The numerous lakes and the rolling hills of the northwest and the seashore of the southeast provide New Jersey with one of its most important economic assets. Many summer cottages dot the shores of New Jersey’s lakes and ponds, while hundreds of hotels and motels line the seacoast. Atlantic City, with its gambling casinos, is a magnet for visitors; but Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, Cape May, Wildwood, and Ocean City are also popular. Asbury Park, Ocean City, and Ocean Grove were originally associated with the summer conferences of the Methodist Church. New Jersey offers a variety of both freshwater and saltwater fishes. Its streams in the northwest abound in bass, pickerel, catfish, and brook trout. Bluefish, striped bass, and flounder are common in the coastal waters. Many inlets of Delaware Bay are famous for their oysters and clams, but pollution has seriously damaged these shellfish. Migrating shad can be found seasonally in the Hudson and Delaware rivers.
The National Park Service maintains two historical parks in New Jersey. Morristown National Historical Park preserves the quarters the Continental Army used during two winters of the American Revolution (1775-1783). The laboratory and home of inventor Thomas A. Edison are preserved at Edison National Historic Site in West Orange, where more than half of Edison’s nearly 1,100 patented inventions were researched and developed.
Several sections of the New Jersey countryside have been set aside for recreational use. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area preserves relatively unspoiled land on both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania sides of the middle Delaware River, a section of which has been declared a national scenic river.
A craft village and environmental education centers are located in the area. Gateway National Recreation Area was, along with Golden Gate in San Francisco, the first urban region so dedicated. In addition to marshes and wildlife sanctuaries, the 10,767 hectares (26,607 acres) of the area contains recreational and athletic facilities as well as historic structures, old military installations, a lighthouse, and waters of New York Harbor.
Other natural regions with national designations are the Great Egg Harbor Scenic and Recreational River, in the Pine Barrens, and a section of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which traverses northwestern New Jersey along the Delaware River.
New Jersey’s state parks highlight year-round recreational opportunities as well as preserve historic sites. High Point State Park is one of the state’s largest parks and offers a variety of activities throughout the year, including ice skating, ice fishing, hiking, and swimming. Liberty State Park, with a spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty, hosts a variety of celebrations each year. Tours cross the harbor to Liberty Island and the nearby Immigration Museum on Ellis Island. Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville features picnicking, hiking, and horseback riding near the George Washington Memorial Arboretum, the Revolutionary War Museum, and an open-air theater. "New Jersey" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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