Garret Mountain Reservation
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|Garret Mountain Reservation|
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
|Location||Woodland Park, New Jersey|
|Area||568 acres (2.3 km2)|
|Governing body||Passaic County, New Jersey|
Garret Mountain Reservation is a 568-acre (230 ha) park located primarily in Woodland Park in southern Passaic County, New Jersey, United States and one of several National Natural Landmarks in New Jersey.
The reservation covers the northernmost part of the First Watchung Mountain and reaches over 500 feet (150 m) above sea level. Most of it is located within the Borough of Woodland Park (formerly West Paterson), although it also extends into the cities of Paterson and Clifton. Garret Mountain is easily accessible from both I-80 and the Garden State Parkway (via Route 19) as well as the local roads.
Garret Mountain is Passaic County's major recreational area, providing the visitors with grass fields, several miles of walking/running trails, basketball courts, picnic areas, Barbour's Pond is state stocked with fish for anglers, as well as an Equestrian Center with horseback riding lessons.
Since the park is an oasis of woodland surrounded by urbanity, Garret Mountain is a stopover point for migrating song birds, including 35 species of warblers, numerous vireos, orioles, sparrows and thrushes. Birdwatchers from the tri-state areas flock to this hotspot for great views of over 150 species per year along the easily accessible trails.
Lambert Castle, located on the eastern slope of the First Watchung Mountain, just off Route 19, is a 19th-century castle which has been recently renovated and now hosts the Passaic County Museum (open to the public). The Morris Canal once passed 0.2 miles (300 m) east of the castle. Up until 1962, the right-of-way now occupied by I-80 and Route 19 around Garrett Mountain was part of the Boonton Line of the Lackawanna Railroad.
The Passaic County Parks Department operates the park while the Passaic County Sheriff is responsible for law enforcement in the reservation. For the past several decades, the reservation has been the site of hundreds of high school and college cross country meets in the fall, including the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) High School State Sectional Championships at the end of every October.