Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

Union County Celebrates National Trails Day with Free Guided Hikes and Activities, June 2

52fc62d558d796d03d97_Watchung_trails_guided_hikes.jpg
fcb7a6d77ae02a7183eb_pink_flowers.jpg
be244f14ae1d76ba4fc6_National_Trails_Day_slide_2018.jpg
d89f4efc46422d29dffc_white_flower_patch.jpg
52fc62d558d796d03d97_Watchung_trails_guided_hikes.jpg

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents and visitors of all ages to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of National Trails Day at the Watchung Reservation on Saturday, June 2, where the County’s Trailside Nature & Science Center will host four different guided hikes and an Adopt-a-Trail volunteer activity along with special programs throughout the day for all ages. The event is free, and ample free parking is available.

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System Act, signed into law by President Johnson on October 2, 1968.

“Preserving, protecting and sharing the legacy of Union County’s public parks and nature preserves is a top priority for the Freeholder Board,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “I encourage everyone, especially those who have never hiked our trails before, to come to the Watchung Reservation and enjoy these unique and enriching experiences, guided by experts from our Trailside Nature & Science Center.”

Sign Up for E-News

“During this time, as our country engages in a debate over the future of our national parks, it is all the more important to recognize and celebrate the value of recreation and nature conservation in all of our public lands,” added Chairman Granados.

Participants in National Trails Day can choose any of four themed hikes, each lasting approximately 45 minutes to one hour:

12:30: Sensory Awareness - Investigate one of our many trails using yours senses of sight, sound, smell and touch.

1:30: Geocaching - Learn all about this popular outdoor recreational activity and have fun on a geocaching scavenger hunt.

2:30: Learn to Lead - Find out how to read trail blazes and take turns leading the group on one of our marked trails.

3:30: Birding 101 - Discover the basics of birding and how to use binoculars.  Learn to identify local birds by sight and sound.

Throughout the day, participants can visit educational displays at the Trailside Nature and Science Center hosted by Wild Birds Unlimited of Scotch Plains, the Summit Environmental Commission, and the Rutgers Wildlife Society. 

Participants can also meet live reptiles native to the Watchung Reservation such as a painted turtle, box turtle and milk snake during “Reptile of the Hour.”

The National Trails Day celebration also includes children’s activities, crafts, nature touch tables and giveaways throughout the day. 

The Adopt-a-Trail activity will take place rain or shine from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Volunteers will learn how to repair a section of trail bed and remove invasive plants. Tools and a continental breakfast will be provided. Trail work participants must be seven years of age or older and children must be accompanied by an adult, and pre-registration is required by contacting bkelly@uncj.org.

Union County’s park system includes 36 distinct parks that encompass nearly 6,200 acres, from small neighborhood parks to the nearly 2,200-acre Watchung Reservation, the crown jewel of the Parks system and home to the Trailside Nature & Science Center, Watchung Stable, Lake Surprise and The Deserted Village of Feltville.

Union County was one of the first counties in the U.S. to establish its own system of parks, beginning in the 1920’s. Trailside was added to the Watchung Reservation in the 1940’s.

“Trailside also marks a first, as it is the first natural history museum established in New Jersey,” said Chairman Granados. “Today Trailside reaches thousands of residents and visitors every year with important messages about our natural heritage and environmental stewardship.”

For more information about National Trails Day and other activities at Trailside, call 908-789-3670 or visit online at ucnj.org/trailside.   

The Trailside Nature & Science Center is located in the Watchung Reservation in Mountainside, at 452 New Providence Road.

Quick links to more information about Trailside, Union County parks, and all of Union County’s environmental programs and activities are available at The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

The Grove at Connell Park Hosts a Home for Good Dog Rescue Adoption Event: Wednesday, June 27

June 21, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Home for Good Dog Rescue presents an adoption event from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27 at The Grove at Connell Park located on Connell Drive in Berkeley Heights. (Rain Date June 28)

Click here to apply to adopt: bit.ly/hfgadopt

About Home for Good Dog Rescue: Home for Good Dog Rescue (HFGDR) is a 100 percent foster-based, non-profit ...

Moms Helping Moms Foundation Receives Overwhelming Support from Community to Help Mothers this Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is often celebrated by showering the women in our lives with beautiful flowers, heartfelt cards, and taking them on special outings to show them how much they mean to us. Yet, for many low-income mothers living in our community, they struggle each day to provide the basics for their babies.

Diapers are a necessity yet one in three families in the United States lack an ...

New Providence Recreation Offers Adult Summer Programs

New Providence Recreation is accepting registrations for adult evening and daytime programs that run June 25th – August 31st.  Most of the eight to nine-week sessions are under $65; several programs are free for NP residents!  All levels of fitness and those returning to exercise are welcome.

Programs are offered starting at 6 a.m.. If you are seeking weight loss, core body ...

Summit Community Blood Drive is Sunday; First 50 donors Will Get a Free Union Theater Movie Pass

The weather may have just started to warm up, but New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS) is already urging the public to donate blood as we head into the summer months.  With schools closing and vacations scheduled, less people donate blood from June through August but transfusions are still needed for local patients.   

“We’re especially thankful to our dedicated donors ...

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.

 

Linden Man Arrested After Explosion in Cranford

June 21, 2018

CRANFORD - On Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 7:06 p.m. the Cranford Police Department received
information that an explosion was heard in the area of Raritan Road and Summit Terrace. Through
a joint investigation with the Union County Prosecutor's Office and Linden Police Department, the
Cranford Police Department Detective Bureau identified a suspect through surveillance video ...

What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...