Passaic River Park
Passaic Avenue, Summit, Union County, NJ


US 78 west; exit 48 for Route 124 north; exit onto River Road (Route 646); left turn onto Passaic Avenue heading south; cross under railroad tracks; turn right onto Constantine Place; turn right onto Risk Avenue; park along the right hand side of the road by the sign for the park across from Building 8 (numbers 26-40).   


1857  --   Jacob Quackenbush found a record setting, pink, 93 grain (23 carat) fresh water pearl in Notch Brook near Patterson NJ. He sold it to Tiffany & Co for $1500. Tiffany sent it to a Paris gem dealer where Empress Eugenie, consort to Napoleon III, bought it for an undisclosed sum. This started the so-called "pearl rush". One can still see many clam and oyster shells scattered all along the Passaic river.



small streams, woods


12/22/04.  My brother-in-law Cefe and I headed down Risk Avenue to its intersection with Beech Spring Drive and kept going straight into the woods. On my street map, it shows Risk Avenue continuing down to New Providence Avenue.  But there seems to be no trace of an asphalt road here.  There are some areas that look like an old road path, but it probably was never asphalt. 

The woods here are really set around the Municipal Disposal Area (including recycling) located at the end of New Providence Avenue.   This is not the best arrangement as one seems never too far from the municipal buildings and activity.  But the area is still interesting to tour.  The area on this side of the recycling center is very cut up with small cuts and ravines running through the woods.  I walked up the big hill on our left (crossing a little stream running parallel with the recycling grounds) and saw the land coming to a point amid houses and buildings on both side.  We did not find any formal paths.  But being that it was winter, we could pretty easily walk through the woods area.  On the other side of the municipal buildings we stood on the edge of the ridge and looked down toward the Passaic River.  There was some ice on both sides of the river, but it was not iced over the entire way.  Across the river there is a huge apartment complex.  We continued walking until we got to a large field with lots of invasive species.  There was a small tree of heaven grove on one side of the ridge. Shortly after the field ended we turned around to walk back to the car.  We could have gone on for a considerable distance as the park (although it gets skinnier and skinnier) continues down to Stanley Avenue down by the Passaic River.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, * = blooming on date of the field trip, 12/22/04.

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)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Pinus sp. (thunbergii)? (Japanese black pine)?)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Rhodotypos scandens (jetbead)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster spp. (aster)
Datura stramonium (jimsonweed)
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Solanum spp. (goldenrod)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)

Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)