The Hackensack Meadowlands

Hackensack Meadowlands, Richard W. DeKorte Park (7/18/2009)

This is hike #32 ("The Hackensack Meadowlands") in Hiking New Jersey: A Guide to 50 of the Garden State's Greatest Hiking Adventures (1st edition), a 3.7-mile loop which uses at least a part of every trail in the park. We took all of the optional side trips as well, covering 5 miles and nearly every foot of every trail in the park. Those with less time can follow the 2.5-mile hike on the NYNJTC website from July 2, 2009.

Some may be put off by this park, where much of the trails are within sight of the New Jersey Turnpike. Even those points furthest from the major roads are directly under the landing patterns of jumbo jets coming into Newark International Airport. But we loved it, since it afforded an amazing contrast between nature and industry. Hell, if it wasn't for those roads we wouldn't be hiking there! A portion of this park was a landfill just a few decades ago, but you wouldn't know it. This very varied hike uses paths made of gravel, grass, sturby boardwalk and floating boardwalk! And the birds you will see are plentiful. And this was the first time we ever saw a muskrat on a hike!

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Kingland Overlook trail (former landfill)

Visitor's Center from Kingland Overlook trail

Kingland Overlook trail

Most views are now obstructed!

Marsh Discovery trail

Elaborate boardwalk system

Lots of viewing seats


Mallard upclose


On Marsh Discovery trail

Meadowlands Commission & Environment Center

One of many viewing blinds

Canadian goose

Canadian geese from Transco trail

Laura on the Transco trail

View to Saw Mill Creek

Large family of swans

Transco pipeline

Transco private property

Malaysian airliner landing

Visitor's Center from Transco trail

Transco trail


Poison sumac

The swan family

Geese in Saw Mill Creek

Lamb's Ear

Transco trail


Water run-off in Saw Mill Creek

Ground hog crossing Transco trail

Mallards upclose

Egret cleaning

William D. McDowell Observatory

Fishermen and bridges

Stones on the Transco trail

Endless powerlines

Nature and industry

At North Arlington scenic overlook

Bee on echinacea

Flags of the American Veterans carillion

American Veterans carillion

Gate to Saw Mill Creek trail

Narrow path ...

... cuts through Saw Mill creek

Three egrets fishing

Jet coming in for landing

[photo by Laura]

View to Belleville

Saw Mill Creek trail

Swans and lower Manhattan


Sea gull with a crab

Trail follows powerlines

Belleville across the creek

Seagulls and midtown Manhattan

Egret taking off

Egret in flight

Giants stadium

Group of cormorants

Bridge on Saw Mill Creek trail

As far as you can go

Flying egret

Three egrets and some geese

View beyond the fence

Can you see Laura?

[Photo by Laura]

Two swans and Manhattan

Fishing egret

Wildflowers and fruit

The Shorewalk

Boardwalk on Shorewalk

View from Shorewalk

Green patch in Lyndhurst Nature Reserve

Bee on echinacea

9/11 Memorial

Wind vane on gazebo

Inside visitor's center

Four birds on one reed

Boardwalk at visitor's center

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