W3R® Heritage Tour in New Jersey 

Latest changes: 2011-06-01: add NPS maps / 2013-06-05: fix history link /

Historical Overview

In 1781 August the U.S. Continental regiments marched south along the Hudson River and set up ovens near Staten Island to trick the British into thinking the French Army was there preparing to attack New York City. Then they marched south to Trenton. Meanwhile the 5,500 men of the French Expeditionary Force (FEF) marched across the north and west sides of New Jersey to Liberty Corners, then south to Trenton. Here both armies crossed into Pennsylvania and continued on together to Yorktown.

The Continental forces returned north immediately after the victory. The French came north nine months later, following the same path they took south.

For more details see allied march through NJ in 1781, and French return through NJ in 1782.

Consider the economic benefit to New Jersey from housing and provisioning 5,500 French troops and 2,000 COntinentals for five days going south and another five days going north, then follow their footsteps west and south to Pennsylvania.

A Note about "Official" W3R Routes
NPS Historic Map for NJ-PA [TIFF file]
NPS draft tour maps for all states

TO FOLLOW THE FRENCH ARMY: From Suffern NY continue on Rt 202 west to Raritan. Then take Rt 206 south from Raritan to Trenton. add later
TO FOLLOW THE CONTINENTAL ARMY: From Palisades NY continue 12 miles more on Rt 9 and get onto I-95 going west (away from NY). Take this 40 miles south to the exit for Rt 18 west. That this 0.5 miles to the exit for Rt 1 south. Take Rt 1 almost straight for 40 miles to Trenton. add later
In and after Trenton the two armies followed the same route. Rt 206 merges with Business Rt 1. Follow Business Rt 1 past the state capitol as it becomes Warren St, crosses the Lower Free Bridge, and becomes Rt 32 in Pennsylvania. add later
The route north re-traced essentially the same path in reverse.  

Other Revolutionary-Era Sites

  • Monmouth
  • Morristown
  • Princeton Battlefield State Park
  • Trenton
  • Washington's Crossing

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