Liberty Hall Museum
Built in 1772 by New Jersey’s first governor, William Livingston View More
Elizabeth’s Warinanco Park was designed by Frederick Olmsted, acclaimed architect. When you enter a park designed by Olmsted—the architect behind New York’s Central Park, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and Asheville, North Carolina’s Biltmore Estate―you know you are in for something special. Whether you’re an all-star athlete, a casual walker, or part of a family looking to spread out the picnic blanket, you’ll find opportunities for fun in Warinanco Park.
It’s Saturday and you’re in Elizabeth, New Jersey wanting to start the day off right. You lace up your running shoes and head to Warinanco Park. Plenty of other walkers and joggers had the same idea and are using the winding trails around and through this 204-acre park to stretch and burn calories. As you start your circuit of the park’s exterior, you’re passed by cyclists already breaking a sweat. To your right are soccer fields marked with crisp white lines; teammates are warming up and passing the ball while family members set up chairs along the sidelines.
Bleachers and an eight-lane track surround the football and soccer field where local high school teams practice. The trail eventually brings you by the azalea and tulip gardens where you stop to catch your breath. The magnolia trees offer shade as you move toward the game tables. Here, you happen to catch the final moves of a chess match between the local reigning champs!
Ahead on your left is the Warinanco Sports Center, a renovated indoor facility that serves as an ice rink in winter and turf fields in other seasons. With a cafe, free Wi-Fi and available sporting equipment rental, you may consider stopping by for a bit after your run, but you push on. Making your way out of the Spinning Woods section of the park, you notice baseball diamonds to your left and right. These well-maintained areas are used by local schools, little league teams, and adult softball teams alike and conjure the smell of hotdogs and Cracker Jacks in your mind.
Emerging from the Gregory’s Woods section, you see the jewel of Warinanco Park, the lake! You decide your run is over when you spot the peddle boats for rent! Hopping in one of these boats for an hour is a must, especially if you’re with friends. This good-sized body of water welcomes those with rods and reels, and you peddle by at a good distance, waving at the fishermen and asking if they’re having any luck. They give mixed reviews but all are smiling, and why not? It’s a beautiful day at the lake in Warinanco Park!
But the lake isn’t the only water to be found in the park—families surround the splash pad area where over a hundred jets spritz and spray water in arcs, creating quite a buzz with all the kids in bathing suits. The children’s laughs are contagious!
You overhear one of the mothers say the park is holding a movie night tonight and that it is a regular event during the summer. Other family members are heading back to their picnic tables and blankets in the shade of the trees while some kids beg their dad’s to play shuffleboard or horseshoes with them.
In just a short amount of time, you realize there is so much to do in Warinanco Park and that you have found a perfectly designed park in the heart of a very special place. And now that you’re warmed up from your run, you can take advantage of it all!