Public Info

Experience Union County’s New, Groundbreaking Solar System Walking Trail

The Union County Board of County Commissioners invites residents and visitors to visit the Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside for a special presentation on the solar system on Saturday, June 11 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. It is open to adults and families with children ages six and older.

On June 11, visitors will experience a two part program that highlights the new, groundbreaking Solar System Walking Trail, located near the Trailside Center. The exhibit, which opened to the public in April, is the first of its kind in New Jersey.

“This unique program offers the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the wonders of the universe,” said Commissioner Chair Rebecca Williams. “It is a tremendous opportunity for residents to experience Union County’s new, trailblazing Solar System Walk in the Watchung Reservation.”

To register, visit The fee is $5.00 for Union County residents and $6.00 for non-County residents. 

The program on June 11 begins with NASA Volunteer Outreach Ambassador and member of the NJ Astronomical Association, Paul Cirillo, who will take you on a Journey through the Solar System.  Paul Cirillo’s engaging presentation will include the latest astronomical images from observatories both on and off the Earth.

Afterwards, participants will take a guided Space Walk Through the Park on Union County’s new Solar System Walk, led by Trailside Naturalist volunteers.  The volunteers will help visitors experience the scale of the solar system with new interpretive signage and audio guides.

The Solar System Walk is open daily from dawn until dusk. Four audio guides offer inspiring and educational content for all age groups about the Solar System, the atmosphere and the structure of the Earth.  Every step of the walk represents a million miles in space. To activate the Audio Guide, visitors can scan the QR code with their cell phone using a QR Scanner App, or visit to download the guides.

The STEM-oriented audio guides feature the following:

The Solar System Experience for all ages, Go on a tour of the Solar System all the way to the furthest known planet, Neptune.

A mission to Mars for ages 4+ Climb up and join Astro, Comet and Professor Edwin Horatius Quintus Van Oort, on a mission to the red planet Mars.

A voyage to Saturn for ages 7+ Join commander Steve ‘the Zoom’ McRocket, Anna and Ben on a daring voyage to Saturn

A Comet’s Journey for all ages Follow the journey of comets and asteroids across the Solar System as you walk back to the Sun.

This new, innovative trail is in partnership between Trailside Nature and Science Center and X-Trails, a company which specializes in outdoor astronomical observation and STEM-related activities. “We are excited to be part of Union County’s Trailside Science Center’s latest development and hope it will add another dimension to an already excellent facility,” said Roni Waserman, founder of X-Trails.

For more information about this program or other upcoming activities at Trailside, visit or call 908-789-3670.

The Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside is run and maintained by the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information about Union County parks and facilities, including information about the Adopt-a-Park volunteer program, visit or call the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation at 908-527-4900.

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing, 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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