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June 23 - 30

Strike Up The Band!

June hands off to July, and summer starts to roll. Firecrackers, fairs, picnics and independence! There's always a link to good old summer time. Pay attention, the days are already getting shorter!

Toby Walker does his acoustic blues magic at Ramsaysburg Summer Concerts this Saturday.
Rich and varied, music in Northwest New Jersey is just the ticket for evenings that end on high notes. Your musical destination is never very far away and often the price can't be beat. Keep an eye on the list!

The Hunterdon Symphony opens the 46th annual Music Under The Stars series, tonight (June 23). Presented by the Hunterdon County Park System, free concerts are held on subsequent Thursday evenings throughout the summer at Deer Path Park, in Flemington.

On alternate Thursdays and Saturdays at 8pm, Jazz on the Back Deck graces the Morris Museum in Morristown with swinging sounds from around the world. Tonight (June 23), bassist Martin Pizzarelli represents New Jersey’s  first family of jazz, as he returns after his sold-out show last year. 973/285-5115

Grab a lawn chair or blanket and come enjoy a wide range of musical talent each Friday at the magnificent New Jersey Botanical Gardens in Ringwood. This week, (June 24) the The Kootz will entertain.

The Ramsaysburg Summer Concert Series continues this Saturday (June 25, 3pm) with Toby Walker, an accomplished and award-winning blues player and historian. The venue is part of the Historic Ramsaysburg Homestead along the Delaware River on Route 46 at Ramseyburg Road in Knowlton Township. Gates open at 2, so come early to picnic and enjoy the beautiful riverside amphitheater at this historic park.

On Sunday evenings, bring lawn chairs and a picnic supper to Oxford for free Shippen Manor Lawn Concerts. This week, Moss Henry & Bryophytes, brings their brand of unrepentant Honky Tonk!

And the Somerset Concert Series in the Park is always a good bet. Shows are free and take place on Sunday evenings at Duke Island Park in Bridgewater.

Station to Station

The Hunterdon section of the Columbia Trail includes occasional interpretive signs which relate the area's history.
Rail trails are a legacy of some of the many railroads that once thrived in northwestern New Jersey in an era when trains had names, each with its own character and personality. You don't need a whole lot of hiking know-how or aerobic virility to enjoy a rail trail. You can walk for miles without the struggle of an uphill climb or the danger of twisting an ankle on a protruding rock on the soft cinder dirt that makes up the surface of most rail trails.
While Hunterdon County's system of rails was not as intricate as farther north, where mining was more prevalent, the county was home to many spur lines used to transport passengers and products to charming villages and hamlets. Exercise for the body and mind!

Heavenly Hues

June brings on the deep pinks of Carolina rose at Jenny Jump.
As the wildflower season progesses, the tree canopy thickens, and wildflowers grow taller, reaching for the sun and no longer held back by frosts. Unlike long-blooming, non-native annuals that pervade the nursery trade, native perennial wildflowers bloom briefly, anywhere from one to four weeks, depending on the species. A regular visit to particularly robust nature preserves can reveal different wildflowers blooming each time. Jenny Jump State Forest has a magical variation in elevation and terrain that makes it a rewarding site for early summer forest flowers.

Back Road Bounty

Summertime adventure is easy to find on a back country road.
Tucked away in the seemingly endless landscape of ridge, valley, and wooded hillside is an incredible bicycle-friendly network of quiet back roads linking together small towns and historic villages, re-purposed rail trails creating pastoral off-road adventures, and miles of single track trail tracing through the rocky upland forests. The weather's perfect for some vigorous exploration, so strap on a helmet and put some rubber on the road!

Seed to Stem

Lettuce can grow in planters and pots, in a window box, on a roof garden, terrace, “square foot garden,” herb garden, flower bed or raised bed. And it’s packed with nutrients (even Iceberg!) and practically devoid of calories. Roughly seventy true lettuce heirlooms and a mosaic of varieties, make this leafy annual of the aster family far from ordinary. It is great for you, delicious, accessible, easy to grow with varieties to harvest in every season in Skylands territory. There's plenty of time so start now!

Camp Skylands!

Make memories for a lifetime at Harmony Ridge Campground! Outstanding family facilities near Culver Lake and Stokes Forest include over 200 sites on 160 acres, cabins, trailers, tent sites, camp store, laundry, hot showers and full range of on-site activities. 23 Risdon Drive, Branchville, 973/948-4941. Where the road ends, camping begins!

The Living is Easy!

Tap our calendar for the best events for you and your family, or check our current stories. Pick from a multitude of daytrip itineraries and watch out for our virtual efforts to keep you informed. For the more aerobically inclined, the Outdoor Map shows the way to go, or choose among dozens of natural attractions or outdoor activities suggested on our website. Choose your own adventure!
Northwest New Jersey and destinations just beyond those borders, in Pennsylvania and New York, offer brilliant ways to get out and enjoy the pleasures of the season.
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