The Lenape Trail is a 34-mile route in Essex County that links a dozen county and municipal parks, a rail trail, historic areas, and other landmarks. Tomorrow, Saturday, April 11, Montclair Environmental Commissioner Deb Ellis will lead a walking tour of part of the trail that will encompass three local parks and a local preserve.
The tour, which lasts about two hours, starts at 1:30pm in Brookdale Park at the parking lot close to Bellevue Avenue. It will do a round trip, going north through Brookdale and then Yancataw and Tuers parks, turning around and coming back. The tour will include a stop at the Bonsai Preserve and a discussion on the history of the area: From the Yantacaw settlers in Brookdale Park to the Dutch origins of Upper Montclair (Speertown) to how Applegate began. Tour participants will see where dairy and poultry farms (with houses still standing) that fed New York City residents were located along Alexander Avenue.
Established in 1982, the trail was a joint undertaking of the Sierra Club and the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. According to the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, some of the Lenape Trail is routed along power lines and residential streets, but it also passes through wooded Branch Brook Park, Eagle Rock Reservation and South Mountain Reservation — in all about 70% consists of park/trail and 30% on-street.
The tour was co-developed by the Montclair Historical Society and the Montclair Environmental Commission and is co-sponsored by Bike&Walk Montclair. Anyone interested in joining the tour should meet at the Brookdale Park parking lot above the soccer stadium (enter through Bellevue Avenue). Pre-registration is preferred and a $5 donation is suggested. Please register here.