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One with the Outdoors

One with the Outdoors

Looking for some outdoor activities this season? Grab a friend and check out these nearby natural settings.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Chris Neff, NJ Audubon and Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary (NJ Audubon Headquarters – Bernardsville) comprises 276 acres of woodland, field, and floodplain habitat that is home to over 200 species of wildlife over the course of a year. View videos, podcasts, activities and other online tools in NJ Audubon’s Media Center to connect with nature in your own places and spaces. Registration is open for teams to take part in the annual World Series of Birding taking place on Saturday, May 11. Want to see which birds are migrating? Check out this page with a gallery of spring migrations!

Photo courtesy of Somerset County Park Commission

Environmental Education Center (Basking Ridge, NJ) is great for hiking and bird watching. variety of habitats of floodplains, swamps, rivers, intermittent streams, marshes, meadows, and natural and man-made ponds, fields, and forests provide homes for diverse plant and animal populations in this environmentally sensitive park. Please visit the EEC website and click “Public Programs” at the top-right for detailed monthly offerings.

Photo courtesy of Chris Neff

Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve (Raritan Headwaters Association – Bedminster) is 170-acre wildlife preserve with five miles of trails through fields and woods, a scenic pond with a dock, a bird and butterfly garden, and a historic barn complex. Additionally, if you’re looking to brush up on your photography skills – or even check out some of their other workshops, be sure to keep an eye on their calendar.

Photo courtesy of Somerset County Park Commission

Sourland Mountain Preserve (Hillsborough and Montgomery, NJ) offers several recreational opportunities in an undisturbed natural setting, including hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, bouldering, and horseback riding.

Duke Farms (Hillsborough) Find your place in nature and have an inspirational experience guided by leaders in conservation. Current hours are Tues-Sat, 8:30am-4:30pm. Free entry passes are required for Saturdays starting March 30 through October. You can reserve one on Duke Farms’ website here. Trails and bikeshare program opened as of April 2 and is weather permitting. Don’t miss their famed Eagle Cam. This year, Duke Farms has had two baby bald eagles! In late January 2024, the eagle laid two eggs, and the chicks hatched on February 29/March 1, and officially fledged May 22/27. Check the cameras to see the latest. For the latest info, please visit dukefarms.org.

Delaware and Raritan Canal

Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park is one of the most popular recreational corridors for canoeing, jogging, hiking, bicycling, fishing and horseback riding. Don’t miss this significant historic and wildlife corridor, year-round.

Photo courtesy of Taylor Deer

Colonial Park (Somerset, NJ) is home to pristine natural areas, broad lawns, extensive award-winning gardens, and ponds to fish in. Check website for seasonal hours and openings/closings.

Photo courtesy of Somerset County Park Commission

Natirar Park (Peapack & Gladstone, NJ) Extensive areas of lawn and woodland, river access and scenic views are just part of the beauty of this year-round destination. (Don’t miss Ninety Acres at Natirar for a meal or cooking class that will rock your world!)

Photo courtesy of Somerset County Park Commission

Duke Island Park (Bridgewater, NJ) is a general use park in Somerset County that provides a wide variety of passive recreational opportunities. Duke Island Park also offers trails for Somerset County biking enthusiasts.

Washington Rock State Park is one of the oldest parks in New Jersey, and was originally purchased by the state of New Jersey in 1913 to commemorate the historical events of June 1777. The strategic location of Washington Rock made it a valuable lookout point during the American Revolution.

Photo courtesy of Eerlenborn

Washington Valley Park (Bridgewater, NJ) is located between the first and second Watchung Mountains at the geographic center of Somerset County. It consists of pine and hemlock forests, open freshwater wetland marches, impressive rock outcroppings, numerous historic features and a 21-acre reservoir. Here you’ll be able to hike, bike, fish, and bird watch. The Hawk Watch area is now open to the public, and fall is peak hawk watch season!

Little Brook Sanctuary (Bedminster, NJ) Bird watching, hiking, and biking.  You can observe birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and flowers throughout the seasons.

Make plans now to get out and get active!

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