Morristown National Historical Park

Morristown National Historical Park is an amazing hidden little treasure. The park itself is broken up into four sections.  I have not seen the whole park yet, but I do plan on seeing it entirely. In the heart of Morristown you have the Museum and Washington’s Headquarters at Ford Mansion, Then you have Fort Nonsense, Jockey Hollow, and then the New Jersey Brigade Area which has a small beautiful very well maintained garden called Cross Estate Gardens. During our exploration, we only saw a small section of Jockey Hollow and the Gardens.  I can not wait to go back and see the rest of it. History is amazing, especially when it is in your own backyard. I also keep hearing about great restaurants in the area, so I can’t say no to that! The images you see here are from Cross Estate Gardens, More is to come so stay posted!

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Leonard J. Buck Garden

Leonard J. Buck Garden is a nice little oasis hidden deep in the woods, just like most of the gem spots I have been finding throughout New Jersey. This small very well maintained garden is sculpted around huge natural rock formations which were deposited by glaciers. It has a large pond full of fish, tadpoles, and home to a couple of snapping turtles that are right in the center of the garden which is broken up into three sections but they all feed into each other by a creek.

South Mountain Reservation

South Mountain Reservation is a large area of preserved land, one small area of it is home to a sculpture garden, dog park, and a wildflower garden. The Wildflower area is a fenced in section of the preserve that is taken care of by volunteers.  One side of it was quite overgrown so I tried the other entrance which brought me directly to the wildflowers, they weren’t fully in bloom yet which just means I will have to go back. As I ventured deeper back I encountered a more swamp-like area with more sculptures aside from the ones at the front gate.  The area was rich with Multiflora Roses, Ferns, and Skunk Cabbage. I had to look up the Eastern Columbine and the purple flower I still am unsure of it looks to me to be in the rose family?

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Lenape Park

Lenape Park is a small stretch of a paved pathway in the middle of a swamp or marsh area. It follows along the Rahway River and it actually is in the middle of a path that connects four parks total. Black Brook Park, Nomahegan Park, and Echo Lake Park are the other three that you can access from it. Lenape Park had a lot of activity from pedestrians. In fact, the other parks do as well. This was somewhat disappointing for me because it made it difficult for me to try to stop to look and watch for wildlife.  At one point I spotted a cottontail rabbit, I stopped to try and take some photos but if I stopped dead I would be a hazard to the cyclists whizzing past or the power walkers. Before I could even get my camera up to snap away someone on a very noisy bike scared it off. They do have protected area for migrating birds so next time I go I will try and get there early enough to do some bird watching.  The Stretch of the park that I did walk was utterly taken over by the multi-floral rose which is an invasive species.

Essex County Asylum

On Monday I had the pleasure of walking the halls of the abandoned asylum in Cedar Grove, NJ it was simply amazing! From what I understand the grounds have been closed for ten years or so everything was left in an odd standstill. Some of the furniture was clearly from kids going in to hang out/ party and just vandalize the place I love the eerie stillness…Abandoned and beautiful more to come !

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Profanity Houses

WARNING GRAPHIC LANGUAGE (in photographs)

The “Profanity Houses” were once a part of the Rutherfurd-Styvesant Family but the property now belongs to Allamuchy Mountain State Park. When I first walked upon the houses I immediately had the thought that I have seen American Horror Story one too many times, thankfully I never venture alone! There are three buildings still standing and one that is collapsed rubble, we checked out what was a stable first and right away, you had a taste of why they people call them profanity houses. This area clearly became a party place as well as a writing page for inappropriate angry thoughts, but hey, I guess everyone was just venting? From what I have read online, it seems there are other buildings on the property. I suppose this means another adventure is in the works. With some of the images I was using my Lensbaby for a blurred dreamy like effect.