The proposed Essex-Hudson Greenway Project would offer a nearly nine-mile long, multi-use trail corridor following a converted rail line, creating more than 135 acres of new green space when completed.

Multi-use trails, such as this proposed project, are an integral part of local transportation systems. They provide free recreational opportunities for all ages, encourage healthier lifestyles, bolster local economic development, reduce car trips and carbon footprints, provide additional transportation options, and encourage better environmental stewardship.

When completed, the Essex-Hudson Greenway will pass through eight municipalities in Essex and Hudson Counties, including Montclair, Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, Belleville, Newark, Kearny, Secaucus, and Jersey City.

A map of the greenway can be found here.

No. The rail line is not currently open to the public.

The Open Space Institute (OSI) has negotiated a preliminary agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSRC) to sell the line for the purpose of the Essex-Hudson Greenway Project. While it continues to work closely with Norfolk Southern, the Open Space Institute has initiated necessary work around securing project financing and obtaining the necessary engineering assessments to make the project a reality.

OSI and its partners understand community input is integral to the success of this project. There will be many opportunities for discussion throughout the design, planning, and programming stages of the project.

We are in the early stages of this project and the first priority is securing the property. OSI and its partners understand that community input is integral to the success of this project. There will be many opportunities for discussion throughout the design, planning, and programming stages of the project.

The best way to stay informed on developments with the Essex-Hudson Greenway is to check this website regularly. It will be updated as there are significant developments with the project. The News  section of the site will be updated with regular news and announcements. You can also sign up for project updates and check off the “Keep Me Informed” box in the form below.  Additionally, you find more information on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

If you are interested in becoming more involved, let us know by signing up for project updates and check off the volunteer box below.

The most important first step is to permanently protect the line through acquisition. OSI, together with its partner the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition, are currently exploring a number of different public funding sources to pay for the acquisition of the line.  The development and management of the greenway will happen after the acquisition and could be paid for through a combination of public and private funds.

The Open Space Institute, along with the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition and the September 11th National Memorial Trail, is aware of New Jersey Transit’s recently released Request for Proposals (RFP) linked to their Innovation Challenge, to find innovative transportation solutions for the Meadowlands. This RFP seeks to initiate a study of an alternative transportation system that would be integrated with a portion of the Essex-Hudson Greenway with any system designed for the space. This would be expected to be easily converted to operate with zero emissions vehicles that could ultimately be fully autonomous.

Most importantly, the RFP embraces the long-desired Greenway by specifically requiring all submissions to include the recreational/multi-modal trail in their design concepts.

The first priority for OSI and its partners continues to be the acquisition of the former, out-of-use Boonton Line rail property and its subsequent transformation into the Greenway. Beyond this transformation, we realize there may be viable transportation and usage options for part of the Greenway or the adjacent land. We welcome New Jersey Transit’s exploration of such an initiative and look forward to working closely with them. The ultimate goal is to find solutions that serve both the need for enhanced green space and efficient transportation options for communities across the region.

Do you have a question we have not answered? This project is in its early stages and many of the initial elements of this project are still being determined. While we may not have all the answers at this moment, we invite you to submit your questions using the form below.