Battle of the Short Hills Historic Trail

sh trailWhat would it be like to retrace the steps of the American revolutionary war soldiers who engaged the British in Metuchen on June 26, 1777, and then fought a running battle across what is now Edison and Scotch Plains before retreating to the safety of the Watchung Mountains—through a pass by Seeley’s Pond that would become known as Bloody Gap? Start off at 349 Main Street, Metuchen.

In addition to several historic sites in Metuchen and Edison, hikers will pass the Frazee House, the Ash Brook Reservation, perhaps the only location in the entire battle that has not been developed since that time.
Colonial forces sought to slow the British by having their cannons bogged down in the Ash Swamp.

The British hoped that if they feigned a departure from New Jersey, they would lure the Continental Forces down from the Watchung Mountains, crush them, and finally end the Revolutionary War. The plan didn’t go so well, even though Washington’s troops of less than 6,000 were vastly outnumbered by a combined British and Hessian force numbering about 12,000.

There is also a nature trail leading into the swamp for those who would like to see the area.  While the site was drained to some extent, there are still some wet sections that will give the visitor a sense of why the American troops wanted to draw the British through this area and slow their advance.

Hikers will also pass the historic Fanwood Train Station. The route continues past the Osborn Cannonball House in Scotch Plains and ends at the Deserted Village. Interactive map

History of the Battle of the Short Hills

Historic Sites Along the Battle of the Short Hills History Trail
Frazee House
Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail
Fanwood Historic Train Station
Osborne Cannonball House
Nearby Historic Sites Involved with the Battle of the Short Hills
Drake House General Washington’s headquarters
Quibbletown Encampment