Your Public Access Along the Hackensack River
Welcome aboard! As conditions improve along the lower Hackensack River, recreational opportunities improve as well. Activities like fishing, boating, paddling, walking, birding and seasonal waterfowl hunting are some of the things you can do on and along the river. Since 1997, HACKENSACK RIVERKEEPER has been the leading advocate fighting for your right of access to the river, its banks and wetlands. With those rights come responsibilities so PLEASE be sure to leave nothing but your footprints or your boat’s wake.
If at any time you encounter what you suspect is a violation or pollution incident, contact the following state and/or federal enforcement agencies:
- NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection Hot Line: 1-877-WARN-DEP (927-6337)
- Operation Game Thief NJ: 1-885-OGT TIPS (648-8477) POACHING reports only
- NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation Law Enforcement: 1-844-DEC-ECOS (332-3267)
- Operation Game Thief NY: 1-800-TIPP DEC (847-7332) POACHING reports only
- US Coast Guard National Spill Response Center: 1-800-424-8802
Also, Hackensack Riverkeeper’s Watershed Watch Hotline: 1-877-CPT-BILL (278-2455)
See you at the River!
Captain Bill Sheehan
*Click here for a Tide Chart for the Hackensack River
KENNETH B. GEORGE PARK on Riverside Way features a boat ramp suitable for launching and recovering canoes, kayaks, rowboats and small boats with outboard motors at high tide. Best bet is to launch AND retrieve within the 4-hour timeframe created by 2 hours before and 2 hours after High tide. Further south, HISTORIC NEW BRIDGE LANDING, located at the confluence of the Hackensack River and Van Saun Mill Brook, offers riverside views, fishing from the old bridge and tours of the colonial & Revolutionary War site.
NEW MILFORD WOODS, located at the end of River Lane, was purchased by the Borough in 2001 with NJ Green Acres and Bergen County Open Space funds. This undeveloped preserve adjacent to the New Milford Swim Club contains woods, wetlands and approximately a quarter mile of open shoreline and is open for walking, birding and fishing.
The HACKENSACK RIVER GREENWAY THROUGH TEANECK is a 3.5mile long linear park running south from BRETT PARK, through the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University to TERHUNE PARK. It is a certified National Recreation Trail. Also on the Greenway, MARIE ANDRES PARK features a pond and several fishing spots along the riverbank. All park and Greenway access is from River Road.
HACKENSACK RIVER COUNTY PARK is accessible from The Shops at Riverside mall and offers opportunities for walking, birding and fishing from the trails, observation areas and fishing docks located there. JOHNSON PARK, located just north of the Anderson St. Bridge, is a good spot to launch a canoe or kayak, and will eventually be linked by a River Walkway to FOSCHINI PARK, a popular fishing spot and another good place to launch a canoe or kayak. Planned to run the length of the Hackensack waterfront, completed sections of the River Walkway are located adjacent to COSTCO and SHOP RITE along River Street.
WATERSIDE PARK is located on the river adjacent to the Ridgefield Park DPW on Industrial Ave. It features a small floating dock from which canoes and kayaks may be launched and retrieved. This park is the homeport of the Wanda Canoe Club. Ridgefield Park is also home to the largest section of OVERPECK COUNTY PARK. The park – site of Riverkeeper’s annual EarthFest Overpeck – can be accessed from the end of Challenger Boulevard and through the corporate park.
Here, another large unit of OVERPECK COUNTY PARK occupies both sides of Fort Lee Road and provides plenty of fishing access, walking, birding and paddling opportunities. The Teaneck section is home to Hackensack Riverkeeper’s Overpeck Park Kayak Center.
LOSEN SLOTE CREEK PARK, located along a tributary of the Hackensack River, is open year-round for walking and birding and can be accessed behind the playground on Mehrhof Road. The Bergen County Utilities Authority (BCUA) maintains the MEHRHOF POND NATURE PRESERVE in one of the last remnant woodlands in the southern Bergen County. The agency makes the preserve available for organized group tours.
RIVER BARGE PARK, located at 260 Outwater Lane, is open daily 8AM to sunset and features a marina and public boat ramp along with picnic benches and restroom facilities. There are small, but productive birding sites at the park as well. It is currently owned and managed by the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority (formerly the NJ Meadowlands Commission).
MILL CREEK POINT PARK, located at the end of Mill Ridge Road, is a quiet park that offers picnicking, fishing access, a dog park, playground, gazebo and a place to launch canoes, kayaks and other small vessels.
The trailhead of the 1.5-milelong MILL CREEK MARSH TRAIL is located adjacent to Bob’s Discount Furniture at the Mill Creek Mall.
The EXTENDED STAY AMERICA hotel, located on the Hackensack River at 1 Meadowlands Parkway, features a marina with seasonal slips and a (fee) day-use public boat ramp.
LAUREL HILL COUNTY PARK, located on the River at the end of New County Rd., offers easy boat access to the SAW MILL CREEK WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA. The Park is the location of Hackensack Riverkeeper’s Laurel Hill Park Paddling Center (Open April thru October / call 201-920-4746); and homeport of Hackensack Riverkeeper’s Eco-Cruise program (Conducted May thru October / call 201-968-0808). The park’s public boat ramp is open year-round and boasts two floating docks.
RICHARD W. DeKORTE PARK, located at the end of Valley Brook Avenue, features several miles of trails that wind around the Kingsland Impoundment and though various marsh and upland habitats for hiking and wildlife-watching. The birding is excellent. Catch-and-release fishing is permitted ONLY in designated areas at DeKorte. Boat launching is prohibited. From the park one can access the western section of the Saw Mill Creek WMA via the Saw Mill Creek Trail. The NJSEA ENVIRONMENT CENTER features interactive museum displays and informal environmental education programs conducted by Ramapo College of New Jersey.
HARRIER MEADOW, a cooperative marsh habitat restoration project between the NJSEA and DUCKS UNLIMITED is open for tours given by NJSEA Environment Center staff. Call 201-460-8300 for details. North Arlington is the only Meadowlands town without direct Hackensack River access.
From the GUNNEL OVAL RECREATION AREA off Schuyler Avenue, one can access WEST KEARNY MARSH, a rare freshwater wetland within the typically brackish Meadowlands, for paddling and fishing. The NJSEA and local paddling clubs often sponsor canoe trips through the marsh.
LINCOLN PARK WEST is a wonderful work in progress (as of 2016). Already featuring multiple active and passive recreational amenities, the western side of this large park contains a large area of restored historic saltmarsh and will soon include a canoe & kayak launch site. STAY TUNED!
Located on Newark Bay, the parks of Bayonne offer excellent waterfront access. RICHARD A. RUTKOWSI PARK features a sandy beach for launching kayaks while next-door STEPHEN R. GREGG PARK provides great fishing opportunities from its bulkheads and pier.
Further down the bayshore, the public boat ramp at CITY PARK (formerly 16th Street Park) is centrally located for those looking to cruise up the Hackensack River or down into New York Bay. Boaters should check the tides due to the shallow nature of the east shore of Newark Bay. Call the BAYONNE PARKS DEPT. at 201-858-6070 for additional details.
PERSONAL WATERCRAFT ARE PERMITTED ON THE RIVER; HOWEVER TIDAL CREEKS IN THE MEADOWLANDS CREEKS ARE NO WAKE ZONES.
OPERATING OFF-ROAD VEHICLES ON ANY PUBLIC LAND IS ILLEGAL ANYWHERE IN NEW JERSEY!
CRABBING IN THE HACKENSACK RIVER, PASSAIC RIVER, NEWARK BAY, KILL VAN KULL (NJ) and ARTHUR KILL (NJ) IS ILLEGAL UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.
HACKENSACK RIVERKEEPER STRONGLY URGES ANGLERS TO PRACTICE CATCH-AND-RELEASE FISHING ONLY. FISH FOR FUN, NOT FOR FOOD!
REMEMBER TO RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY, OBEY THE LAW AND FOLLOW ALL SAFETY RULES AND REGULATIONS!