Fair Haven (NJ) Natural Area

As I live near Fair Haven, I have driven by the Fair Haven Natural Area many times – seen the parking lot and wondered what really was in there.  Fair Haven lists the park on their web site, here, and after some digging, I waited for a sunny day with a couple of hours to spare in order to check it out.  Certainly, you don’t need much time.  I figure I walked no MORE than two miles; and that was going over some trails more than once.

There is a nice gravel parking lot with enough room for ten or so cars.  At the “trailhead” there is a good-sized board with a large picture of the trail map, along with other information about the park.  You really can’t get lost, the park is not that big.  And really, if you did, if you picked a direction and started walking a straight line, you would come to one of two major roads, a housing development, Fair Haven athletic fields, or the Fair Haven Methodist church.

However, this is a great place to get away for an hour.  Trails are wide, well kept, and mostly dirt.  Once a year Fair Haven hosts a day where the trails are cleaned up and maintained.  It is relatively quiet while walking the trails, though you will hear cars as you walk near the roadways and (in season) the athletic fields are well used.

My favorite spot in the park is the pond, which sits smack dab in the middle.  You can get to it easily from the parking lot, or you can amble around and run into.  What makes the pond enjoyable are the benches scattered around the perimeter offering nice views and a comfortable place to sit and watch the pond and listen to the wildlife.  While on my hike I could watch the turtles sunning themselves on logs.

Enjoy the park.  I am sure I’ll visit again, to warm up for longer hikes or just to get away for an hour or so.

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