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Eagle Rock Reservation, West Orange

#4 of 10 in Things to do in West Orange
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Eagle Rock Reservation is a 408.33-acre (165.25 ha) forest reserve and recreational park in the First Watchung Mountain of New Jersey (U.S.), located in the communities of West Orange, Montclair, and Verona. The land is owned and administered by the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

The reservation is named after the Eagle Rock, a bare rock looking down from the mountain, which marks the boundary between the towns of Montclair and West Orange, New Jersey. The Lenape Trail passes through the reservation. There are many streams that flow throughout the reservation. The forests are home to abundant wildlife, including deer and occasionally bears.

Also located on the grounds of the reservation is a restaurant and special event location called Highlawn Pavilion. The building was once a casino, in the old sense of the word meaning country house, which had various functions through the years, including as a place for refreshments.
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Eagle Rock Reservation reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
91 reviews
  • Tranquil natural forest with many trees and hiking trails and a open area with clear view of New York City Skyline.  more »
  • This is a great place to take a drive through, stop and admire the view and drive on. It's also a great place to bring a picnic basket and have a tail-gate dinner!  more »
  • Wow. This place is very beautiful.. I wished I live closer or had a vehicle to just go and get away as I please. This place was just beyond breathtaking.. Perfect and intimate for couples but comfortable for any one to visit.. My friend and I came here for dinner. The scenery overlooking Jersey and Manhattan was absolutely beautiful.. I'll definitely be visiting here again.
  • I first hiked the loop trail around Eagle Rock Reservation about six months ago and have returned to do it again whenever I can. The loop trail is about three miles in length. It’s an easy to moderately easy woodland hike. The parking area is near the southeast corner of the reservation, across from the September 11 Memorial. Hiking clockwise around the loop, the trail is first paved with asphalt and concrete. It winds west past a picnic area and shelter, before putting you onto the sidewalk along Eagle Rock Avenue. The southwest corner of the reservation is at the intersection with Prospect Avenue, where a decomposed granite trail leads north into the woods inside the fence that runs along Prospect Avenue. The decomposed granite trail eventually transitions to a dirt track that winds past an open field, before turning east. The trail gets a little bit less well-defined at this point, but if you keep heading straight ahead or to the left, you won’t get off trail. You’ll see some houses to your left, before coming to an intersection with a dirt access road that runs north along the back of a neighborhood. At the last house, the trail will turn back to the east. This is where the trail transitions from easy to moderately easy. It runs past more houses, before there’s a small Boy Scout-maintained climb up to the North Lookout on the ridge at the northeast corner of the reservation. I usually sit on the bench at the lookout and soak in the view of Manhattan for a while, before heading south down the trail along the ridge. You’ll cross Crest Road before emerging from the woods at the road next to Highlawn Pavilion. You’ll be able to see the parking area from there.
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