Visiting the Worthington State Forest, Warren County, New Jersey: Remembering Charles C. Worthington (1854-1944)
A tycoon who preferred the great outdoors
The Worthington State Forest is located close to the Delaware Water Gap; Interstate 80 passes through both the Gap and the Forest.
The Forest is named for Charles D. Worthington (1854-1944), who among his many business interests as what would probably be called today a tycoon were motor cars. As an early automotive pioneer, C.C. Worthington, through one of his company, was known — as Henry Ford was, who eclipsed several of his competitors massively — as the manufacturer of various types of automobile. In this business venture, C.C. Worthington was assisted by Vanderbilt investment. A separate tractor company manufactured a model which was indeed based on the Model T Ford.
In 1903, C.C. Worthington, who was very interested in hunting, purchased 32 square kilometres (8000 acres) of land in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (1). This land is located in the vicinity of the famed Delaware Water Gap, one of the most visited tourist locations in the Northeastern United States. The Warren County, New Jersey part of what was at first C.C. Worthington's hunting reserve eventually became the Worthington State Forest in 1954.
The Dunnfield Creek Natural Area, located within the Forest, is noted for the presence of wild trout. Close to the Worthington State Forest is Mount Tammany, over looking the Delaware River, into which the nearby Dunnfield Creek flows. The Appalachian Trail passes through the Forest (2), leading northwards to High Point State Park in the Kittatinny Ridge.
Chestnut oak and mountain laurel are particularly noted tree species in the vicinity of Sunfish Pond, within the forest.
For the protection of nature and the enjoyment of all, the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forests strictly enforces its rules to be observed by visitors (3).
At Worthington State Forest, visitors may be struck at just how geographically diverse New Jersey is: not only containing an integral part of the Big Apple, Cape May and Atlantic City, suburbs of Greater Philadephia: but also isolated, forested areas in the heart of the Appalachians.
March 22, 2019
(1) Over the state line in neighbouring Pennsylvania, C.C. Worthington created a golf course at Shawnee, which in 1916 was instrumental in the founding of the Professional Golfers' Association of America.
(2) The Appalachian Trail stretches c. 2200 miles - c. 3500 kilometres from Georgia to Maine, frequented in parts by about 2,000,000 walkers every year.
(3) See also: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/worthington.html The Worthington State Forest administration may be contacted at: HC 62, Box 2
Columbia, NJ 07832. Telephone (908) 841-9575. Fishing enthusiasts should also refer to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife: https://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/fishing.htm .
Also worth seeing
The Ramsaysburg Homestead (distance from Worthington State Forest: approx: 6 miles / 9.6 kilometres) in Delaware Village, Knowlton Township (see also: http://www.ramsaysburg.org/ ), dating from circa 1795, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
How to get there:
New York Newark Airport, from which many car rental options are available, is 62 miles — 100 kilometres to the Delaware Water Gap area; by road from the New York City direction, take Exit 1 off the I-80 for Worthington State Forest, Columbia, Warren Country. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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