Cedar Grove, Essex County

157 acres


Take the Garden State Parkway south to exit 151 (Watchung Avenue in Montclair).  Turn west from the exit ramp onto Watchung Avenue.  Drive about two miles until the road ends at Upper Mountain Avenue.  Turn north and go 1.7 miles to the traffic light at Normal Avenue.  Turn west and drive 0.3 miles to the entrance on the left.   


Cedar Grove was incorporated as a township with Verona in 1842. Thomas Jacobus purchased the entire valley from the Indians in the early 1700's. The families of VanRipers, Personnettes, Canfields, and Bowdens developed large farm tracts here in the ensuing years.

Mills Reservation is a 157.15-acre reservation located in Cedar Grove and Montclair. It is bordered by Reservoir Drive, Normal Avenue, Edgecliff Road, and Montclair's Mountainside Park.

In 1954 the Park Commission received a gift of 118.9 acres from the Davella Mills Foundation. Additional acreage was acquired through a land-swap for property in Branch Brook Park which went to Newark's Barringer High School. Acreage purchased in 1962 and 1967 completed the reservation.

The stipulation for the original gift was that the land be preserved in its natural state. Therefore, the only development undertaken on this land was a small parking area and a system of walking trails that gives the public access to the interior--a minimal design by the Olmsteds in their last association with Essex County. The outcrop at Quarry Point provides a scenic lookout. The area has attracted bird watchers who observe migratory birds, such as warblers in the spring and hawks in the fall. There are no buildings in Mills Reservation.

(Info from


There are three miles of informal paths.  There is an overlook here.

I did not walk far.  You can pick up the blue trail that goes east/west at the end of the parking lot.  I just walked up the hill a bit and picked up the yellow trail that went southeast and then south.  This trail is a big gravel path.  There were lots of  people walking their dogs (most of them big dogs and off  their leashes -- I had my Jack Russel Terrier with me and love dogs, but don't care too much for most of  the dog owners who let their dogs run wild without any effective supervision).


Dr. Patrick Louis Cooney

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Morus rubra (red mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Tilia americana (American linden)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch-hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rhamnus sp. (buckthorn)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinkster flower)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Sambucus canadensis (elderberry)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)

Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Wisteria frutescens (wisteria)

Acalypha rhomboidea (three-seeded mercury)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed) 9/17/98
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 9/17/98
Chenopodium album (pigweed goosefoot)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) 9/17/98
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)
Desmodium sp. (tick trefoil)
Eupatorium aromaticum (smaller white snakeroot) 9/17/98
Impatiens capensis (jewelweed) 9/17/98
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed) 9/17/98
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum virginianum (Virginia knotweed)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod) 9/17/98
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)

Rushes and Sedges:
Cyperus strigosus (nutsedge)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria ischaemum (smooth crabgrass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass)
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)