The Sweetgums, White Oaks and Sassafras trees are turning the crimsons, golds and yellows of fall. The ferns still stand at attention on the forest floor as they did in the ancient woodlands of the past. A Hairy Woodpecker suddenly clings to a tree right over your head and a Red-Tailed Hawk watches your every move from its noble perch. You are in Losen Slote Park in Little Ferry, one of the last stands of hardwood lowland forest in the Meadowlands and one of the most beautiful and unique places in the Meadowlands, especially in fall.
The Losen Slote (Dutch word for winding Creek) is a 22-acre hidden gem in an otherwise congested part of Bergen County, a unique lowland forest habitat where you are transformed to another time where the Muskrat, Box Turtle and Red Fox still roam. Where the Wood Duck and Hooded Mergansers are framed by the surrounding Gray Birch trees now full of goldfinch and eagerly await Pine Siskins and Redpolls of winter. This is where the Fox Sparrows and Carolina Wrens spend many of their autumn days and the Coopers and Sharp-shinned hawks and even the Barred Owl hunt like they have for thousands of years.
Nowhere else in the Meadowlands can one be greeted by a hardwood wetland forest that still remains much as it did for more than 100 years and then enter a meadow full of sumac, goldenrod and Gray birch trees, each a unique a habitat with its own flora and fauna. All are critical habitat for the wildlife that come to thrive there.
I don’t think there is a more beautiful place than Losen Slote Park in fall, a park that is sometimes forgotten about and often overlooked but is there waiting to be discovered and explored by all that love and enjoy nature.
For directions to Losen Slote Creek Park, click here.
In addition to experiencing Losen Slote on your own, the Bergen County Audubon Society will lead a free guided nature walk of the park on Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 10 am to noon. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 201-230-4983.