|Minisink Battleground Park Trails|
This was the shortest of the six hikes. The Minisink Battleground Park Trail is more of an interpretive trail and a leisurely stroll through the woods. Every so often there is a sign that indicates what happened at or near the spot. The trail was between a quarter and a half mile in length with no significant elevation gain.
The Battle of Minisink took place on July 22nd, 1779 and is the only Revolutionary War battle that took place on the upper Delaware River. After a raid on a settlement by Iroquois and loyalist troops under the command of Joseph Brant, a chief of the Mohawk tribe and also a captain in the British army, the militia of Orange County attempted to ambush Brant's troops as he crossed the Delaware River.
One of the militiamen took a shot at one of the native guides before the ambush was set, which alerted Brant who then outflanked the militia and pursued them to Minisink. After a running battle, the militia dug in on Rocky Hill which is now the Minisink Battleground Park. Ammunition ran low on both sides after a couple of hours and the battle devolved to hand to hand fighting which the Iroquois excelled at. In all 48 militiamen were killed and only 7 of Brant's men.
The Minisink Battleground Park Trail is a peaceful, contemplative trail through the woods of Rocky Hill. At the top of the hill there is a monument built to the battle. From the monument the trail meanders through the forest and reaches Hospital Rock which is where the battle was finally ended with the death of Lt. Col. Benjamin Tusten and the seventeen wounded militiamen under his command. The rest of the militia had broken and run, returning to their homes.
While this battle wasn't decisive in any way during the Revolutionary War, there was still a solemn reverence at this site. We were treading on ground that patriot blood had been spilled on.
|What the majority of the trail looked like|
|The memorial at the top of the hill|
|Large boulder. This rock probably sheltered militia or enemy troops during the battle|
|Trail marker for the Last Stand on Rocky Hill|
|Trail marker for Hospital Rock|
|Lichen covered boulders were all over this hill|
|Legend has it that Joseph Brant set this rock in place to memorialize his fallen troops|