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Walk the Walkway

October 16, 2016

North Side of Morris Canal to Exchange Place Jersey City

On a cool clear day, 14 Walkers, including 3 HRWC Board members and walkers from as far away as Trenton met at the Liberty State Park Light Rail station in Jersey City at 8:30 AM, 30 minutes earlier than previous walks.  After a brief discussion about the HRWC and the planned route, the group headed off at 9:00 AM. This walk is different from many previous walks as part of the planned route does not have a completed Walkway. The walkers were able to get a good look at the previous industrial property that will eventually become an important section of the Walkway.

As the group crossed the foot bridge from Liberty State Park into Jersey City, the group stopped to talk about the history of the Morris Canal in New Jersey and speculated about the canal’s importance to economic activity at the time it was built. It was also noted that the new steel foot bridge was rebuilt after Sandy destroyed the old wooden bridge.  Sometimes there are benefits from a tragedy like Sandy.

The Walkers continued into a large open property that is part of the massive Liberty Harbor North development which is currently under construction. When completed, this area will include several thousand residential units, as well as commercial and recreational facilities. Most important, a current blacktop path along the Morris Canal, a remainder from prior industry, will be replaced with a full 16 foot paved Walkway.  The views of Liberty State Park from here, as well as along the entire walk, are special as they overlook Liberty State Park, Liberty Landing Marina with multi-million dollar yachts and the lower New York harbor.  It is not hard to envision the views from the high-end residential units that will be built here.

Most of this undeveloped area is currently used as a Park and Ride lot for the NY Waterway Ferry which has a dock here.  There also is a working RV park. What a great place to park an RV for a visit to the New York area.

We next passed Surf City, a bar and burger joint right on the Morris Canal with a sand “beach”. It was closed for the winter.  Next the walk proceeded along a large working marina that is part of Liberty Harbor North. It was good to see that about 400 feet of new Walkway is under construction alongside the marina. The Walkway will eventually be constructed in a manner that goes around the entire marina to connect with other sections of completed Walkway to the east.

The walkers were surprised when one of the walkers noticed striped bass and other fish in the water. It looks like the water gets better for sea life each year.

Passing through a parking lot, the group stopped to examine a historical placard with a map of Morris Canal and a historical description. The group joined the completed Walkway in front of several high rise apartments or condominiums.  The views of lower New York harbor were, again, spectacular and many people were sitting, walking, and biking on the Walkway.

One small section of the Walkway was partially blocked by overgrown vegetation next to a city playground.  The Conservancy will remind the city to trim the growth and keep the Walkway clear. This section of Walkway ends at the Hudson County Korean War Memorial.  The walkers stopped for a moment of reflection.

Next the walkers arrived at the Sugar House, an old sugar warehouse that has been converted to high-end condominiums.  The Walkway here is constructed of wood and was being completely rebuilt.  All properties that border the Walkway are responsible for repair and maintenance of the adjoining section of the Walkway.  Our thanks to two of today’s walkers who live at the Sugar House and the Sugar House Condominium Association for keeping the Walkway well maintained.

Beyond the Sugar House is a newly constructed section of the Walkway that leads to Veterans Park. Most of this land was originally the Colgate factories where they produced tooth paste and toiletries. The Walkway in Veteran’s Park was partially completed a year ago but a section remains unbuilt.  It seems there is a jurisdictional dispute within the State between the DEP and the Veterans Department that is preventing construction.

The final section of the walk was along the newly completed part of Veterans Park overlooking Ground Zero, Battery Park City and New York Harbor.  The renovated Colgate Clock is here. It is still maintained by Colgate but it is now controlled electronically from Colgate offices in Chicago.

The walk ended at the Goldman Sachs Building.

This walk was the last of the 2016 series of Walk the Walkway walks held by the Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy.  Our thanks to all those who joined us on 7 walks throughout the spring and summer and we look forward to seeing everyone in the spring for the 2017 Walk the Walkway series.

Have a good fall and winter.

Photo Album (Don't miss the photo descriptions.)


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