Watchung Reservation Trail Map

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WELCOME TO THE WATCHUNG RESERVATION, a 1,959 acre Union County park complete with woodlands, fields, lakes, brooks, picnic areas, nature center, riding stables, historic village, and miles of bridle and hiking trails. The park takes its name from the Lenape Indian word “Wachunk”, meaning “high hills”. It is situated along the First and Second Watchung Mountains, with the Blue Brook Valley in between, spanning an area one mile wide by three miles long. Aquired primarily in the 1920′s, the Watchung

Reservation was established “to preserv this entire tract in its largely primeval state, avoiding the polish or finish of a city park… to make it more accessible and reasonablt available for picnickers, campers, fishermen and lovers of nature” (Union County Park Commission Annual Report, 1923)

Rules and Regulations

• Parking areas close at 9pm.

• Pets must be leashed; animal waste must be picked up.

• Alcoholic beverages not permitted except at reserved picnic areas with a special beer & wine permit.

• The taking or destruction of any park property or natural object is prohibited – “Take only photographs and leave only footprints”

• Only non-motorized boats with County boat decals are permitted on lakes; call (908) 527-4900 for decal application.

• Fishing is permitted at Lake Surprise, Seeley’s Pond andMoxon Pond; fishermen 16 years and older must have a State Fishing License.

• All refuse should be disposed of properly in trash cans or recycling bins where available.

• For more information about the Watchung Reservation or other Union County parks or programs call:(908) 527-4900, or visit the County’s website at


The blacklegged (formerly “deer”) tick (figure 1), a poppy seed-sized critter, can be found in the Reservation. This tick can carry and transmit Lyme Disease.Wear light color clothing with pants tucked into socks, stay on mowed paths or trails since ticks inhabit tall vegetation, and check for ticks after hiking. To have a tick identified, contact Trailside @ (908) 789-3670

Lake Surprise Boat Launch , Seeleys Pond, Moxon Pond & the Blue & Green Brooks
Reservable picnic areas & grills.

Call (908) 527-4900 to reserve picnic areas Watchung Stable , 1 160 Summit Lane, Mountainside, 07092, (908) 789-3665, Hours: 9am-12pm, 1-5pm
• Main barn houses 99 County & privately-owned horses
• 5 riding rings, show ring & outside hunter pace course
• Isolation barn
• Restrooms, water fountain, soda/snack machine • Guided trail rides & tours
• Group/Private lessons & special events
• Equestrian summer camp for 9-17 year olds

Trailside Nature & Science Center

452 New Providence Rd., Mountainside, 07092, (908) 789-3670, Hours: 12-5pm
Visitor’ s Center – State of the Art exhibits on forest, field, lake and stream ecology of the Watchung Reservation. Hands-on activities throughout the facility including
Discovery Room.
• Restrooms Soda/ Water Machines
• Gift Shop
• Night Theater
• Group/Individual/Family nature programs,special events & Pre-K – Grade 9 summer camps

Outdoor Features
• Butterfly garden with native plants & perennials
• W atchable Wildlife Area
• Backyard Habitat Site
• Wildflower Meadow

The Loop
• Playground – 2 fort-like climbing structures designed to blend into the natural park background; 1 for pre-K and 1 for school-aged children
• Gazebo
• Picnic Areas*: Oak Grove – 7 tables & 3 grills
Evergreen – 6 tables & 3 grills
• Restrooms
• Refreshment Stand (April-Sept.)

Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park

• Historic mill town, on the State and National Historic Register dating from 1845 – tours offered in October.
• 10 buildings, including church/general store, barn and 8 houses – three of which are lived in by residents (please respect their privacy). The V illage is currently undergoing revitalization with plans to rehabilitate and restore several buildings

• Restrooms
• Operation Archeology site – a school program for 5th
grade students call: (908) 558-2550 for more info

Seeley’s Pond
• Picnic Areas*: Seeley ’ s Pond – 7 tables & 5 grills

Seeley’s Pond – 6 tables & 4 grills
• Ball field (non-reservable)