Spotlights

photo of a hiking trail Jack Frost Hike on February 3rd

Visit the Round Valley Recreation Area and hike the trails around the reservoir. Dress in layers and hike the Cushetunk trail. Winter hiking brings solitude and quiet beauty, but it has its dangers. Learn the dos and don’ts of winter hiking. The nine-mile Cushetunk Trail and the three-mile lower service road are multi-use trails that pass through open and heavily wooded areas.

photo, looking down, on a  cup of hor chocolate with marshmallows Hot Chocolate Hike on January 27th

Tired of being cooped up inside? Join us for a brisk hike (or snowshoe) in the wild winter woods of Kittatinny Valley State Park! Afterwards, warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and cookies in our visitor center.

two people cross country skiing on a hiking trail Free Cross Country Ski Workshop on January 21st

Washington Crossing State Park Nature Center will host a free cross country skiing workshop on January 21st. In this workshop, participants will learn about the different types of cross-country ski equipment that are available and what to look for in selecting your first pair of skis. Other topics will include: how to dress and where to go skiing in New Jersey.

composite photo of buds of 4 different flowering plants Wildflowers in Winter at Kittatinny Valley State Park

Visit Kittatinny Valley State Park on January 20th and add a little intrigue to your next winter walk. Learn to identify the beautiful dried remains of wildflowers with your own take-home field guide! This indoor program will meet at the Kittatinny Valley State Park Visitor Center, located 1 mile north of Route 206, off Goodale Road in Andover Township.

photo headshot of a Great Horned Ow Great Horned Owl Educational Workshop

On Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 1:00pm visit the Raptor Trust Education Center for an hour long educational program focusing on the amazing Great Horned Owl. Participants will also leanr about two owls that are winter visitors to New Jersey, and be introduce you to one of the Raptor Trust Education Center's permanent resident owls.

small thumbnail of poster for Garden State Outdoor Sports Show 2018 Garden State Outdoor Sports Show 2018

Visit the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center in Edison, NJ for the 35th annual Garden State Outdoor Sports Show. The event will feature top seminars, attractions, and exhibits designed to speak to sportsmen and women of all ages, with a focus on activities the whole family can enjoy. 

photo of a dog eagerly looking down a hiking path Year of the Dog Hike at Hill & Dale Preserve

Kick off the new year with a free hike with friends. Visit the Hill and Dale Preserve in Tewksbury on Sunday, January 7, 2018 from 12-2pm. Participants will join Marie Newell, Project Coordinator, for a "Year of the Dog" hike through beautiful fields and forests. Bring your furry pals along for the day!

photo of a hiking path in a hardwood forest with snow on either side Winter Hike in Hunterdon County on December 16

Enjoy nature's winter beauty by taking a closer look at seasonal weeds, trees and animal tracks on a 3 mile long hike with the naturalist of the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park.

photo of the Delaware River Crossing Reenactment Delaware River Crossing Reenactments on December 10 and 25

George Washington’s daring 1776 Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River is considered a turning point in the Revolutionary War. Witness this historic event for yourself at one of two reenactments in December.

photo of a christmas tree Holly Walk 2017

Holly Walk is a tour of six Morris County historic sites decorated for the holidays. Each site will have special Holly Walk programs. The sites have wonderful gift shops, so bring your holiday giving lists and support local historic preservation.

hikers silhouetted against the skyline Tuesday Tykes at Spruce Run Recreation Area

Children ages 3 to 6 (with an adult) can get to know Spruce Run Recreation Area while taking a walk in the great outdoors. Each Tuesday in November we will focus on a different nature topic. We will use our five senses to learn about trees, leaves, birds, animal tracks and more.

closeup phot of cristmas ornament hanging on a pine tree 2017 Victorian Christmas at Ringwood Manor

Come wander through the first floor of Ringwood Manor, beautifully decorated for the holidays! The self-guided  format allows visitors to spend as much or as little time in each room as they wish. Children are given scavenger hunts and can search for a variety of interesting objects throughout the house.

photo of strawberries and an orange on french toast Hike to Brunch and Books on November 28

Take a 4-mile round-trip hike along the historic Sussex Branch Trail at Kittatinny Valley State Park. A one-hour brunch to celebrate “French Toast Day” at the Branchville Grill and book stop at Broad Street Books will offer optional refreshment and inspiration at the turn-around point.

photo of a turtle Reptile Talks every Saturday from November 4th - 25th

Visit the Tulpehaking Nature Center on Saturdays in November for free reptile talks. Meet live animal ambassadors and learn about many fascinating shelled and scaled animals. 

photo of a bonsai tree Bonsai for Beginners on November 14th

Join the Horticultural Society of South Jersey and Thomas DeSimone for a presentation on the basics of Bonsai. The program will cover the history, concepts, styles, basic work and tools of Bonsai as well as some of the great bonsai artist and places to go to see these wonderful trees. 

closeup photo of dandilions Presentation & Salve-Making Workshop on November 18th

Dandelions, plantains, violets, and other resilient plants can be found at the edges of our paths, gardens and lawns. Though these weeds are often rouged out, they have many traditional uses, including as food and medicinal remedies. 

photo of a circling hawk Cape May Birding Adventures October 24th - 26th

From October 24th to 26th, join Somerset County Park Commission Naturalists on an adventure to one of the meccas of birding, Cape May! For the first time Somerset County Parks Commission will be offering their annual Cape May trip in the fall to have the best chance of seeing the migration spectacles that make Cape May so famous.

photo of a bat Learn About Animals of Halloween on October 28th

On Saturday, October 28th come and learn about your favorite animals of Halloween. Learn about the life cycles, habits, and habitats of bats, bugs, spiders, and snakes. After learning some interesting facts about these misunderstood animals, kids can build their own crafty creature to take home!

photo of beach with people picking up waste Absecon Bay Coastal Cleanup on October 27th

On Friday, October 27th, volunteers are needed to cleanup a critical nesting area for northern diamondback terrapins! The entire area is littered with trash from recreational fishing activities and household debris. Much of this debris is single use plastic, including bottles, cans, bags, styrofoam containers, cigarette butts, monifilament, and even a few pairs of shoes.

phot of sneakers? 5K Run/Walk for Recycling on November 4th!

The Association of NJ Recyclers presents its inuagural event: ANJR's 5K Run & Walk for Recycling. This event has been made "Family Friendly"; suitable for runners/walkers of all abilities. Runners will be timed and course is USATF certified.

photo of a huge pile of pumpkins South Jersey Pumpkin Show October 13th, 14th, & 15th!

The South Jersey Pumpkin Show is an annual three-day “Festival of Pumpkins” held at the Salem County Fairgrounds. Festival goers visiting will enjoy pumpkin desserts, 100+ artists and craftsmen, Fall Home, Garden & Farm Expo, fun contests, scarecrows, give-a-ways, Pumpkin Toss, live bands, wine sampling, festival food court, New Jersey’s Largest Baked Pumpkin Pie, and pony rides and hayrides around the fairgrounds.

thumbnail of poster for Weekend Journey through the Past Weekend Journey through the Past on October 14th & 15th!

The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission, in collaboration with twenty-nine local historical organizations and tourism partners, has designated the weekend of October 14 & 15, 2017 "Weekend Journey through the Past." During this two-day period, twenty-nine (29) of the County's significant historic sites will be open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday and 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Sunday. 

closeup phot of heads of wheat Concert featuring traditional harvest songs on September 30!

A concert featuring traditional harvest songs performed by balladeer Linda Russell will help mark the turning of the seasons at the New Jersey State Park Service’s Old Dutch Parsonage-Wallace House historic site in Somerville, Somerset County, on Saturday, Sept. 30.

photo of reactment of firing a cannon Historic Soldiers Weekend on September 23rd - 24th!

Vist Fort Mott State Park for its Historic Soldiers Weekend on September 23rd and 24th. The annual military timeline is full of display and re-enactors from Roman centurion to German border guards during the Cold War. Both days will feature live music, weapons demonstrations and chance to see what camp life was like in many different time periods.

thumbnail of poster for Maplewood Green Day Maplewood Green Day on October 14th!

Come to one of the largest sustainability fairs in the state! This year Maplewood Green Day will be held on October 14th, in Maplewood's Memorial Park. Present at the event will be a number of "green" vendors and exhibitors, local food, live music and a number of activities and demonstrations.