A Secret Gem: The West Essex Trail


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What’s the best place for walking, hiking or biking in Verona? The West Essex Trail.

Most people don’t know about this secret gem, but once upon a time it was where the Erie Lackawanna Railroad ran, a branch of a train line that stretched from Little Falls to Caldwell.

Only a piece of it now remains: A section about 2.8 miles long that starts on Fairview Avenue near the Verona High School parking lot and ends just past Francisco Avenue in Little Falls. It runs through the woods behind the new Hilltop townhouses in Cedar Grove, over Pompton Avenue, and near a small waterfall on the Peckman River. Several roads cross across it now, so you have to be careful near Durrell Street, Keeney Street, Bowden Road and Francisco Avenue.

From the teepee of branches above to the stream below, here is some of what you’ll see along the trail:

Ryan Tsang will graduate Verona High School with the Class of 2024. He is participating in the Senior Capstone project by sharing his photographs of Verona.

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