When we think of the Meadowlands we bring up images of rolling russet grasses of fall, brilliant open tidal marshes and striking scurrying shorebirds along the mud flats. But there is another place in the Meadowlands that is very different, lesser known yet just as stunning and magical. This Past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting this special place, Losen Slote Creek Park in Little Ferry.
The Sweetgums, White Oaks and Sassafras trees have turned the crimsons, golds and yellows of the fall. The ferns still stand on the forest floor as they did in the ancient forests of the past. Today a Hermit Thrush ran beneath the wooden bridge, Blue jays knocked down the acorns like falling rain and the Goldfinch clung to the now dried Goldenrods. Losen Slote is one of the last stands of hardwood lowland forest in the Meadowlands and one of the most beautiful and unique places in our area.
The Losen Slote (Dutch word for winding Creek) is a 28-acre hidden gem in an otherwise congested part of Bergen County. It is a unique lowland forest habitat where you become 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 which eagerly await Pine Siskins and Redpolls of winter.
Where the Fox Sparrows and Carolina Wrens spend many of their autumn days and the Coopers and Sharp-shinned hawk and even the Barred Owl hunt like they have for thousands of years. Much like a secret garden the entrance to this wonderful natural area is almost hidden away from the public eye.
But when found there is nowhere else in the Meadowlands where one can be greeted by a hardwood wetland forest that still remains much as it did for more than 100 years and then enter a magical meadow full of sumac, goldenrod and Gray birch trees, each a unique habitat with its own flora and fauna. All critical habitats for the wildlife that come to thrive there.
I don’t think there is a more beautiful place than Losen Slote 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 in the Meadowlands .