Summit offers an outstanding adult and youth recreation program. If your interest is tennis, paddle tennis, football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, golf, swimming, ice hockey, shuffleboard, horseback riding, or bowling, you will find a program in the city. Whether provided by the professionally staffed Recreation Department, the local YMCA, The Connection for Women and Families, or the Summit Community Center, the program exists; if it doesn’t, and there’s enough interest, it will probably be created!
Distinct from a park, the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit is an educational conservancy. Trees, shrubs, an outstanding rose garden, annuals and perennials, and herbaceous plants are conserved and identified in their natural settings for study and appreciation. Woodland paths take the visitor through ancient kettle bowls that were carved from long-ago glaciers that moved through the area.
Briant Park, Hidden Valley Park, and the Watchung Reservation are all located in or adjacent to Summit. (Watchung Reservation is actually in parts of all three municipalities—Summit, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights.) These Union County facilities offer nature trails, hiking trails, cross country skiing trails (when the weather cooperates), fitness courses and walking paths, and picnic areas.
The Summit Community Pool, newly refurbished, is an outstanding facility with a children’s play area, a diving tank, a water slide, a full-service snack bar and picnic area, and plenty of umbrellas and chairs to sit under and on. Summit’s par-three Municipal Golf Course is a well-kept facility that is open to residents and is well used, especially on weekends.
Playgrounds and playing fields and public tennis courts are located in just about every neighborhood and are always in use, year-round.
New Providence has three major parks, a newly refurbished municipal swimming pool, and a number of public tennis courts. In addition to municipal recreation, there are two private swim clubs, each with tennis courts. The all-weather Murray Hill Health & Racquet Club is also located in New Providence, as well as other private sports facilities.
The New Providence Recreation Commission provides a complete schedule of activities for children, senior citizens, and adults. The Borough has created a Senior Citizen Center in a building donated by a local family. Other recreation programs are directed toward the youth and are administered by a full time professional staff. Residents also are encouraged to participate in the regional programs of the Summit Area YMCA and The Connection for Women and Families.
Berkeley Heights has a year round recreational program for all ages. Facilities include a beautiful municipal pool, tennis courts, baseball fields, basketball courts, soccer fields, and playgrounds for younger children. Cheerleading, ballet, and arts and crafts are offered as part of a complete summer program for youth. The Summit Area YMCA maintains a branch facility in Berkeley Heights that provides full services to the community.
Summer swimming at the municipal pool is augmented by the indoor facilities at the private Berkeley Swim Club. The Police Athletic League sponsors additional recreational activities for youth. The aforementioned Watchung Reservation provides an excellent setting for all types of activities, from horseback riding to hiking. Its Trailside Museum and Nature Center schedules a wide variety of classes and nature walks for all ages, and their Planetarium is a wonderful place for all to study the skies.