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Parks and other outdoor destinations in Central Jersey

Mixed race couple walk on rural path lifting young daughter

Home to rolling hills, lush open spaces, and sparkling brooks and springs, the Central Jersey region is every outdoor lover’s dream.

Here are five excellent outdoor attractions in the area that the whole family can enjoy:

  1. Wagner Farm Arboretum (Warren)

    This 93-acre preserve, formerly the site of a privately owned dairy farm, now operates as a recreational and learning facility that promotes environmental awareness among locals and visitors.

    The arboretum is known for its “Giving Gardens” program, which welcomes volunteers of all ages to participate in regular vegetable farming activities. Since 2007, the program has produced over 2,000 pounds of fresh vegetables that have benefited more than 200,000 families across the state.

  2. Lord Stirling Park (Basking Ridge)

    Located at the northwest corner of the Bernards Township, Lord Stirling Park covers more than 900 acres and is divided into two main parts – the Environmental Education Center (EEC) and the Lord Stirling Stable.

    The EEC is managed by the Somerset County Parks Commission and offers various outdoor education programs. Activities such as field trips, exhibits, and trail hikes make full use of 500 acres of the park. Guests and participants can expect to see thriving wetland and forest habitats and ecosystems.

    Lord Stirling Stable offers equestrian activities with 10 miles of horseback riding trails, outdoor rings, and an indoor arena for equestrian shows.

  3. Washington Rock State Park (Green Brook)

    Commemorate a significant turning point in American history with a visit to one of New Jersey’s oldest state parks.

    Washington Rock State Park is located on top of the first Watchung Mountain. It features the site best remembered as the lookout point that General George Washington used to gain a strategic advantage during the Revolutionary War.

    The site today is a popular destination for hikes and picnics with jaw-dropping views.

  4. Leonard J. Buck Garden (Far Hills)

    This 33-acre public botanical garden is a sight to behold with its variety of artfully landscaped yet ecologically sound gardens. The site is built around several rock outcroppings on the property, creating a variety of microclimates that lend to a remarkable diversity of plant associations and their related ecosystems.

    Azaleas, wildflowers, alpines, and rhododendrons in peak bloom color the base of the valley walls in spring, but visitors can expect blooms almost any week of the year. The variety of flowering plants includes rare and exotic species.

  5. The Greek Theater (Florham Park)

    Get to appreciate the performing arts in an outdoor setting. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey maintains a 500-seat grass-and-stone amphitheater on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth.

    Inspired by the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens, Greece, the outdoor stage treats audiences to a theater experience reminiscent of ancient times. Low-backed beach chairs, food, and beverages are allowed for maximum comfort and enjoyment.

The Central Jersey lifestyle promises these great recreational opportunities to match some of the East Coast’s most desirable luxury communities. If you want to learn about real estate opportunities here, call me, Janine Rose, at 908-229-6253, or email janine(at)janinerose(dotted)com.

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