Skillman Park

For years, I've been wanting a super-zoom lens. Previously, I rented lenses like the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-4.6 for bird photography workshops. Finally, after saving up, I bought Fujifilm's latest super-zoom, the XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR. The weather was great, so I headed to Skillman Park in Montgomery Township to try it out.

Located in Montgomery Township in Central New Jersey, Skillman Park is one of my township's newest parks. The park is named after the Skillman family, prominent landowners in the area during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Originally, the park was the site of a mental health facility called Skillman Village. However, the facility was closed in 1995, and Montgomery Township purchased the property intending to create a park. Unfortunately, it was discovered that the buildings on the property contained asbestos and untreated sewage. This led to a series of lawsuits. Eventually, Somerset County purchased and rehabilitated the property, creating the park. Since then, the township has acquired additional land, bringing the park's total size to over 247 acres.

Within the park, individuals can find a multitude of opportunities for recreational activities. These include various sports fields and courts for sports enthusiasts, lovely picnic areas for those seeking a peaceful break, a playground for children to enjoy, and extensive hiking and biking trails that seamlessly weave through lush wooded areas and vast open fields, providing for an immersive outdoor experience.

Skillman Park is a haven for a wide range of wildlife, including deer, foxes, bird species, and the American Robin. It's a well-known birdwatching destination; designated birdwatching areas are scattered throughout the park.

I had hoped to capture some photos of birds, but unfortunately, I didn't come across many. Though I could see birds flying above, they were too far away, even for the long end of my lens. Feeling disappointed, I strolled along one of the park's trails.