South Mountain’s delightful Fairy Trail has reopened for the year with some new and revamped houses, according to its Facebook page. If you’re in the Essex County area, this beautiful trail is one of our favorite places to visit, and perfect if you’re trying to safely get outdoors during this COVID-19 quarantine. The page does advise visitors to obey social distancing rules (the paths are nice and wide so it shouldn’t be hard) and to wear masks.
To get to the fairy walk at South Mountain in Millburn, look for white marks on the trees from the parking lot (they’re also the signs for the Rahway Trail). To find this magical spot, look for the sign for South Mountain Reservation’s Locust Grove parking lot (it’s right across the street from the town’s library).
You can spot the homes of clever little fairies who set up residence throughout the woods (thanks to some thoughtful local neighbors). And while the trail was destroyed a few years back, the trail has made quite the resurgence and there are quite a few homes for the magical creatures.
Look for ladders popping out of fallen tree stumps or miniature doors nestled in the roots of beautiful trees. Peek inside and you’re in for an adorable treat, with organic creations of tiny furniture for winged creatures to rest after a long day of flying.
It’s an enchanting experience, befitting of a forest that has trails with mysterious names like Thistle Mill Pond and Lilliput Knob. And the walk is perfect for any age, since you can customize it to be as long or short as you want. Stroll the entire Rahway River loop (which is 2 1/4 miles long) and pass breathtaking sites like Hemlock Falls and Maple Falls Cascades. Or take the short route and turn back. Either way, it’s a great, not-too-tough path, ideal for all fairy lovers. If you need more info, follow the group on Facebook for the latest updates to the trail.
How to Build Your Own Fairy House
Feeling inspired after your hike and want to welcome the fairies to your own backyard? Make them a hospitable home in your backyard. Stick with natural products, in case birds or squirrels decide to use them for nesting—that means no plastic furniture or dolls.
What you’ll need:
Twigs, rocks, tree bark, shells, clay pot, flowers, pine cones, acorns, sea glass, rope, wood glue (and anything else you find to decorate your house!)
• Sketch what you want the house to look like.
• Gather your materials.
• If you build this for your patio, fill the clay pot with dirt and use it as the base.
• Assemble the twigs in the shape you’d like your house to take. (Use glue or rope to put them together, or small hinges for doors.)
• Paint and decorate as you see fit—fairies love sparkle and color!
• Get creative and make little beds, tables or chairs out of sticks or clay.