Summit Trails Better Than Ever–Take A Hike!

View of the Passaic River from the Summit trail, September 2015

View of the Passaic River from the Summit trail, September 2015

Twelve months after we began, the Summit Passaic River  Park Trail Project is nearing completion. The trail has been mapped by City Engineer Rick Matias and the user-friendly product  placed in a wonderful new kiosk at the trailhead and on the City website under the Environment tab.   Volunteers have installed a sturdy bench at the trailhead, marked the trail with blazes and positioned stepping stones for surer footing where a brook interrupts the trail.

Later this fall, we will begin to plant the native trees and shrubs selected
by B.W. Bosenberg & Co., Landscape Architects, with input from Betty Ann Kelly, the Union County Environmental Specialist.  A rain barrel will be set up  which the City will fill, enabling volunteers to water the plantings.  Finally, the City will furnish and install a bike rack near the gravel parking area on New Providence Avenue.

Blazes mark the
Blazes mark the “Yellow Trail” in Summit

Incredibly, fifty-five individuals donated hundreds of hours to this project, including thirty first-time trail volunteers. Volunteer trail workers have become trail enthusiasts, spreading word about our lovely trails.   In fact, the improved  and more prominent trails are  increasingly popular with Summit residents.

One of our most exciting accomplishments was attracting seventy new hikers to guided trail walks led by Jackie Kondel of the Reeves-Reed Arboretum. We are working with other community groups to implement guided hikes on the trails to replicate this success.

Jewelweed on the trail, September 2015
Jewelweed on the trail, September 2015

In addition to valuable volunteer labor, the original $10,000 grant from the Overlook Medical Center Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative generated over $4,000 of in-kind donations to our project from the City of Summit, B.W. Bosenberg & Co., Union County, Cording Landscape Design, and the Reeves-Reed Arboretum. The project also renewed  interest in the trails among local Boy Scouts. Two Summit Scouts are currently at work on more  improvements to earn their Eagle Scout awards.   These Scouts  will be adding another kiosk, stepping stones and more blazes.

The Passaic River trail in Summit is better than ever. Go take a hike!

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4 thoughts on “Summit Trails Better Than Ever–Take A Hike!

  1. I walk on these trails all the time. Many of the trails end at the Summit border. We need New Providence and Chatham to clear fallen trees and weeds on their trails that connect with ours.

  2. What a great accomplishment. You and all your volunteers did a remarkable job in bringing to fruition this enormous undertaking that started out as just a great idea. Congratulations to all of you!

    • The trailhead is on New Providence Avenue right before the entrance to the Summit Transfer Station. As you approach the Transfer Station, there’s a gravel parking area on the left and the trailhead is directly across the street.

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