Welcome to Hugh Force Park, located in the Borough of Wharton, in Morris County, New Jersey. Within Hugh Force Park is one of the best preserved sections of the Morris Canal, located within Morris County, let alone the State of New Jersey, and appears much as it would have during its period of operation - between 1831 and 1924.
The park itself, is named after Hugh A. Force, a Wharton Borough municipal servant and humanitarian. The park includes a towpath, places where the canal was cut into a rock ledge above the Rockaway River, and a fine stonework retaining wall supporting a railbed uphill from the path. Lock 2 East (also known as “Bird’s Lock,” named after the generations of the family who tended it) is near the end of the restored section of the towpath, as are the ruins of the locktender’s house. The photo at the top of the cache page is the Birds Lock itself. The Morris Canal itself, completed in 1831, was built to transport coal from Pennsylvania and, it was hoped, revitalize the New Jersey iron industry. Its main line stretched more than a hundred miles from Phillipsburg on the Delaware River to Jersey City. The canal ceased operation in 1924, and since then much of it has been obliterated -- due in part to a conscious effort to fill it in, based on the belief that leaving the stagnant water posed a health hazard, and in part to the process of preparing building lots for suburban development.
The Borough of Wharton acquired this section of the Morris Canal shortly after it's closure, and is proud that is part of their rich, industrial history. So much so, that an annual "Canal Day" festival is held in early August. The fesitval offers free rides along the canal, guided tours, live music, and of course arts, crafts, and plenty of food vendors.
The park is open only from dusk to dawn. So no night-time geocaching please! This geocache was placed with permission from the Borough of Wharton. Please respect the environment, and CITO when you can. NO NEED TO MOVE OR BREAK ANY BEAMS TO FIND THE CACHE!!!!
The Northern New Jersey Cachers, NNJC is about promoting a quality caching experience in Northern New Jersey. For information on The Northern New Jersey Cachers group you can visit: www.nnjc.org.
nnjc.org & Metrogathering.org