Trail Guides
Hackensack River County Park

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Riverside Square Mall and Hackensack River, Hackensack, NJ
Phone: (201) 336-7275

OWNER:  Bergen County Parks Department

DIRECTIONS:  Exit Bergen Equesterian Center and turn Left onto Fort Lee Road. At the 2nd traffic signal turn Right onto Teaneck Road. Pass through 4 traffic lights, pass under the Route 4 overpass and turn Right onto Route 4 West – Paterson entrance ramp. Be alert to high speed traffic, the merge onto Route 4 is short and dangerous. Note signs for Hackensack Avenue, Shops at Riverside and get in Right lane. The mall driveway entrance is immediately after gasoline station’s second driveway, and it comes up very quickly. Look for Hackensack River County Park sign. Turn Right and follow signs for parking. Proceed to the lower level of the parking garage. Turn Right at the stop sign and proceed straight to the back of the parking garage. A green painted line between the double yellow lines leads to the parking area. Alternate entrance: If you miss the first entrance, continue to bear Right onto the Hackensack Avenue exit. There is an entrance to the mall to the Right on the ramp. Double back and proceed to the lower level of the parking garage and follow directions above.   Map
ACCESS AND PARKING:  Open daily from dawn to dusk. Parking can be difficult during holiday shopping seasons. Restrooms can be found in the mall. Trails are partially handicapped accessible. New Jersey fishing license required to fish this section of the Hackensack River.

NEAREST PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:  New Jersey Transit Bus Lines No. 756 Fort Lee/Paramus and No. 762 Paramus/Hackensack stop at Shops at Riverside (Riverside Square Mall). Walking distance less than 1 mile to lower level parking lot.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue HeronKevin Karlson
SITE DESCRIPTION:  Don’t be alarmed as you follow the directions right into the Riverside Square Mall’s lower parking lot. This park is actually one of the few places within the lower Hackensack River Watershed where the landscape has remained relatively unchanged amidst the hustle and bustle of suburban life. Surprisingly, you will find an oasis of natural habitat and tranquility — adjacent to an upscale shopping mall. The riverside trails and observation decks are great places to relax, fish or observe wading birds, waterfowl and shorebirds.

Winter:  Winter finches, woodpeckers and raptors, including the occasional Bald Eagle may be seen. Hooded and Common Mergansers, Mallard, American Black and Ruddy Ducks use the river and its coves.
Spring:  The arrival of Tree, Barn and Northern Rough-winged Swallows indicate the arrival of spring. Large flocks of American Goldfinch, Palm, Yellow-rumped, and Black-and-white Warblers make their way through the park. Shorebird viewing is best during low tide as they probe for invertebrates in the mud. Snapping turtles lay eggs in the sandy soil.
Summer:  Look for resident Mallard, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, Gray Catbird and House Finch along with Yellow Warbler and Common Yellowthroat. Common raccoon and striped skunk prowl the undergrowth along the shoreline looking for prey. Fish for carp, white perch, white catfish, striped bass and blueback herring. Local butterflies include tiger swallowtail, mourning cloak, cabbage white, clouded sulphur, painted lady, red admiral and monarch.
Fall:  This spot is a “must” for visitors wishing to witness shorebird, waterfowl, wading birds, passerine and raptor migration.

SPECIAL FEATURES:  There is a short riverside walk and sitting area adjacent to the parking area, but the best wildlife viewing and fishing areas are found deeper within the park. The boardwalk trails lead to several other trails that bring visitors to various points along the river.

FishingHiking TrailsIdeal for BeginnersInterpretive TrailMotorcoachParkingViewing Blinds/PlatformsWildflowers