frosts. Unlike long-blooming, non-native annuals that pervade the nursery trade, native perennial wildflowers bloom briefly, anywhere from one to four weeks, depending on the species. A regular visit to particularly robust nature preserves can reveal different wildflowers blooming each time. Jenny Jump State Forest has a magical variation in elevation and terrain that makes it a rewarding site for spring forest flowers.

High Society

Considering the social complexity of a hive, a beekeeper—a meteorologist, botanist and entomologist all at once—cultivates an appreciation for the natural world. Local honey is a treasure. Not only does it taste better than that made by commercial “big box” bees that eat one thing all their lives, but local honey also helps your immune system resist locally-induced allergies. There is a delicate light spring honey that comes from the flowers of oaks, willows and other big trees that border the fields. Darker honey comes later in the year, from late season wild flowers. Ask a beekeeper about the medicinal powers of honey, the magic of propolis, or his recipes for making mead, then sit back and listen.

On The List!

   
   

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While you wait for the mailman, tap our calendar for the best events for you and your family, or check our current stories. Stay tuned to our Day Trip Map for good ideas for a scenic drive! The more aerobically inclined can choose among dozens of natural attractions or outdoor activities suggested on our website. Northwest New Jersey and destinations just beyond those borders, in Pennsylvania and New York, offer brilliant ways to get out and enjoy the pleasures of the season.
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