Celebrate National Trails Day tomorrow in the Watchung Reservation

UNION COUNTY — With miles of hiking and bridle trails crisscrossing the Watchung Reservation, maintenance and repair is an important, ongoing task. The Union County Department of Parks and Recreation have an opportunity for trail users who want to give something back to the trails.

Celebrate the local trails on National Trails Day, Sat., June 7, by signing up to take a guided hike or participating in a trail work project in the Watchung Reservation. Participants should dress to get dirty and wet. Meet at the Scout Camping Area behind the greenhouse at Trailside Nature and Science Center’s Visitor Center, located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside.

National Trails Day begins at 8:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast for all pre-registered project volunteers. From 8:45 to 10 a.m., a trailside naturalist will take hikers along one of the marked trails in the Watchung Reservation in search of wildlife sights and sounds, animal tracks and plant life along the way, as well as migratory birds that use the reservation as a rest stop along their trip north.

A trail work project from 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will offer volunteers the chance to repair a section of hiking trail. Volunteers will learn new skills, meet other trail users and have fun while working in the outdoors.

Bring gloves, a shovel, loppers, pruning shears and/or pickaxe if you have them. Some tools will be provided. The event will be held rain or shine. Trail work participants must be 7 years of age or older and children must be accompanied by an adult.

To register to do trail work, call 908-789-3683 or email bkelly@ucnj.org.