Description - Information provided by New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry The CCC planted trees and constructed shelters, picnic sites and trails throughout the park. Two overlooks provide scenic views of Round Valley Reservoir and Spruce Run Reservoir.
- Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) History at Voorhees
From 1933-1941 about one thousand young men worked at Voorhees and Hacklebarney in a Depression-era federal agency known as the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC was the brainchild of one of the 20th century’s leading figures, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The agency had two goals: to give jobs to unemployed young men, between the ages of 17 and 24 and veterans of World War I, and to undertake thousands of conservation projects across the nation in parks, forests and at historic sites.
When the CCC boys arrived at Voorhees in 1933, they found three relatively undeveloped parcels of land. The park still reflected Governor Voorhees’ use of the property as a farm including pastures, woodland, barns and an apple orchard. By the time the CCC boys were finished working eight years later, under the supervision of the National Park Service (NPS) and the United States Army, they had built the present-day road systems, shelters, latrines, visitor amenities, and trail systems or major public access areas that still remain or are used in different ways today.
Each CCC company had 200 men, although that number was not always maintained. The CCC camp at Voorhees was initially known as Camp #20 or Camp Voorhees. Later it was given the designation of SP#5 with Company 1268 assigned to it. SP designated State Park and the company number coincided with the Army Corps district.
CCC boys were paid $30 a month and $25 was automatically sent home to family members or guardians for their support. The boys were paid $2.50 every other week. For many enrollees at Voorhees, the CCC provided vocation and avocational classes. The education program was known as “The School of the Woods” and included job training, current events and access to a camp library.
The staff of Voorhees State Park continues to pursue learning about their CCC history. All former enrollees or surviving family members of Company 1268 are encouraged to contact the park office.
Additionally, in an effort to show our appreciation to the enrollees of CCC Company 1268, Voorhees is planning to erect a life-sized bronze statue of a CCC worker at the entrance of Company Street. This statue would commemorate the outstanding work of the CCC throughout this great country during the years of 1933 to 1943.
CCC history courtesy of Peter Osborne, author
Images of America: Hacklebarney and Voorhees State Parks.
Observatory - In 1965, the New Jersey Astronomical Association built an observatory on land leased from the state. The 26-inch Newtonian reflector telescope is one of the largest privately owned telescopes in New Jersey. The public is invited to explore the night sky at skywatching programs that are offered year round by the NJAA.
Recreation - Campsites: 47 tent and trailer sites with fire rings and picnic tables are available. Modern toilets and showers are within walking distance. Trailer sanitary station is open April 1 through October 31.
Group campsites: Two group sites; capacity: 50 campers each. Picnic tables, fire rings, toilets, showers. Open all year.
Shelters: Three shelters. Cabin-like structures with wood stove for heat and two double-deck bunks, which sleep up to four people. Sites include a fire ring and picnic table. Open all year.
Picnicking - Several picnic areas with table and grills are located throughout the park. For larger groups, we also offer three reservable picnic areas with shelters. Area A, Area B, and Area C can accommodate 100 people each. They may be reserved for a fee.
Climate - The temperatures in New Jersey vary slightly, with the southern area being the warmest. Winter weather can start by October and is in full force by November, temperatures average 20 to 40 degrees. Spring can begin in mid March and brings temperatures of 50 degrees F, by April temperatures can reach 65 degrees F. Summer weather can extend from late May to mid September, and temperatures often reach 95 degrees during this season with nighttime lows near 65 degrees. Fall weather has temperatures between 65 and 45 degrees F. Precipitation levels in New Jersey are highest from March through August.
From New York or north Jersey: Take Route 78 west to exit 17, merge with Route 31 north. At second traffic light, make a right onto 513 north through High Bridge. Follow signs to the park.