Lenape Trail, Lenape Park, New Jersey
Mountainside/Cranford/Kenilworth (Union County)
Length: 3 miles
Width: approximately 6 ft.
Surface type: alphalt
Typical grade: low, < 5%
Obstacles: possible flooding
The Lenape Trail of Lenape Park is a fairly heavily used trail in Central/North New Jersey in Union Country. One end is in Mountainside starting at Echo Lake Park, the other end is in Kenilworth at a road not far from Route 22.
Weekends can get some traffic, but during the week traffic is light. Plenty of parking at both ends of the trail.
The entire trail is paved for use by wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility aids. There is only one section that has a little grade (uphill or downhill), with the rest pretty flat. It does run along water so check before you go there after heavy rains—some sections could get flooded.
It’s hard to find quiet trails in heavily populated New Jersey—especially if you are disabled and have limited options to hike—but depending upon when and where you go on this trail, you can find it!
This trail is essentially divided into three sections:
Echo Lake Park in Mountainside
One end starts at Mountain Ave, the other end at Springfield Ave in Mountainside. Approximately 1 mile. This is a standard NJ park, with the paved trail running the length of the park. All paved, with a couple of uphills/downhills. It does run along a pond and you can watch people paddleboard or fish. There are a couple of sections you may want to stay on the side of road and not use the path due to the grade.
There is also a playground, dog park, and war memorial in the park. There are bathrooms in the park.
One end starts at Springfield Ave, the other when the path reaches Nomahegan Park. Approximately 0.75 miles.
This section is paved, flat and open. There are stations along this section that provide education on the trail. Watch out for little kids riding bikes! On one side of the path are homes, the other side undeveloped. There are a couple of off-path trails in this section.
This section is not technically part of Nomahegan Park, but right across the street from the park. One end is Cranford, the other end is Kenilworth. Approximately 1.25 miles.
No bathrooms are on this trail, need to go over to Nomahegan Park.
All paved, flat and really nice. Heavily wooded and you would not know you’re in NJ. Runs along the Rahway River—this floods when it rains heavy! The photos are of this section.
The trail ends abruptly at a street in Kenilworth close to heavily trafficked Route 22. If that’s the end of your hike, just turn around and go back into the woods!
The trail is part of the East Coast Greenway. You can get more information on the trail here:
Please note that this website definition of the trail is not exactly the same as described here. I am just presenting information on the Union County section. You should do some research before heading out.
by Layne Oliff