CLARK, NJ - Esposito Park on Madison Hill Road was recently named one of “7 New Jersey Playgrounds Worth Traveling To” by New Jersey Family magazine. Visitors to the park on a recent sunny afternoon wholeheartedly agreed that the park is a great place to be.
Clark moms Lina Dobbins and Lina Rivera were chatting on a bench inside the playground area as their young sons ran around and swung on the monkey bars. “I like that it’s all fenced in,” said Dobbins, “It’s clean, the restrooms and water fountain are right here. It’s not too crowded.” Rivera added, “It’s perfect for the little kids, and the bigger kids like the skateboard ramps.”
Kate Birnbaum has five- and seven-year-old boys and agreed that the combination of activities is what brings her to the park three or more days a week. “We can spend 30 minutes on the ramps, then switch for 30 minutes at the playground, and then we go down to the butterfly garden,” said Birnbaum.
The butterfly garden is a large wildflower meadow in the center of a half-mile walking and fitness trail that begins right behind the parking lot. Two footbridges cross a small, picturesque brook. Nature lovers will spot all sorts of wildlife along the trail, from groundhogs and bunnies to cardinals and robins.
The park has something for everyone. Two teenagers enjoyed a lively game of tennis, senior citizens took a leisurely stroll, and a jogger sped through an afternoon workout.
The 13-acre park is part of the Union County Park System. Formerly one of the largest farmsteads in the area, the land was purchased by Union County in 2003 through the Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. The park was named in honor of the late Peter J. Esposito, who originally owned and operated the farmstead.
To read New Jersey Family’s other park recommendations, click here.