Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center

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Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
A gravel trail in Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
LocationBushkill, Northampton, Pennsylvania, United States
Coordinates40°47′15″N 75°18′06″W / 40.78750°N 75.30167°W / 40.78750; -75.30167Coordinates: 40°47′15″N 75°18′06″W / 40.78750°N 75.30167°W / 40.78750; -75.30167
Area1,168 acres (4.73 km2)
Elevation489 ft (149 m)[1]
Governing bodyPennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
WebsiteJacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Jacobsburg Historic District
The Henry homestead
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is located in Pennsylvania
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is located in the United States
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Nearest cityNazareth, Pennsylvania
Area500 acres (200 ha)
Architectural styleFederal
NRHP reference #77001181[2]
Added to NRHPOctober 17, 1977

Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is a 1,168-acre (473 ha) Pennsylvania state park near Wind Gap, in Bushkill Township, Northampton County in Pennsylvania, in the United States. The Jacobsburg National Historic District is almost entirely surrounded by the park. Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is just off the Belfast exit of Pennsylvania Route 33.

Environmental Education[edit]

The main purpose of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is to provide environmental education for the citizens of Pennsylvania and specifically the students of the nearby elementary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities. Jacobsburg stays busy offering hands on opportunities to these students and their teachers with a "discovery and problem solving" approach.[3]

Jacobsburg National Historic District[edit]

The Jacobsburg National Historic District is the location of the Henry Homestead, where the famous Henry rifle was manufactured. The district includes 11 contributing buildings and 34 contributing sites. Along with the staff of the Jacobsburg Historical Society the center provides a heritage education program, with classes in gunmaking and blacksmithing. Rendezvous and period military encampments are included in the center's Living History program. The Pennsylvania Longrifle Heritage Museum is located in the Henry Homestead.[3][4]

The house Boulton built 1832

The production of the Henry Rifle was vitally important to the outcome of the French and Indian War, American Revolution, the War of 1812, westward expansion of the American Frontier, and the American Civil War. William Henry opened his first gun factory in Lancaster in 1750. During the French and Indian war he was an armorer for the Braddock Campaign of 1755 and the Forbes Expedition of 1758. His son William Henry II established a small gunmaking shop in Christian Springs in 1778. He moved his operation to Jacobsburg in 1792. Soon he built an iron forge to provide the needed iron to manufacture the Henry Rifle at Jacobsburg. The War of 1812 lead to a greater need for the rifle and Henry II built a second and larger factory in Boulton. The Henry family continued for three generations in manufacturing the Henry Rifle for use in the Civil War and John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company.[3]


Jacobsburg Enivronmental Education Center is home to the only remaining old-growth forest in the Lehigh Valley. The Henry's Woods section of the park is a largely virgin forest. Ecologists note the lack of large eastern white pines in what is otherwise a stand of old growth deciduous trees and eastern hemlock. The trees are up to 130 feet in height.[5]


Recreational opportunities include hiking on 18.5 miles (29.8 km), fishing, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, hunting, and picnicking. The walking bridge adjacent to the main parking lot was destroyed in 2004 during a flood caused by Hurricane Frances, but was replaced in 2008.[6] The center provides an environmental education program, with classes in natural history. The center is known for its diversity of wildflowers that are especially striking during springtime. There is a heritage education program at Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center. This program displays and demonstrates early gunmaking practices. A living history program includes a mid-1840s rendezvous and military re-enactments. Blacksmith and gunsmith classes are offered and the historic buildings are open for tours.[3]

Hunting is permitted on about 937 acres (379 ha) of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center. The most common game species are squirrels, pheasants, rabbits and white-tailed deer. The hunting of groundhogs is prohibited. Hunters are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.[3]

Bushkill Creek is stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.[3]

Nearby state parks[edit]

Jacobsburg EEC Atmospheric.jpg

The following state parks are within 30 miles (48 km) of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center:[7][8][9]


  1. ^ "Jacobsburg State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. August 30, 1990. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2007-01-06.
  4. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Note: This includes Joseph DiGerlando (June 1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Jacobsburg Historic District" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  5. ^ Zagofsky, Al (2009-11-08). "Uncut since Colonial times Henry's Woods: Lehigh Valley's only remaining old growth forest". Pocono Record. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  6. ^ Pedestrian footbridge replaced at Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
  7. ^ 2007 General Highway Map Northampton County Pennsylvania (PDF) (Map). 1:65,000. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Research, Geographic Information Division. Retrieved 2006-07-27.[permanent dead link] Note: shows Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
  8. ^ Michels, Chris (1997). "Latitude/Longitude Distance Calculation". Northern Arizona University. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
  9. ^ "Find a Park by Region (interactive map)". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved November 18, 2011.

External links[edit]