Public Info

Outdoor Family Programs to be Held in October at Trailside Nature and Science Center

Union County, NJ — The Union County Freeholders are pleased to announce that online registration is now open for outdoor family programs at Trailside Nature and Science Center in October.

Back to Nature, a series of walks in the Watchung Reservation will resume on October 3, while moonlit family hikes will occur on October1 and October 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.

“Trailside’s family programs provide an ideal opportunity for adults and children to spend time together, enjoy the scenery of the Watchung Reservation, and reconnect with the natural world around us,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

The fee per program is $5.00 for Union County residents and $6.00 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 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Workshops begin on October 3 and continue through October 24. This series feature 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 October 1, and a Blue Moon Hike will take place on October 29, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 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.

In-person activities in Union County parks are limited during the COVID-19 outbreak in accordance with statewide public health guidelines, and Trailside is closed to the general public until further notice. For more information and updates on permitted activities in Union County parks, visit online at

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,

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

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