Know the New Hiking How-tos
DeKorte Park (Richard W. DeKorte Park)
NJ Turnpike to Exit 16W, follow NJ 3 west to the exit for NJ 17 south [Lyndhurst exit]. Follow the ramp to Polito Avenue and turn left. At the end of Polito Avenue, turn left on Valley Brook Avenue and continue to the parking area -- GPS Coordinates: 40.786144, -74.102817
Do not tell late night TV comedic NJ bashers about this park which has an “overlook trail” built on a former garbage dump -- but it is beautiful and no longer an island.
Six short trails (0.25 to 1.25 miles) are accessible from the Meadowlands Environment Center at DeKorte Park.
The Kingsland Overlook Trail climbs an artificial mound created by a landfill for household waste - walking along this beautifully landscaped trail it is hard to imagine that it was once the site of a garbage dump.
The Marsh Discovery Trail, a half-mile-long boardwalk through the brackish marsh, has excellent views of the city skyline. The accessible trail connects a series of islands along the former Kingsland Creek and it is a great spot for bird watching.
The Meadowlands Nature Blog offers up-to-date information and commentary about scheduled events and, especially, birds in the area.
Use the Web Map link on this site for a brochure and trail map.
Geologically, the Hackensack Meadowlands (now called the New Jersey Meadowlands) are part of the Mesozoic Lowland area between the Watchungs and the Palisades. Very different from the rugged Watchungs to their west, they feature a small network of trails that offer the opportunity to explore a wetland teeming with wildlife.
Although the area is often thought of as a landfill, a visit to the Meadowlands is definitely not a trip to the dump. The 640-acre Richard W. DeKorte Park features a landscaped capped landfill and trails that take visitors out into wildlife observation areas and bird blinds. It also includes the Meadowlands Environment Center, which contains informative exhibits on the Meadowlands and its ecology. Adjacent to the park, and reachable from it, is the 3.5-acre Lyndhurst Nature Reserve -- which was once an illegally filled garbage island (GPS Coordinates: 40.784740, -74.106573).