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3 Ways to Discover the Wetlands in the Meadowlands

3 Ways to Discover the Wetlands in the Meadowlands

The Meadowlands may be known for the racetrack or the sports complex, but nestled next to the Turnpike and the Hackensack River is Richard W. DeKorte Park and the Meadowlands Environment Center.

Walk with the wildlife along the boardwalk and see the New York City skyline from this waterfront park in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.

There are three easy ways to uncover this amazing area in North Jersey:

  • Take a (boardwalk) hike through a bird sanctuary
  • Visit the environmental center and observatory
  • Kayak through the wetlands

Walk the Boardwalk & Trails at Richard W. DeKorte Park

Depending on the time of year (and day), the wetlands will look different!

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In the summer, the phragmites will be rustling in the wind, and you might be able to spot a turtle! On a clear day, you can see the New York City skyline on the horizon along the Kingsland Overlook Trail. The Marsh Discovery Trail has been heralded as a birding hotspot, with bird blinds along the boardwalk.

And make sure to go in the spring — there are so many different kinds of birds and butterflies in Jill’s Garden!

No matter the season, take a walk along the berm or boardwalk and see what’s swimming in the Hackensack River tributaries or flying overhead.

Visit the Environmental Center

If you can catch it when it’s open, visit the Meadowlands Environmental Center, which is also home to an observatory (open to the public for free stargazing on Wednesday nights year-round).

The center focuses on environmental education for school groups, but has put up signs all over the park to highlight the diverse bird population:

DeKorte Park, like the entire Meadowlands District, is located along the Atlantic Flyway, one of three major routes used by migratory birds in North America. More than 285 species of birds have been identified in the Meadowlands, including many on the State threatened, endangered and species of special concern lists. DeKorte Park has been nationally recognized by Birder’s World magazine as a birding hotspot. Birders can be seen throughout the year with their binoculars and spotting scopes looking for Egrets, Osprey, hawks and falcons.

Kayak through Mill Creek Marsh

The Meadowlands continue in Secaucus where you can explore Mill Creek Marsh. Drop your kayak or canoe here and glide through white cedar stumps that are home to egrets and shorebirds. Beware of the tide before you head out!

Want more kayak spots? Find adventure on our kayak map. 

Find info on all the parks/trails here or on NYNJTC.

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