Watchung Reservation, Mountainside, NJ- (Historical Reference)

by | Jul 8, 2008 | Mountainside, Outdoor Playgrounds, Union County Playgrounds, Watchung | 8 comments

***For reference only, please check this link for the new post on The Loop Playground for the latest pictures and photos.***

5/30/2012- All is opened except for one section. Stacey will be sending us a new post soon!

4/14/2012- update we took video- check it out here, looking good!



Watchung Reservation-Loop Playground- W.R. Tracy Ave., Mountainside, NJ.  The kids love this expansive playground, it is in great shape, and very popular.  Despite not much shade in the playground area, there are other activities around including some trails, which we’ve wandered onto. Check out the Trailside Nature Center It is a very huge playground, just a small part of the reservation- wide open spaces, for map, see link here


  1. hobokenmetromom

    My kids loved this playground, especially the tire swings!

  2. PJ (doublelattemama)

    This is our all-time favorite playground. Even though there is no fence around it, I can actually keep track of two kids pretty easily at this playground. After running and jumping for awhile, we have a picnic in the grassy area and then hit the nature center. It’s a wonderful outing and truly an opportunity to get away from the concrete.

    Now – onto the topic of busybodybook – I have recently posted on my blog about my new organization approaches involving whiteboards – i love the weekly grid pad and the wall calendar for this type of organizing – large, in-your-face organization that you can do in pencil (the key for me is flexibility!)

  3. sararall

    My big kids love the tall climbing structure with long tube slides, and my little kids love the clear tubes to crawl through and the chair swings. A great place to bring a picnic lunch, though it gets a bit crowded with camps in the summer.

  4. Valerie

    That’s the park you’d need when the weather is rainy. It’s on top of the hill, in the open area, so the sun dries its grounds fast. It’s almost never damp for there.
    Also consider the proximity of this playground to the Nature Center which you can use as a wonderful and educational shelter in case the weather turns bad.

    I also like that the play structures are made of wood (vs. plastic), so it has a charming natural look and feel.

    There is a beautiful area for walking around the playground: a lot of greenery, interesting trees, some suitable for climbing, many many birds (also nice hawk watching area), and small animals like chipmunks, mice, rabbits, and we’ve even seen fox’s prints. And if you’re lucky, you can spot an albino deer in the woods (it lives there in the area and we’ve seen it a number of times there).

    I would say that the only con at this park is a restroom area: it’s not clean, the lights are often out, not working, and soap or paper is often missing.

  5. Weaverine

    This playground is one of my daughter’s favorite. I just wanted to add that Watchung reservation has fall programs and activities like hayrides and marshmallow grilling (a short walk from playground, near Trailside center). Last year we were there almost every Friday night. I suggest catching the first ride when it’s still not too dark.

  6. admin

    Thanks Valerie, and Weaverine, I never thought about the dryness of the playground, but Valerie you are so right.. It dries up quick! I’ll make sure to include some of the fall events to look forward to. We enjoy trailside alot!

  7. CuseGRl

    We visited the playground with our 2.5 year old after an unsuccessful fishing experience at Lake Surprise. What a fantastic playground! I loved that it’s “leveled” and appropriate for my child and his abilities. There are a lot of picnic tables and benches to sit at and lots of wide open space for picnic-ing or flying a kite! We can’t wait to check it out again and again!

  8. Amy

    This playground is open again with most of the new equipment now ready for play, looks really nice.


  1. Hoboken Metro Mom » Watchung Reservation (Mountainside, NJ) - [...] behind the Nature Center is one of the area’s largest playgrounds, the Loop. Swings, tire swings, two huge playground…
  2. Hoboken Metro Mom » Painting Seashells and Penguin Pointers: August 10-14 - [...] If you haven’t been to Watchung Reservation and Trailside Nature Center yet, you may want to go today!  At…

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