Until recently, the thriving marshes and plentiful recreational opportunities along the Hackensack River were a well-kept secret. Whether it is a guided tour of wetlands by boat, a guided nature walk through different habitats, or the array the wildflowers and butterflies in one of our parks, the 30.4-square-mile Meadowlands District offers a wide range of options.
Helping visitors discover the hidden natural wonders of the region is the Meadowlands Nature Blog (meadowblog.net), with daily posts that celebrate the region’s natural wonders, promote upcoming nature events, and report recent rare-bird sightings. The blog also promotes nature photography in the region, with beautiful color images by an array of gifted photographers.
NJMC pontoon boats are a leisurely way to experience the Hackensack River. Warmer weather and longer days make the late spring, summer and early fall a perfect time to take a narrated two-hour cruise with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. Learn about local birds, salt marshes, the Lenape Indians, pirates and the checkered history of the river.
Launching from the River Barge Park in Carlstadt, these two-hour tours are conducted by trained captains and hosted by NJMC staff, each with a unique story to tell about the Meadowlands.
The suggested minimum donation is $15 per person. Pre-registration is required. The pontoon boats feature comfortable seating for 12. We welcome adults and children ages 10 and up. Special cruises are available for educational, civic, and other groups.
For more information or to register for an NJMC pontoon boat cruise, call (201) 460-4677.
Directions to River Barge Park
Hackensack River Guide
River Barge Park Brochure
For a more adventurous, closer look into the tidal creeks and marshes, join us for a canoe excursion. Experience our unique ecosystem from the vantage point of the open water.
The tours launch from the Mill Creek Point Park in Secaucus and Hudson County Park at Laurel Hill in Secaucus. They explore Mill Creek Marsh, the Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area, and more. Canoeing can be enjoyed by people of all ages. We supply all equipment and give you helpful tips before setting out on the water.
Canoes are provided at a cost of $15 per person. Pre-registration is required. Groups are welcome. For more information or to book a tour, please call (201) 460-4677.
At least twice a month, at 10 a.m. on the first Sunday and third Tuesday, the NJMC and the Bergen County Audubon Society offer free guided nature walks that showcase the region’s wonderful parks and natural areas. (See Meadowblog.net for upcoming walks and other events.)
If you’d like to take a nature walk on your own, consider a visit to DeKorte Park or Mill Creek Marsh. Free color trail maps, bird, and butterfly guides can be downloaded below or are available near the entrance to the park.