The West Essex Trail follows a short distance (just under 3 miles) of the former rail bed of the Caldwell Branch on the old Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. The trail runs between the EssexPassiac county line in Little Falls and Arnold Way in Verona. The trail crosses a trestle over the Peckman River and also passes by a shuttered psychiatric hospital, which housed patients in the late 19th to early 20th century. The property is now a conservation easement.
Parking and Trail Access
The best access to the West Essex Trail is from near Verona High School, 151 Fairview Avenue. Take Route 280 to Exit 7/Pleasant Valley Way and turn right. Turn left onto Bloomfield Avenue then right onto Fairview Avenue. The Trail crosses Fairview at Verona High School.
From New York, take the George Washington Bridge or Lincoln Tunnel to the New Jersey Turnpike South. Take Exit 15W for Route 280 West and proceed with the above directions.
100 degree temperature day; cool ride
My wife and I just rode roundtrip through this trail, and found it quite cool and relaxing during a 100 degree day. Be careful of some rough patches in the trail, and we parked on Fairview Avenue near Verona HS... no problem. Almost entire ride was away ...
Add Mills Reservation for more challenge
The West Essex trail is now in great shape for biking, just watch out for a few fallen trees that are only about 6 feet over the trail, may have to duck if your tall. To add a challenging piece to it, turn on right on Francisco Ave up to Ridge Rd, make ...
Shows the great potential of Essex/Passaic county trails
The West Essex trail is one of the nicest trails in this area. So well maintained that walking on it is very relaxing year round. Its also quite shady and that makes it cool, even in the summer.
The area still has a long way to go to become hiker friendly ...