Fort Lee Historical Park

Fort Lee, Bergen County, NJ

34 acres


Directions:

Travel over the George Washing Bridge west on the upper level. Take the Fort Lee/Lemoine exit. Make a sharp right down hill and a right turn at the bottom of the hill onto Hudson Terrace (beneath the bridge). One block to the park.


History:

George Washington and his troops had to abandon this area fast in order to avoid the oncoming British troops.  In fact, the British found American camp fires still burning when they arrived at Fort Lee.

From Fort Lee, George Washington had to painfully watch the capture of Fort Tryon by the British.  He probably knew the future fall of Fort Lee was not too far away.  British troops crossed from Dobbs Ferry to Closter Dock.  There they have the headquarters of Cornwallis, the commander of British troops.  

The British marched south along the Palisades to Fort Lee only to find the Americans had left. Washington was on his long retreat across the state, across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania.

In 1911 Dr. James Douglass of N.Y.C. gave a small tract on top of the cliffs to the Park. In 1952 most of the historic areas was to be developed into apartment houses. From 1956 to 1965 the Palisades Interstate Park acquired various parcels via the Rockefeller Fund and state Green Acres. In 1976, the Bicentennial, the Museum opened.


Facilities:

The two-story Visitors' Center/Museum has a 200-seat auditorium along with exhibits. On the grounds are recreated 1776 earthworks, reconstructed gun batteries, 18th century soldiers' hut, and observation deck, along with paved walking paths.

You can walk around the area.  Down by the palisades you get an absolutely breath-taking view overlooking the George Washington Bridge.  Talk about close-up  -- it seems almost as if you could take a giant leap and land on the bridge.