ECHO LAKE PARK
Mill Lane, Westfield/Mountainside border, Union County, NJ
139 acres


Directions:

US 78 west to Garden State Parkway south; get off at the exit for Route 22 west; take Route 22 to the exit for Route 577 south (located at green mileage marker 52); right turn onto Mill Lane (by businesses at Mountainside Crossing).   The park is on both sides of the road.  There are parking areas available along the road.


Geology:

Located in a valley surrounded by hills.  The park drive east to west  is 1.1 mile long.    


Facilities:

three large lakes; boating, fishing, picnicking, reservable area for picnicking at the Locust Grove picnic area; benches;  playground; and ice skating; fitness trail; dog run; also the venue for the Union County Concerts in the Park annual summertime festival. 

There is a World Trade Center memorial in the park with I-beams from the buildings.   Built by the Union County Building Trades Council and our Central Labor Council with the County Parks Department. 


Trails:

12/23/2004. On a rainy day my brother-in-law and I parked the the first parking lot (near the 9-11 Memorial up on the hill).  We crossed the road to take a look at the first of three lakes.  Walked into a large gazebo to get a closer look at the dam holding back the lake waters.  We walked to the end of the first lake and then crossed Park Drive to walk along an unpaved path parallel with the second lake. At the end of the lake is the maintenance department with a fence around it.  So, we had to walk around in back of the maintenance building.  Cross the park drive again, this time to walk along the third lake.  Noticed another dam holding back the lake waters.  Came to the boat house with a few small docking platforms in the water.  We had almost reached the western end of the park when the rain really started picking up and forced us return to the car.

The park is very lovely (except for that darn maintenance department eye-sore).  One complaint is the speed of the cars heading through the park.  We saw no posted speed limits and the drivers were not going to stop for pedestrians in any cross-walk.  They should post low speed limit signs and put in some speed bumps to make sure the cars do not speed.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer negundo (ash-leaf maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex sp. (holly)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Leucothoe sp. (leucothoe)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron)
Rhododendron sp. (azalea) planted?
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Taxus sp. (yew)

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Herbs:
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Artemesia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster spp. (aster)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)
Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle)

Rushes:
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Sedges:
Cyperus sp. (nut or umbrella sedge)

Grasses:
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
bamboo