The Lenape Trail

Did you know that nearly one million people live within five miles of one of America’s most unique outdoor recreation assets?

  • Forty miles of walking and bike trails
  • Linking nineteen of Essex County’s finest parklands
  • Incredible diversity, including…
    • mountain vistas, rivers and waterfalls
    • famous museums, gardens,  and a cathedral
    • a great environmental center, a zoo, a dog run,  even an archery course
    • a dinosaur fossil site

Part of the Liberty Water Gap Trail,
the nation’s most unique greenway…

  • 130 mile statewide trail from Hudson to Delaware River
  • Three national landmarks: Statue of Liberty,
    Morristown National Historical Park, and the Delaware Water Gap
  • Part of seven member trail system including
    Liberty State Park, Patriots Path, Paulinskill Valley Trail

Centuries of history

  • Original home of the Lenni-Lenape Indians, who developed extensive trails
    in what  are now Brookdale, Yantecaw and Branch Brook Parks
  • Essex County is home to America’s first park system, established in 1895 (17 pks, 5 reservation, 6,000+ acres)
  • The Lenape Trail Revitalization Project

One man’s extraordinary vision and effort…

  • The Lenape Trail has been established and maintained for over thirty years by
    Al Kent, Morris County Trail Coordinator:
  • creator of both the Lenape Trail (1979), and Liberty Water Gap Trail (2000);
  • has been singlehandedly maintaining the trail for over thirty years;
  • still active in his mid-80’s

has become the focus of an extensive revitalization effort in 2010:

  • A Three Way Partnership is well underway:
    This summer, with the support of the New York New Jersey Trail Conference,  the Essex County Parks Department,
    and virtually all of the Essex County Park Conservancies, an ambitious project has been started
    to revitalize and raise public awareness of the Lenape Trail and Liberty Water Gap Trail.
  • The immediate goals of the Lenape Trail Revitalization Project:
    • to repaint faded trail markings
    • to erect professional trail medallions for the LT and LWGT in high visibility areas
    • to promote its existence to the community
    • to reroute and extend the trail in selected areas and incorporate more areas of interest.
  • The trail is being rerouted to add eight great new parks to the route:
    • Alonzo F. Bonsal Wildlife (Montclair)
    • The Presby Gardens (Montclair)
    • Booth Park and Yantecaw Park (Nutley)
    • Prospect Park (Livingston)
    • Riverfront Park (Newark)
    • South Mountain Reservation (connector route)
    • Hilltop Reservation (connector route)

  • Signage Plan:
  • Those little yellow paint blazes are not enough…
    For thirty years, the Lenape Trail has gone essentially unnoticed.
    Paint blazes are OK for traditional backwoods trails, but urban trails need to be advertised!

    • Professionally printed medallions are being erected in all parks and reservations along the trail
    • Sign posts will be added where appropriate
    • Trail maps and kiosks are being planned at  key entrance points

New Professionally Printed Medallions

The longer-term, ongoing objective is to raise public awareness and to establish an informal
‘Friends of the Lenape Trail’ organization to help maintain, advocate, and promote these trails.
Compared to more ‘conventional’ backwoods trails, the Lenape’s demands for support are rather modest.
It is mostly about making sure blazes and signs remain in place.

  • We’re looking for help with any of the following:
    • Participation in trail blaze/signage planning and field work in Fall 2010 and Spring/Summer 2011
    • Ongoing support as an ‘Adopt-a-Trail’ volunteer for a section of the Lenape Trail
    • Organizing future trail promotions (e.g. walkathons, hikes, etc)
    • Improving content and map features on the Website help
      (interest and knowledge of Web graphics is ESPECIALLY welcome!)

Pictures of The Lenape Trail

(all photos by Steve Marano except where noted)

Ballentine House, Newark

Photo by: Douglas/Kent

Branch Brook Park, Newark

Belleville Park

Booth Park, Nutley

Yantecaw Park, Nutley

Nutley Museum

Nutley Reformed Church Cemetery

Overpass footbridge, Garden State Parkway

Photo by: Douglas/Kent

Clarks Pond, Bloomfield
(Do you see the heron?)

Brookdale Park,
Bloomfield / Montclair

Brookdale Park Archery Course

Photo by: Douglas/Kent

Walking along Montclair residential street

Photo by: Douglas/Kent

West Essex Trail,
Cedar Grove and Verona

Verona Park

Eagle Rock Reservation

Al along the powerlines,
West Orange / Livingston

South Mountain Reservation

Becker Park Old Growth Tree (and Al Kent),

Wild Turkey at Becker Park

Walter Kidde Dinosaur Park Fossil Site

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