Online registration is now open for outdoor family programs at Trailside Nature and Science Center in October, the Union County Freeholders announced this week.

Back to Nature, a series of walks in the Watchung Reservation will resume on Oct. 3, while moonlit family hikes will occur on Oct. 1 and Oct. 29.  Programs are open to families with children ages four and older.

Pre-registration is required online at Please be advised that programs fill up quickly and are available on a first come, first served basis.

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The fee per program is $5 for Union County residents and $6 for non-county residents. Programs are held rain or shine. Credits will be issued in the event of severe weather. 

Masks are required to be worn by all participants. Programs will be held in small groups in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Participants are advised to dress for the outdoors.

The Back to Nature series is offered on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Workshops begin on Oct. 3 and continue through Oct. 24. This series features a different nature theme each week. 

Back to Nature encourages nature discovery through hikes and outdoor activities. This fall, families will search for monarch butterflies, discover animal homes and hideouts, take part in a rock collecting activity and go on a nature walk to enjoy the beautiful colors of the fall foliage this season.  

The Harvest Moon Hike will take place on Oct. 1, and a Blue Moon Hike will take place on Oct. 29, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Families who participate in this program have the opportunity to explore the Watchung Reservation by the light of the full moon.

For more information about upcoming programs and activities for seniors, families and children at Trailside, please visit or call 908-789-3670.

Trailside Nature and Science Center is located in the Watchung Reservation, at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside, and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

For quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities visit The Green Connection,