Public Info

Register for Fall Family Fun at Trailside Nature and Science Center

people waling on a trailUnion County, NJ – The Union County Board of County Commissioners invites residents to enjoy the beautiful autumn season in the Watchung Reservation with a variety of outdoor programs offered by Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside.

“Trailside’s programs offer families a wonderful opportunity to spend time together outdoors and reconnect with the natural world around us,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Pre-registration is required for all programs and can be completed online at (use the “Online Registration” link in the left-hand column).

Adults with children age four to six are invited to participate in Tyke Hikes, which are offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., beginning October 5. Participants will discover animal homes and hideouts, explore all the colors of the rainbow on a nature walk and search for monarch butterflies.

The fee is $10 per class for Union County residents and $12 per class for non-county residents. Other topics include snakes & turtles, backyard birds, senses, seeds and mammals.

Back to Nature, a series of walks in the Watchung Reservation for families, will resume on October 9, while moonlit family hikes will occur on October 21 and November 18. Programs are open to families with children ages four and older.

Back to Nature encourages nature discovery through hikes and outdoor activities. The series is offered on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  Families will learn to identify birds by color and sound, experience the life of the Lenape Native Americans and search for animal tracks on a fall hike.  Other topics include bats and animal tracks.

The fee per program is $5 for Union County residents and $6 for non-county residents.

A Hunter’s Moon Hike will take place on October 21 and a Frost Moon Hike will take place on November 18, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Registrants will have the opportunity to explore the Watchung Reservation by the light of the full moon and learn about the wildlife that comes out after dark.

Social distancing will be practiced and face coverings are recommended.

Participants are advised to dress for the outdoors. Programs may be cancelled due to inclement weather.

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

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

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at


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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