Hawk Rise Sanctuary
Access to the park, built on an abandoned landfill, is through an aging shopping center. From Routes 1&9 in Linden, turn into Linden Plaza at the stop light. Linden Plaza (see Location Tab) 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.
GPS Coordinates 40.603003, -74.251767
A converted landfill in an unsightly industrial area that feels magically remote once the sanctuary is entered.
A “double-legged" lollipop trail of about 1.5 miles circumvents the sanctuary with eleven interpretative signs along the way that provide habitat descriptions. The trail alternates between boardwalk and gravel paths. Sections of the pathway through wetlands are elevated and include an observation deck with views of the Rahway River. Birds are in abundance; more than 120 species have been enumerated at the site.
The trail itself is un-blazed, but is identified as yellow-colored on a map at a parking lot kiosk. An additional trail (red) is proposed. A photograph of the trail map and other views are posted on this “Gone Hikin’” blog.
Click for a detailed description of a hike in the park.
Hawk Rise Sanctuary
New Jersey is beginning to reclaim landfills as attractive places to enjoy nature. The DeKorte Park [Hackensack Meadowlands] is a beautiful example, and now another one in Linden opened in 2012 called the Hawk Rise Sanctuary. The N.J. Audubon Society, N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, and City of Linden combined efforts to transform a closed landfill called the Hawk Rise Sanctuary and adjacent property into a wildlife refuge while providing public access to a mix of forest and wetland resources.
Educational programs are offered under the stewardship of the Audubon Society -- see Contact Information on this site.