Howell Living History Farm, Mercer County, New Jersey (Steve Greer/Released)

Howell Living History Farm, Mercer County, New Jersey (Steve Greer/Released)

Nestled in the heart of the Pleasant Valley Historic District, this 130-acre park was a working farm for over 240 years when its last private owner, Inez Howe Howell, gave it to Mercer County in 1974. The Mercer County Park Commission restored the farm to its 1900-1910 appearance, to operate the way it did a century ago — a time when most of Mercer County was still rural, and when farmers worked by hand and horse power to make the land productive. In keeping with Mrs. Howell’s wishes, the Park Commission offers year-around programs that allow visitors of all ages to join in the work and fun of life on a farm.

The farm features over 45 acres of period crops and gardens, four buildings listed on the NJ State and National Registers of Historic Places, and over two miles of lanes accessible on foot and by horsedrawn wagon. Historic breeds of horses, cows, sheep, chickens and other farm animals are kept as they were a century ago, creating daily opportunities for visitors to help with chores such as milking, mixing feeds, and collecting eggs.

Eighty acres of pastures, meadows and woodlands complete the farm’s historic landscape, which is enhanced by the preservation of adjacent Baldpate Mountain and stream corridors preserved by the Delaware Greenway.

Open throughout the year for self-guided tours, school group visits and weekend family programs, the farm invites visitors to join in the work and fun of seasonal activities such as ice harvesting, maple sugaring, sheep shearing, pumpkin harvesting and dozens of hands-on activities related to actual operations. The farm is also home to New Jersey’s only horse-drawn plowing match.

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