Millburn, NJ

A Forest Like No Other in Millburn, NJ

Sara Melissa Frost
South Mountain Fairy Trail, Millburn, NJPhoto by Sara Melissa Frost

If you are looking to take your kids on a memorable hike, a spot to consider is South Mountain Fairy Trail in Millburn, New Jersey. Not only is this trail a doable hike for the little ones, but there are also some very special houses in the forest. This outdoor activity will get them out of the house, being in nature getting fresh air, while observing something very special along the hike.

Hidden along the trail, you'll find miniature fairy houses, crafted to fit into the environment.


The artist behind these tiny fairy houses is Therese Ojibway, a special education teacher. Back in 2011 she began building the fairy houses. Once completed, she placed them along the trail. She did this to offer the local hikers, especially the young ones, unexpected and fun surprises along the way. At one point there were over 100 miniature fairy houses along the trail, some in plain sight and some hidden between moss and rocks.

In order to protect the wildlife in the area, only natural materials are used, such as wood, acorns, and shells. The list doesn't stop there though, the creator of these adorable fairy houses along the trails has done a really good job using all things natural. You'll even find some of the homes decorated with beautiful gemstones.

Sadly, as more people discovered the trail and it became more popular, some tried to create their fairy houses as well, using plastic and other materials that are not friendly for the environment. Some of the structures have also been ruined.

To encourage respect for the environment and the structures, a sign with the rules of the Fairy Trail was placed at Locust Grove in 2017 by the conservancy and Essex County Parks with Ms. Ojibway’s input.

How to get there

You'll find South Mountain Fairy Trail in South Mountain Reservation of Essex county. Parking is available almost directly across from the public library in Millburn.

The hike itself is about 1.2 miles round trip, but if you'd like to make it shorter you can follow the sign for the Rahway Trail, and turn around whenever the kids are getting tired. The majority of the fairy houses are located not too far away from the parking area. Make sure to leave no trail when visiting.

South Mountain Fairy Trail can a wonderful experience for the little ones where they get to explore nature while being pleasantly surprised by all the cute little fairy houses along the way.

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Journalist and writer. I cover local stories + food, mostly from PA.

Lititz, PA

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