Fonthill Castle, Mercer Museum & Great Swamp
Tour 28 (NJ & PA)

 

We will start our tour at 7 am in midtown Manhattan, 8th Avenue between 33rd and 34th Street (by Duane Reade) DON'T BE LATE! Come 15 minutes early to sign in.

 
 
 
On this tour we will first stop by the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to do a little walking/hiking.
The refuge was established by an act of Congress in 1960. The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is one of more than 560 refuges created to conserve its natural resources for the public while protecting threatened and endangered species.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The refuge is an important resting and feeding area for more than 244 species of birds. You can also find foxes, deer, muskrats, turtles, fish, frogs and a wide variety of wildflowers and plants. You will have some time on your own to explore some relative short hiking trails and boardwalks.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Raptor Trust
Next we will stop by the Raptor Trust. This is a wild bird rehabilitation center. The trust includes a hospital with state-of-the-art medical facilities, quality exterior housing for several hundred birds, and an education building.
 
 

 

 

 

 

You will get a unique opportunity to view the many hawks, eagles, falcons and owls that are permanent residents at the facility.

 

 

 

 

We will then drive to PA and see the unique and very interesting Mercer Museum. This is a history museum of everyday life in America during the 18th and 19th centuries.

 

 

 

 

Henry Mercer (1856-1930) constructed the Museum and gathered the collection of some 40,000 objects. Documenting the lives and tasks of early Americans through the tools they used prior to the Industrial Revolution.

 

 

 

 

You will receive an introduction and then get time on your own to explore the 55 exhibit rooms and alcoves displaying the tools or products of an early American craft, trade or occupation.

 

 

We will then eat lunch

 

 

 

After lunch we will visit the majestic Fonthill Castle. Built between 1908-1912, Fonthill was the home of Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930). Archaeologist, anthropologist, ceramist, scholar and antiquarian, Mercer built Fonthill both as his home and as a showplace for his collection of tiles and prints.

 

 

 

The building is a diverse mix of Medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine architectural styles. You will receive a guided tour and learn about how the castle was built and the interesting life of Henry Mercer. Fonthill Castle is a National Historic Landmark and has been featured in numerous magazine’s and TV shows including the “America’s Castles” series.

 

We will drive back to NYC.
Arrival back to NYC at approximately 5:30 pm.

Hines Tours reserves the right to alter the itinerary, plans and arrangements for the tour, if in the judgment of Hines Tours it becomes advisable to do so.

 

 

WHAT TO BRING AND WEAR ON THE TOUR:

ID: Please bring a valid government issued identification. (Adults only)

CLOTHES: according to the weather. 

FOOTWEAR: Hiking shoes, good walking shoes or sneakers with good traction will do as well. Do not wear dress shoes or high heels.

RAIN GEAR: Even with no rain in the forecast, we recommend you to bring some rain gear.

WATER: In a plastic bottle, especially on hot days. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

MOSQUITO REPELLANT containing deet

CAMERA: With extra memory/film is highly recommended. You will experience beautiful scenery and interesting sites.

CASH: Although our tour is classified as an "all inclusive". It is advisable to bring some cash for snacks and gratuities for the guide which is left to your discretion.

AN OPEN MIND: Although this is a recreational/leisure tour, you will also learn about history.

   

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