In these times it’s hard to write about anything other than the coronavirus pandemic. I thought about a post that would elaborate on all the good things that have come from sheltering in place. I just couldn’t think of too many. It has made my dog happy. We’re pretty much home all the time and when we go out it’s usually to take him hiking in a park.
Then there’s the parks. Whether it’s national, state or local, the parks are full of people. Folks who otherwise might be consuming in a shopping mall or watching March Madness in a bar, are instead out enjoying nature, getting some fresh air and a little exercise.
I live in New Jersey where on Saturday the governor issued a stay at home order. Specifically exempted from that order, however, is outdoor recreation. The New Jersey state parks have remained open. Facilities, restrooms and historic buildings are closed and all events have been cancelled, but we’re free to enter and enjoy the parks. Locally, regulations vary. I live in Essex County which has closed its parks and reservations. But in neighboring Passaic County, they’re still open.
These photos are from Garrett Mountain Reservation in Passaic County.
Garret Mountain Reservation is on the First Watchung Mountain in the towns of Woodland Park, Clifton and Paterson, N.J. In addition to hiking trails and picnic areas, it has an equestrian center and a boathouse. It is a favored site for high school cross country meets.
Lambert Tower, which is located within the reservation, was built by the silk-magnate Lambert family, who lived in nearby Lambert Castle. The 70-foot tall observation tower, which sits atop a cliff overlooking the surrounding area, was built in 1896.