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Hawk Rise Sanctuary Hike
Now a restored urban oasis forever protected for birds, wildlife and passive recreation, it is hard to imagine that these wetlands were once considered useless and served as the garbage dump.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates40.603003, -74.251767
Driving DirectionsFrom Routes 1&9 in Linden, turn into Linden Plaza at the stop light. Linden Plaza (see Location Tab above) contains Sears, Aldi’s, and Wal-Mart along with several other stores. Just past Sears at the fork, veer right and continue through an industrial area to a T-intersection at Lower Road. Turn right on Lower Road. Turn left at the first street, Range Road, with Cooper Electric on the corner. Follow Range Road for under half mile, almost to the end. Parking is on the left just before animal control and the animal shelter.
The kiosk at the parking lot contains a trail map showing the existing and planned trails. From the kiosk, follow the unmarked gravel path veering left towards the boardwalk. The boardwalk spans King’s Creek to a viewing platform with interpretive signs explaining the bird migration route over this area and the history of the capped landfill visible ahead.
Continuing on, keep left at the end of the boardwalk. The trail now alternates between composite boardwalks and gravel paths through wooded wetlands. At the .4 mile mark, when another boardwalk ends, turn right on the gravel path where an unmarked dirt road comes in from the left.
In another tenth of a mile, turn left on a short side trail that leads to an interpretive sign about the glacial erratics found in the area. Retrace and continue left on the main gravel path.
At .65 mile into the hike, the boardwalk continues straight at an intersection but turn left here on the boardwalk with handrails towards the landfill. At the end of this boardwalk, turn right and follow the split rail fence with the landfill on your left. Although there is no sign at this intersection, turning left on landfill property is prohibited. Follow the split rail fence to the end where an observation deck circles around with views of salt marshes and the Rahway River. Binoculars will come in handy as you are sure to find a wide variety of birds in this area.
Retrace back to the end of the split rail fence, turn left on the boardwalk with the handrail, then left on the boardwalk you first arrived on. A short distance ahead at a gravel intersection with the parking lot in sight, turn left and loop around back to your car.
Turn by turn description[ 0.00] From the kiosk veer left on the gravel path towards the boardwalk[ 0.15] Keep left at end of boardwalk[ 0.40] At the end of the boardwalk, veer right on gravel path when dirt road goes left[ 0.50] Keep left at fork to interpretive sign; retrace[ 0.55] Left on gravel road coming off trail to interpretive sign[ 0.65] Turn left on boardwalk towards landfill[ 0.70] At end of boardwalk turn right along split rail fence (no sign but left on dirt road is not allowed)[ 0.80] Observation deck at end; circle around and retrace[ 0.95] At end of split rail fence, turn left on boardwalk when off limits dirt road goes straight[ 1.00] At T-intersection turn left on boardwalk[ 1.10] At intersection turn left on boardwalk[ 1.15] At intersection turn left on gravel path when right goes to parking lot[ 1.25] Back at parking lot