When we’re not adventuring, you can find us cuddled up with a good book, so when we discovered that the red trail at Reeves-Reede Arboretum was a storybook trail that led to a fun teepee, well, that was just the best of both worlds. There’s a few arboretums across the Garden State that feature storybook trails, and with two little ones in tow, I always appreciate the added intrigue they bring to hiking. This one was especially neat because it educated littles about the trees they were viewing with a timely autumn theme in a lovely rhyming countdown. Here’s a little excerpt: “Six linden leaves in Valentine shapes reflect golden sun in autumn’s landscape…Oval, yellow birch leaves drop two, by two, by two. Natives used birch bark to build their canoes.” With woodland creatures and colorful pictures, this story was the perfect incentive for my little guys to keep moving.
We hiked the short red, green, and orange trails and while many of the trees are barren now, we had fun walking on leaf carpet and made a point to notice the variety of leaf colors, shapes, and sizes – some even larger than my 2 years old’s head! As we rounded a curve on the orange trail, we even came within a few feet of a deer snacking on leaves. So cool!
We walked the wildflower trail, and while they weren’t in bloom, we did see a piece of Revolutionary history, and enjoyed a toddler snack on a park bench in solitude overlooking the gardens. Japanese maples were still clothed in brilliant red and we appreciated the tree tag labels so we could call them by name.
I can only imagine how beautiful this hidden gem is in the Spring, and look forward to many more visits when the daffodils, azaleas, and roses are in full bloom.
The Park Mama Tips:
- The entrance and exit gates are one-way and open automatically. It appears closed, but if you pull your car up slowly to the gate, the sensor will trigger. You don’t want to know how many times we circled the parking lot trying to figure out how to exit. Lol.
- The gardens are stroller-friendly and the woodland trails are doable with a stroller, though it may not be the smoothest ride.
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