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Mercer County Park facts for kids

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2013-08-26 12 12 43 View from a picnic area through some trees toward Mercer Lake near the marina in Mercer County Park
Picnic tables and walking path along the shore of Mercer Lake at Mercer County Park.

The Richard J. Coffee Mercer County Park is a recreational park located mostly within West Windsor in Mercer County, New Jersey. Originally and still more commonly known as simply Mercer County Park, it was renamed for New Jersey State Senator Richard J. Coffee on October 15, 2009. The park encompasses over 2,500 acres (10 km2) covering much of southern West Windsor, with portions extending into adjacent Hamilton and Lawrence. Mercer Lake, located within the park, is the home for the US Olympic Rowing Team's training center. The National Softball Association honored the Mercer County Park Commission with its "Outstanding Parks Award" for the softball fields and facilities in Mercer County Park. It has served as the home field for the New Jersey Pride of the Major League Lacrosse for one game in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

History

Mercer Lake Shore
The shore of Mercer Lake. The Park's golf courses can be seen across from the lake.

The land was acquired between the late 1960s and the early 1970s. It consists of 50-plus pieces of property, which included many farms. Ground was broken for the park in June 1971. Because of the construction of Routes I-95 and I-295, the lake basin was excavated and paid for by selling gravel to the highway contractors, which in turn helped excavate the basin now known as Lake Mercer.

Facilities

  • 32 holes of golf (Mercer Oaks East and West)
  • Seventeen athletic fields used for soccer, football, and lacrosse
  • Ice skating center (home to the Mercer Bulldogs special hockey team [1])
  • Tennis center (24 total courts - six of which are covered and are lit)
  • Cross country course
  • Mountain biking area
  • Boat house/marina
  • Finn Caspersen Rowing Center
  • Crew course
  • Nature trail
  • Fishing
  • Hiking and jogging area
    Mercer County Park Mountain Bike Trail
    A mountain bike trail in the Park.
  • 3-mile paved trail
  • Picnic areas
  • Dog parks
  • Frisbee golf course
  • Three sand volleyball courts
  • Two cricket pitches
  • Seven basketball courts
  • Ten softball fields
  • Veterans Memorial Park
  • Parking facilities
  • Seven washrooms
  • 9/11 Memorial - A steel beam weighing one ton and ten feet long was given to the county by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in March 2011 and is now displayed at Mercer County Park to commemorate the deceased Mercer County victims that died during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in Lower Manhattan

Coordinates: 40°16′N 74°39′W / 40.27°N 74.65°W / 40.27; -74.65

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