Cammann Drive off Schuyler Avenue, Kearny, Hudson County, New Jersey
From Turnpike North or South:
Take Exit 15W and after the toll booth bare to the right and follow signs for Kearny. Drive about 0.8 of a mile to come to the first traffic light. Make a right turn on Schuyler Avenue and proceed north for 1.3 miles. Gunnell Oval Recreation Area signs will be on you right just after Oakwood Avenue. Proceed down the ramp and the fields will be in the middle of the complex. Park at the northeast corner of playing fields to see the west Kearny marsh.
The 22,000 acres of the Hackensack Meadow, which include Kearny Marsh, were once covered by the waters of the ancient Glacial Lake Passaic. Because the meadows lie over impermeable layers of clay that accumulated at the bottom of the lake, and because the area catches water from the high ground to the west, drainage is poor, and the soil is always soggy.
The marsh is surrounded by industrial plants and dumps. The marsh is a flooded area in the midst of broad wetlands called the Hackensack Meadows. During the 1970s an extension of the NJ Turnpike was built here, blocking the drainage of the area.
The water in the marsh is brackish (a mixture of fresh and salt water).
source: Audubon Hiking Guide
1999 -- HMDC announced a program to purchase the 316-acre Kearny Freshwater Marsh. The Kearny marsh is imperiled because tidal flushing cannot occur in this impounded area because the tide gates no longer function. The plan is to put in a bird walk, bird blinds, and canoe routes. An additional purchase of 65.4 acres of wetlands is being pursued with the town of Kearny. (HMDC EXPANDING OPEN SPACE HOLDINGS; http://www.hmdc.state.nj.us/news/1999/kmarsh.html)
The name Kearny honors Gen. Philip Kearny, Civil War.
Four baseball fields, basketball. Views of the New York skyline and the huge dump ridge one sees while driving on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Off road vehicles use the walking path.
Walk out to the railroad tracks. Walk north (left) along the tracks a few yards and up onto the railway embankment, running east-west. Turn east (right) and walk along the embankment.
The Meadows Path will comprise a 22 mile trail following the western bank of the Hackensack River from Losen Slote Creek Park to Kearny Marsh and then east to Saw Mill Creek W.M.A.
12/18/04. Rosemary and her brother Cefe, dog Sonar and I parked at the northeast corner of the park. We walked a little north and then crossed over the railway tracks on the right and walked over to the lake where three people were watching the Canada geese and a pair of swans. Turned right and walked along the path next to the railway tracks. The Kearny Marsh is on the left. The path looked like it went forever. We could not even see the end although the path was straight. We walked past the park and along a car junkyard. Then we came to another Phragmites marsh, this one on the right. We turned around after a short walk and returned to where we started.
From the start of the walk I decided to proceed north toward the huge dump. The walking path soon petered out and I had to walk on the railway tracks. As I went farther there were more plant obstacles in the way making it more difficult to continue. Went under an overpass. I climbed up the side of the overpass and found out that it is a railway overpass. Walked back down and continued for just a little ways more on the railway tracks. The area looks like it has plenty of potential for a long walking path. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = in bloom on date of field trip, 12/18/2004
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven) lots
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Fraxinus sp. (ash)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Paulownia tomentosa (empress tree)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix nigra (black willow)
Salix sp. (willow)
Cornus amomum (silky or swamp dogwood)
Lonicera sp. (honeysuckle)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) -- lots
Rubus laciniatus (cut-leaved blackberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow) ?
Salix sp. (willow)
Echinocystis lobata (wild balsam apple)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster spp. (aster)
Cirsium sp. (thistle)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Hibiscus moscheutos (swamp rose mallow)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Oenothera biennis (common evening-primrose)
Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Trapa natans (water chestnut)
Trifolium spp. (clover)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Juncus tenuis var. tenuis (path rush)
Eleusine indica (goose grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass) the dominant plant in many of the areas
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)