Take Rt. 33 south from I-80 (Stroudsburg) or north from US 22 (Easton) to the Belfast exit. Enter park via Belfast Rd. From Nazareth take Jacobsburg Rd. (SR1001) north approximately 3 miles to the state park. Several parking options within park (see map). Two bike trailheads begin just off the main parking lot. Homestead Trail (blue blazed) and the Jacobsburg Trail (red blazed).
Located on the northern edge of the Lehigh Valley, near the foothills of the Pocono Plateau, the rolling terrain of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center provides a variety of habitat ranging from fields in various stages of successional growth to mature hardwood forests dominated by oak trees. About 2.5 miles of the beautiful Bushkill Creek and its tributary, Sobers Run, wind through the center. 18.5 miles of scenic, marked trails, travel through the Center's fields and woodlands and are open to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders.
The Center's natural resources also provide the ideal outdoor classroom for its outstanding environmental and heritage education programs which include: preschool environmental awareness, high school level environmental problem solving, historical programs, teacher workshops and public interpretive programs.
The historic Jacobsburg National Historic District lies almost entirely within the boundaries of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center and is on the National Register of Historic Places. (see Historical Note below).
All except one of the extensive network of streamside and upland trails are open to mountain biking. Most of the trails are smooth single-track and the center has cindered some of the main trails. This is a great place for beginners, families and a ride with your significant other. The trails are not very technical but there are some minor climbs, roots, rocky sections, and stream crossings to keep things interesting. If you can't handle these sections, it is best to get off and walk. More advanced riders won't be disappointed either, as there are many spurs of natural single-track to explore.
The Homestead Trail winds through mostly fields and the remainder of the trail system travels through a combination of field and forest.
1. Jacobsburg Trail: 2.0 miles (Red Blazed)
Leads to Jacobsburg Village Historic site.
Henry Woods Trail: (Orange Blazed) is a hikers only trail. (Henry Woods Area is a no hunting area).
Take the time to enjoy a walk along its 1.9-mile trail loop in order to experience the sights, sounds and coolness of the Bushkill Creek as it meanders past dramatic slate outcroppings and mature stands of hemlock and white oak. Because of the wide variety of habitat found in and around Henry’s Woods, a rich array of birds and wildflowers may be seen, especially during the spring months.
Take precautions during hunting season. Wear blaze orange.
The Jacobsburg National Historic District lies almost entirely within the boundaries of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The history of Jacobsburg focuses on the Henry Family and their small arms industry; an industry that played a key role in the American Industrial Revolution. The first of the Henry gunmakers, William Henry I, purchased land at Jacobsburg in 1792 and built a gun manufactory at Jacobsburg. A few years later, he erected a forge (bloomery) to supply the gun factory with iron to manufacture guns.
The Henrys not only produced firearms for all of our nation’s major conflicts from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War, but that they were also 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. Today, Only the foundations remain from the colonial village of Jacobsburg.
In 1808, William Henry II erected a a forge for the manufacture of bar iron for use in his gunmaking enterprise and it was here that the first bar iron made in Northampton County was produced. Of the seventeen structures that once stood on this site, only the iron master's house (Benade House) and the nearby forge office (Springhouse) remain.
In 1812, the Henry's constructed a large gun manufactory on this site after having received large contracts from the Federal government. Athough the Boulton Gun factory no longer remains, a number of structures, both public and private, still exist from the settlement that developed around the factory complex including the Henry Homestead and the John Joseph Henry House.
For More Information:
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center