WEST ESSEX PARK
West Caldwell, Bergen County, NJ
5,645 acres


Directions:

Take Route US 80 and get off at US 287. Then get off at Route 10. Then take the Eisenhower Parkway. It dead ends. Can park here and walk down to the Environmental Center. Or take the Eisenhower Parkway and get off at Eagle Rock Avenue. Go left (west) to the Center for Environmental Studies.

27.6           0     toll plaza from Garden State to US 80
27.0          .4     exit for US 80
25.0        2.6     cross the Passaic River
23.0        4.6     exit for US 80 west
17.7        9.9     Essex toll plaza 35 cents
                         Exit 14B Bloomfield Avenue
14.0      13.6     Garden State Parkway on it -- exit for US 280
13.0      12.6     Garden State Parkway
11.7      15.9     Center Street Orange
10.8      16.8      Exit 9 Montclair
9.9        17.7      Exit 8A W. Orange
8.8        18.8      Exit 7 Millburn/Verona
7.3         19.3     Exit 6 Laurel Avenue
6.0         21.6     Exit 5A Caldwells
              24.0     Exit 4A-B Eisenhower Parkway
2.6                     East on 280 10 miles to GS Parkway
0                        Eagle Rock


Geology:

Foulerton Brook heads northwest through the lands associated with the Essex County Park Commission and then through the northernmost section of West Essex Park.


History:

West Essex Park is located in the western section of Essex County. It stretches along six miles of the Passaic River starting at Bloomfield Avenue in Fairfield, and ends just beyond South Orange Avenue in Livingston. The 1,360-acre park is primarily a wetlands preserve and remains undeveloped.

The former Park Commission first began acquiring this land in 1955. Money to purchase the first piece of property came in part from the sale of Oraton Parkway to the New Jersey Highway Authority. Over subsequent years, other land was purchased from more than 70 individual landowners. Additional acquisitions continue to occur even today. Charm Acres, a picnicking and camping area, and the Center for Environmental Studies are located here.

The building on Eagle Rock Avenue that was converted into the Environmental Center, located near the bridge over the Passaic River, was once a tavern and stagecoach stop. It was a welcome stopping point for those traveling toward Morristown. At this particular location is the historic "Patriots Trail," which began in Montclair and ended at the Passaic River.

Info from: http://www.co.essex.nj.us/west.htm


Trails:

Hatfield Swamp is part of West Essex Park.

The Lenape Trail is here, extending northeastward from Eagle Rock Road.


PLANT LIST:
Steve Glenn, Bryan Dutton and the Torrey Botanical Society
4/27/96 = plant found in bloom on date of field trip


Trees:
Acer negundo (box elder)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/27/96
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula nigra (river birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Ilex opaca (American holy)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar) 4/27/96
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Picea rubra (red spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Pinus sylvestris (scotch pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Prunus sp. (cherry, horticultural) 4/27/96
Pyrus malus (apple tree) 4/27/96
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix sp. (willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Thuja occidentalis (arbor-vitae)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Shrubs:
Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 4/27/96
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus racemosa (gray-stemmed dogwood)
Corylus americana (American hazelnut)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Forsythia sp. (forsythia) 4/27/96
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Pieris japonica (andromeda)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter azalea)
Ribes americanum (wild black currant)
Rosa carolina (pasture rose)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Sorbaria sorbifolia ? (Ural false spiraea)
Spiraea thunbergii (Thunberg spiraea) 4/27/96
Spiraea x pres 'Minuet" (spiraea) hort. planted
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle) 4/27/96

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Euonymus fortunii (Fortune's euonymus)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 4/27/96
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Anemone quinquefolia (wood anemone) 4/27/96
Arctium minor (lesser burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 4/27/96 soon
Cardamine pratensis (cuckoo flower) 4/27/96 soon
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty) 4/27/96
Erythronium americanum (trout lily) 4/27/96
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry) 4/27/96
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 4/27/96
Geum sp. (white avens probably)
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket) 4/27/96
Hosta sp. (hosta)
Hydrophyllum virginianum (Virginia waterleaf)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Iris sp. (blue or yellow flag)
Lamium sp. (mint)
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Narcissus sp. (daffodil) 4/27/96
Nuphar variegata (spatterdock)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Ornithogallum umbellatum (star of Bethlehem)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Pycnanthemum sp. (mountain mint)
Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine) 4/27/96
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)
Sedum sp. (sedum)
Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Thalictrum sp. (meadowrue)
Uvularia sp. (sessilifolia?) (bellwort)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell)
Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet) 4/27/96
Yucca filamentosa (yucca)

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex folliculata ? (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Luzula multiflora (wood rush)

Grasses:
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)