Visit Essex County's South Mountain Reservation where you can enjoy paddle boating in the Orange Reservoir and picnicking. On Saturday's and Sunday's, the public can use the open-air pavilion for picnicking and take a paddle boat onto the water. Head to the food pavilion to enjoy some healthy snacks or a full lunch at the Zoo Cafe. (Note: food service is closed November – March, but the snack machines remain available.)

“The Orange Reservoir is a spectacular and unmatched natural setting that is totally unexpected in Essex County. The opening of the picnic pavilion and introduction of paddle boats into the water will provide the public with new opportunities to enjoy the amazing vistas, beautiful waterway, and magnificent open space,” Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Executive, said.

“With Turtle Back Zoo, miniGOLF Safari, Boathouse Restaurant, Codey Arena, and the revamped Treetop Adventure Course nearby, the Reservoir is an ideal extension to our popular South Mountain Recreation Complex. It will be a place where families and people of all ages will come to escape the hustle and bustle of their busy lives,” he added.

The public will be able to rent paddle boats Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 10 am–7:30 pm. Rates are $14 for a two-person boat for a half hour, $18 for a four-person boat for a half hour and, for Orange Township residents, $7 for a for a two-person boat for a half hour (*must show valid ID). Free parking is available in the Oakdale Parking Lot on Cherry Lane. For more info, call 973-268-3500. To reserve the picnic pavilion for an event, call 973-735-6229.