Hackensack River at River Barge Park
by Betty Wiest
Sunday, August 9, 2020
There's something magical about paddling the channels in the Hackensack Meadowlands.....phragmites that almost reach the sky, wildlife dancing above the grasses, flowing gentle water....and then there's the horrendous din of the NJ Tpk. And so we found ourselves paddling down a very wide channel surrounded by phragmities with not a fast-moving vehicle in sight, but the sound--egad!...the sound was deafening! It didn't take long to decide to turn around and seek a more "normal"-sounding buffer area.
Thus it was that our group of eight paddlers (Peter, Naomi, Phil, Robyn, David, Kate, Barry and me) enjoyed the flowing waters of the Hackensack River at River Barge Park, a Bergen County Park in Carlstadt, in the shadow of the American Dream Mall and the old Continental Arena.
It was sunny and hot. We all were a bit surprised that almost no pleasure craft was on the river, enjoying the summer recreational opportunity the river affords.
With no map on hand, I guided our group up the river and into the channels at Mill Creek on the Secaucus side of the river. This was not my first paddle into the phragmite-lined channels. I was confident that we could meander through the marsh and find our way out....no bread crumbs allowed. What is so amazing is that this incredible area is in the shadow of Manhattan with its mega-population, a mere few miles in the distance.
We ended the day sitting in the shade of the nearby pavilion enjoying the quiet of the moment....and a little re-hydrating beverage.
Till next time.....