Submitted by Thomas Plante of Union County
MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – With miles of hiking and bridle trails crisscrossing the Watchung Reservation, maintenance and repair is an important, on-going task. The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Recreation have the perfect opportunity for trail users who want to “give something back” to the trails they enjoy.
“If you love the great outdoors and love to hike or ride horses in the Watchung Reservation, then you can show your appreciation on National Trails Day,” said Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak. “The 2,060-acre forest preserve is Union County’s largest park and it offers a variety of trails and scenery for all ages to enjoy.”
You can celebrate our local trails on National Trails Day, Saturday, June 7, by signing up to take a guided hike and/or participate in a trail work project in the Watchung Reservation. Participants should dress to get dirty and/or wet. Meet at the Scout Camping Area behind the greenhouse at Trailside Nature and Science Center’s Visitor Center, located at 452 New Providence Road (at Coles Ave.) in Mountainside.
National Trails Day begins at 8:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast for all pre-registered project volunteers. Anyone interested in doing some trail work should call 908-789-3683 to register, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. From 8:45 to 10:00 a.m., a Trailside naturalist will take hikers along one of many marked trails in the Watchung Reservation in search of wildlife sights and sounds, animal tracks and interesting plant life along the way. Listen and look for migratory birds that use the Reservation as a rest stop along their trip north.
A trail work project from 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will offer volunteers the chance to repair a section of hiking trail. Volunteers will learn new skills, meet other trail users and have fun while working in the out-of-doors. Bring gloves, a shovel, loppers, pruning shears and/or pick axe if you have them. Some tools will be provided. The event will be held rain or shine. Trail work participants must be seven years of age or older and children must be accompanied by an adult.
For directions to Trailside Nature and Science Center, go to http://goo.gl/maps/WG4g5 or call Trailside: 908-789-3670.