West Essex Trail

About

West Essex Trail follows a short distance (just under 3 miles) of the former rail bed of the Caldwell Branch on the old Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. The trail runs between the Essex–Passaic county line in Little Falls and Arnold Way in Verona. The trail crosses a trestle over the Peckman River.  Although situated in the heavily urbanized part of the state, the trail passes through sections of woodland, providing a short escape from the surrounding congestion.

Historic Profile

The trail is situated on the former right-of-way of the Caldwell Branch of the old Erie-Lackawanna Railroad.

Acquired in 1985 through Green Acre funding, the 2.84 mile trail runs from Arnold Way in Verona, northeast to the Passaic County line. It crosses over Route 23 and the Peckman River and passes along Cedar Grove Community Park. The primary access to the trail is from Fairview Avenue, near Verona High School.

Public debate delayed the County acquisition long enough for the railroad company to sell off some intermittent parcels, effectively preventing the county from extending the trail as far as Grover Cleveland Park in Caldwell, as originally planned.

A section of the Lenape Trail runs along most of the West Essex Trail, joining with it at Arnold Way and following it to just beyond Bowden Road in Cedar Grove, where it turns off to the east. The Lenape Trail is a Sierra Club sponsored walking/biking trail that winds throughout Essex County, passing through many county and municipal parks.

Park Map