Loantaka Brook Reservation: Morris Township, NJ

Rating: 5 out of 5.

We discovered this gem a few weeks ago and it has quickly become a favorite respite from our densely populated urban life. Magical. Heavenly. Peaceful. Green. That’s how I would describe this place. Babbling brooks, cute little bridges, stroller-friendly trails, wildflowers, grassy fields, and tons of animals. We spotted chipmunks galore, butterflies, dragonflies, fish, dogs, and horses. What’s not to love?

As a mama of littles, I appreciated the flat, shaded trails. Pick your flavor – paved or gravel – there’s 9.9 miles of them. Share paved paths with bicyclists and runners or gravel trails with horseback riders – either way, people were respectful and friendly and it was easy to socially distance and claim our own space to explore.

We did stroller vs. scooter races on the paved paths and a bug safari through the gravel paths with frequent stops to inspect sticks, dirt, and rocks for centipedes and worms. Did I mention I’m a boy mama? If you choose the gravel paths, beware of the horse manure. It’s a little like dodging landmines, but it’s worth it to find quiet spaces to skip rocks and watch fish and dragonflies.

There’s so much to explore here and with little legs, it will take many trips to discover the full park. There’s huge open fields just begging for a yoga or meditation session, ball playing, or a picnic. There are restrooms positioned beside the playground at the entrance (closed due to COVID) and porta potties also conveniently located at the exits.

I thought we had to venture out of state for an experience like this and had no idea spaces like this were so close to home. I’m slowly discovering why the Garden State is so aptly named.

The Park Mama Tips:

  • We’ve frequented this place a couple of times and have explored different entrances. Our preferred parking lot is adjacent to Seton Stables. The kiddos get a glimpse of horses as they arrive and you’re positioned to reach the brook pretty quickly.
  • Playing “I Spy a Chipmunk” encourages those little legs to keep on moving and forget they were just asking you to carry them the rest of the way.

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Published by TheParkMama

Hi, I'm Janet, a city dwelling nature lover and mama bear of toddler and preschool aged explorers. We love discovering uncrowded green spaces within a short drive of Hoboken, NJ that are little kid-friendly - from botanical gardens and nature preserves to arboretums and parks - there's something magical about adventuring together.

4 thoughts on “Loantaka Brook Reservation: Morris Township, NJ

  1. Great recommendation! We went to the park with our 3 year old and everyone in the family loved it. Throwing stones in the small brook never got old and the variety of dragonflies were simply amazing!

  2. Hi Janet,
    Even though we don’t live in NJ, I still love reading your wonderfully descriptive blogs. It just shows that a good writer can take you on an adventure – even if it’s only in your imagination.

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