The Leonard J. Buck Garden is on 33 acres of wooded land in Somerset County, and serves as one of the premier rock gardens in the eastern United States according to the Somerset County Parks Commission. This rock garden was formed thousands of years ago.
Glacial Lake Passaic, existed as a lake that formed along the edge of a half-mile high glacier. It formed around the valleys that were blocked by ice and the rock debris. Around 13,000 years ago the lake overflowed at Liberty Corner Road. The waters rushed through this property, also known as "Muggy Hollow". What was left is the rock ledges and outcroppings that endured the water flow.
Leonard J Buck had worked to design this garden with a well-known landscape architect Zenon Schreiber. Bucks goal was to create a garden that would not be recognizable as man-made. I believe they succeeded, when you walk through the property, it feels very natural and their are beautiful wildflowers that line the wooded trails.
When you arrive, you can scan to get the garden map and a list of what is in bloom, right on your phone.
I went alone and just took my time to wander around the paths. It was pretty easy to navigate as their are rocks that are labeling the paths. There are also several great outlooks. This photo below shows the staircase that led us to a nice overlook of the property.
There is also a cute gazebo in an open field that offered a nice place to sit and reflect.
The spring seems to be the best time to visit, and in May or early June the azaleas and rhododendron are in bloom.
You can visit the Leonard J. Buck Garden at 11 Layton Rd, Far Hills, NJ 07931
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5's Jordan Jansson. Any opinions expressed are her own.
A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.
From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.
Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.
If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.
Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.
You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.
Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.
Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.
I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions: