Trail Guides
Overpeck Preserve

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Overpeck Park South, Fort Lee Road, Leonia, NJ 07605
Phone: (201) 336-7275

OWNER:  Bergen county Parks Department

DIRECTIONS:  Exit via Pleasantview Terrace. Turn Left at stop sign onto Railroad Avenue. Follow Railroad Avenue to end and turn Left onto Edgewater Avenue. After 2/10 of a mile turn Left onto Fulton Place (one way street). Get in Left lane. Turn Left onto Hendricks Causeway. At traffic light, turn Left onto 1 & 9 – Broad Avenue. After the first traffic light (Edgewater Avenue) get in Left lane. Bear Left at 2nd traffic light following signs for Rt. 93 North. At 5th traffic light, turn Left onto Fort Lee Road. Pass through one more traffic light and proceed over the railroad tracks. Turn Left into Bergen Equestrian Center, Overpeck Park. Proceed through parking lot keeping the paddock on your right. At the end there is an iron swing gate; this is the beginning of the trailhead.   Map
TIDAL CURRENT:  Non-tidal/Easy

ACCESS AND PARKING:  Open daily from dawn to dusk. Parking available at site. A New Jersey Fishing license is required to fish Overpeck Creek. Hand-carry your canoe or kayak to Overpeck Creek. Restrooms, phone and drinking water are available at Equestrian Center by playground and across Fort Lee Road at the main entrance to the County Park.

NEAREST PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:  New Jersey Transit Bus Lines No. 182 New York (GWB)/ Hackensack and No.167 Dumont/Harrington Park/New York stop at Glenpointe Office and Hotel Complex. Turn left out of complex onto DeGraw Avenue. Cross over Overpeck Creek and Equestrian Center is on the right a short distance. New Jersey Bus Lines No. 751/755 Edgewater/ North Bergen/Paramus and No. 182 New York (GWB)/Hackensack stop at Grand Avenue and Fort Lee Road (closest stop). Cross Grand Avenue following Fort Lee Road across the railroad tracks. The Equestrian Center is a short distance on the Left. Walking distance for both is less than 1 mile.

<I>Dabbling</I> Ducks
Dabbling DucksKevin Karlson
SITE DESCRIPTION:  This unique 125-acre Preserve is a rehabilitated landfill that includes vernal pools, deciduous woods, non-tidal wetlands, streams, mixed swamp, grasslands, and open water, all of which make it one of the rarest habitats in Bergen County. While a great deal of Overpeck County Park is covered by lawns and has been developed for active recreation, the Preserve is an oasis of wildlife habitat ideal for passive recreation. In recent years, Overpeck Preserve has become a magnet for over-wintering raptors.

DON'T MISS:  Don’t miss the Bald Eagles, which are now reliable winter residents, offering visitors and locals regular views of this magnificent bird in a suburban setting.

Winter:  In addition to Bald Eagle, look for House Finch and American Goldfinch in their winter plumage. After a snow, this is a great place to search for animal tracks, such as those of white-tailed deer, red fox and eastern cottontail rabbit. Wintering waterfowl include Gadwall, Ruddy Duck and Common Merganser.
Spring:  The Preserve is an ideal urban wilderness in which to search for brightly-colored spring migrants including Palm, Prairie and Black-and-white Warblers. Tree, Barn and Rough-winged Swallows return, feeding “on the wing” and establishing their breeding territories. Insect repellent is strongly advised as the weather warms.
Summer:  Summer residents include Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Double-crested Cormorant, American Goldfinch, Willow Flycatcher, Northern Harrier and Osprey. From late summer through early fall, enjoy the wading birds, including Great Blue Heron, and Snowy and Great Egrets. Listen for the chattering Belted Kingfisher. Tiger swallowtail, mourning cloak, cabbage white, clouded sulphur, painted lady, red admiral and monarch butterflies are common during the summer months. Painted, red-eared slider and snapping turtles may be seen sunning themselves on rocks and logs. Take advantage of the cool shade beneath water-loving trees like cottonwood and willow. Insect repellent strongly advised.
Fall:  Some of the rarer migrant sparrows, such as Vesper, Lincoln’s, LeConte’s, Savannah and Clay-colored are occasionally found here, while raptor migration is easily observed along this wide open expanse. Wintering ducks begin to return in late fall and migrating waterfowl use the region as stop-over to rest and feed.

SPECIAL FEATURES:  The Preserve is undergoing renovation to make it more visitor friendly. Plans call for expanded nature trails, the addition of interpretive signage and a pavilion/nature center, all to be complete by 2010. Anglers may find carp, yellow perch, white perch, brown bullhead, largemouth bass, bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish in the waters of Overpeck Creek. The annual Father’s Day Paddling Regatta takes place every year on Father’s Day at 9am.

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