Trailside Nature and Science Center
452 New Providence Road
Mountainside, NJ 07092
(908) 789-3670
Official Website

Places Nearby:
Raptor Trust
Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center
Reeves - Reed Arboretum
More in:

Other States:

Operated by the Union County Department of Parks and Community Renewal and located in the 2060-acre Watchung Reservation, this fine nature center contains habitats for a diverse variety of wildlife. More than thirteen miles of marked trails provide hikers with plenty of opportunities to explore. Great for nature photographers.

The renovated Visitor Center at Trailside Nature and Science Center includes new, state-of-the-art exhibits featuring forest ecology, conservation, meadow habitat, Lenape Native Americans, aquatic life, geology of the Watchung Reservation and a children's Discovery Room. Visitors can also experience the Night Theater, a seven-minute multi-media presentation about the area's animals that come out at night. The Trailside Visitor Center is open daily from Noon to 5 p.m.

Throughout the year special exhibits, programs, and events make Trailside a fantastic family resource for fun and learning.


Trailside Nature and Science Center's visitor center re-opened in 2006 after an extensive renovation and remodeling. The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites the public to experience over 4500 square feet of interactive environmental exhibits or take part in one of the many unique and educational programs designed to spark the imagination of adults and children alike. Visitors can enroll in a class or simply enjoy the facilities.

Trailside offers programs that children can participate in with an adult, drop-off workshops for children ages 4 - 6 and for grade school children, family programs, thematic Birthday Parties, adult workshops, and teacher training opportunities throughout the year. Additionally, programs for schools, Scouts and communities are offered during the school year.

Trailside's home in the scenic Watchung Reservation provides the perfect classroom for learning about the environment and the natural world around us while having fun.

Hours: 12 - 5 pm daily.

Admission: Donations are accepted.

Groups: Call for rates for educational programs.

Group Reservations: Call ahead to schedule school, Scout or community programs.

Lunch: Picnic areas and pavilions nearby.

Handicapped Access: Partial.

Directions: I-95 South to I-78 West to exit 43 (New Brunswick/Berkely Hts.). At light turn right onto McMane Ave. Turn left onto Glenside Ave. Drive 1.2 miles, turn right into Watchung Reservation (Rt. 645) and pass Lake Surprise. At traffic circle, take first right and proceed 1/2 mile to Trailside.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.