Sometimes just finding a forest where you would not expect one is it’s own reward. Such is the case with Diamond Brook Park in Glen Rock, NJ.
Diamond Brook Park consists of an estimated 15 acres of remnant deciduous wooded wetlands. The park has Diamond Brook to its west, NJ Transit tracks to its east, Route 208 to its south and dense residential development to its north.
The park features three trails which are maintained by Eagle Scouts. The red trail is .4 of a mile, the yellow is .13 of a mile and the blue trail is .21 of a mile. The yellow trail experiences seasonal flooding depending on the time of year you visit. The blue trail leads to an old railroad freight train turntable (used to rotate freight cars) which was once the largest turntable east of the Mississippi River. The freight turntable was used by the Erie Railroad Company until a fire occurred in 1912. The land was not used again for 40 years except for displaced residents who inhabited the forest during the Great Depression. The land was sold to the town of Glen Rock in 1954 and was formally dedicated in 1959.
One of the neat things I found in this suburban forest was Ground Pine-something I had not previously seen outside the deep forest.
Dense beds of Skunk Cabbage appear near Diamond Brook every spring. Black Bears, which love skunk cabbage, would have a feast. Speaking of bears, fauna that has been spotted in Diamond Brook Park include:
Diamond Brook, a tribuary of the Passaic River, flows on the western border of the park. The brook is spring fed with its headwaters located north of Glen Rock in Ridgewood. The brook follows a winding two mile course before its confluence with the Passaic River. Diamond Brook was once called Bass Brook due to the good fishing that was once found there. In the 1870’s, the Marinus Lumber Mill built a water wheel on the brook. When the mill was later torned down, the water wheel was buried beneath a street and is still there today.
Diamond Brook Park is located at the end of Doremus Avenue and West Main Street in Glen Rock. The park is part of Glen Rock’s Greenway.
Feel free to comment below with any bird sightings, interesting plants, memories or suggestions! Thank you and have fun exploring!