We went for a walk on Sunday. The weather in Central New Jersey has been perfect as spring turns to summer, and I was determined to take advantage on the first day of June.
Colleen and I have been enjoying a relaxing month of May in the States, a longish stretch of non-hectic travels that allowed us to refresh for the next flurry of adventures.
We often head overseas to find new destinations to explore, but I also realize that there are always interesting places to visit in our own back yard -- no matter where that yard is.
We live in Ewing, New Jersey. I wouldn't call it a hot travel destination by any means, but we can get to Philadelphia in 45 minutes or hop a train and be in Midtown Manhattan in less than 90 minutes. We're also close to Princeton University, which is a beautiful and historic campus to explore, with a free museum, beautiful gardens and interesting sculptures around the grounds. Plus, we have a craft brewery, River Horse Brewing Co., a short walk from our front door.
I had passed Loveless Nature Preserve on a drive one day and thought it looked like an ideal spot to for a nature walk. I was hoping that it would offer a nice long hiking opportunity so close to home, but this little slice of serenity in Lawrence Township only features 1.7 miles of trails.
It was time to get outdoors, so we drove over to find the parking spot for Loveless Nature Preserve. We had never been, but noticed that it's only seven minutes away. Google Maps got us to the vicinity, but the parking was tricky. I went by the small gravel semi-circle lot the first time before doubling back and finding it. There are spots for about eight or nine vehicles in the lot.
The trail is well-marked and takes you into forest area under tall trees and along some open fields and paths. You can walk the long loop in less than an hour at a gentle pace. The parking area has picnic benches under shade trees, and you can find nice spots along the trail to relax on a blanket if you want to have a picnic there.
We saw and heard numerous birds, and we spotted butterflies, moths, a squirrel and a young deer.
Recent rains made the forest especially green. We had a pleasant walk and were happy to have discovered this spot so close to home.
We'll add it to the list of little gems to be sure to enjoy when we are home and craving a little bonding time with nature. Baldpate Mountain is another one of our great finds for an easy weekend nature walk in Central New Jersey.
How do you like to rejuvenate and re-energize? Have you found any cool day hikes near you? Tell us all about them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,