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Welcome to Essex County Online
WEST ESSEX RESERVATION

HOST COMMUNITIES:   LIVINGSTON / ROSELAND / WEST CALDWELL / FAIRFIELD

Livingston

Township formed in 1813--the result of rejoining "Canoe Brook," formally part of Newark until the southern portion was annexed by Springfield in 1793, and the northern portion claimed by Caldwell in 1797. The township area is second only to Newark among Essex County municipalities.

ROSELAND

Incorporated in 1908.  Before its beginnings as a farming community, Continental troops drilled on Roseland's green.

WEST CALDWELL

A settled village when Caldwell Township was incorporated in 1798.  It became a borough in 1904.

FAIRFIELD

Part of the Horseneck Tract and farmed by Dutch settlers from Bergen County. It was part of Caldwell until 1964 when it became a municipality.

ACREAGE
1361.33

LOCATION
Eagle Rock Ave., & Passaic Rive

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HISTORIC PROFILE

West Essex Park is located in the western section of Essex County. It stretches along six miles of the Passaic River starting at Bloomfield Avenue in Fairfield, and ends just beyond South Orange Avenue in Livingston. The 1,360-acre park is primarily a wetlands preserve and remains undeveloped. 

The former Park Commission first began acquiring this land in 1955. Money to purchase the first piece of property came in part from the sale of Oraton Parkway to the New Jersey Highway Authority. Over subsequent years, other land was purchased from more than 70 individual landowners.

March 1972, at a site on Eagle Rock Avenue in Roseland, which was once a tavern and stagecoach stop, the Center for Environmental Studies was opened to the public. The nearby bridge over the Passaic River is where Morris County’s historic Patriots Path connects with the Lenape Trail in Essex County. For more than two decades the Division of Environmental Studies provided educational programs until fiscal problems closed the facility and the Division was disbanded. A resurgence of interest in recent years and the aggressive pursuit of grant money resulted in the state-of-the-art facility that houses the new Environmental Center today.

In 2002, a new golf driving range and recreation center opened at what was once the “charm acres” picnic and camping area. In 2003, a large portion of the park became a conservation easement, protecting it from future development
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CURRENT IMPROVEMENTS

    • Opening of Environmental Center

    Cost: $2,881,700   Opened in 2005

    • Renovation of Garibaldi Hall 

    Cost: $527,650  Completed in 2007

    • Opening of Energy and Conservation Exhibits in the Environmental Center

    Cost: $951,000     Completed in 2012

    • Development of new multi-purpose and library room in the Environmental Center

    Cost: $118,500     Completed in 2012

     

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DISTINGUISHING FEATURES

  • Golf driving range & miniature golf.
  • Environmental Center
  • Boating & canoe landings.
  • Fishing areas.
  • Interpretive trail.
  • A favorite area for bird-watchers.

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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From New Jersey: Take Route 280 West to Exit 4A (Eisenhower Parkway South). Turn right onto Eagle Rock Avenue. Park is on the left.

From New York: George Washington Bridge or Lincoln Tunnel to New Jersey Turnpike South. Take Exit 15W for Route 280 West. Follow above directions.

Use the address “621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland” when obtaining driving directions from the Internet.

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PARK MAP

View the park map.

To print the park map (pdf) you will need the adobe acrobat reader. This image is 100 dpi, ensuring clear printing and requires a short download time.
Download Viewer
 
To print the park map (pdf) you will need the adobe acrobat reader. This image is 100 dpi, ensuring clear printing and requires a short download time.
Download Viewer
 
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Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs
115 Clifton Ave, Newark, NJ 07104 ~ (T) 973-268-3500 ~ (F) 973-481-5302
 
If you have any comments on features you would like to see on this site or any other feedback, please email: joedi@admin.essexcountynj.org