Goffle Brook Park

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Goffle Brook Park
GoffleBrookPark ArnoldsPond.jpg
Arnold’s Pond in Goffle Brook Park, Hawthorne
Type County park
Location Hawthorne, New Jersey, USA
Coordinates 40°56′51″N 74°09′45″W / 40.94750°N 74.16250°W / 40.94750; -74.16250 (Goffle Brook Park)Coordinates: 40°56′51″N 74°09′45″W / 40.94750°N 74.16250°W / 40.94750; -74.16250 (Goffle Brook Park)
Area 103 acres (42 ha)
Created 1932
Operated by Passaic County Parks & Recreation
Open All year
Goffle Brook Park is located in Passaic County, New Jersey
Goffle Brook Park
Goffle Brook Park is located in New Jersey
Goffle Brook Park
Goffle Brook Park is located in the US
Goffle Brook Park
Coordinates 40°56′51″N 74°09′45″W / 40.94750°N 74.16250°W / 40.94750; -74.16250
Built 1932
Architect Olmsted Brothers
NRHP reference # 02001276
NJRHP # 4072
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 1, 2002[1]
Designated NJRHP August 29, 2002

Goffle Brook Park is a public, county park spanning much of the length of Goffle Brook through the borough of Hawthorne in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. Since its designation and construction between 1930 and 1932,[2] the park has served to protect the waters of Goffle Brook while at the same time providing recreational opportunities to the residents of Passaic County and nearby Bergen County. Goffle Brook Park has been included in the National Register of Historic Places since 2002.[1]


The greenway park was designed during the early stages of the creation of the Passaic County Park System by the firm of Olmsted Associates, heirs to the practice of Frederick Law Olmsted,[3] which at the time was operated by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.[2] As originally planned, the 103-acre (0.42 km2) park consisted of wide, manicured meadows, woodlands, and a former mill pond surrounded by walking paths. Since the 1930s, playgrounds, athletic fields, and a dog run have been added.[3] Additionally, the borough of Hawthorne now maintains a series of small trails in the 8-Acre Woods at the southern end of the park.[4] Hawthorne High School maintains a substantial recreational complex adjacent to Goffle Brook Park that includes a football stadium, running track, baseball fields, hockey rink, and tennis courts.

Mary Delaney Krugman Associates, Inc., a group of historic preservation consultants, was responsible for the nomination of Goffle Brook Park to both the New Jersey and National Historic Places Registry. The consultants acted on behalf of the "Please Save Our Parkland Committee" based in the borough of Hawthorne.[5]

2013 beautification project[edit]

In 2012, Passaic County awarded funds to begin a multi-year project to beautify Goffle Brook Park, stabilize Goffle Brook, and reconstruct road bridges over the brook at Warburton Avenue and Rea Avenue[6] As of 2014, stream bank stabilization had been completed throughout the park, the Warburton Ave bridge had been rebuilt, and hundreds of invasive, sickly, and hazardous plants and trees (primarily Norway Maple and Sumac[7]) had been removed. Plants native to North America were used to reinforce the banks of Goffle Brook,[6] in combination with boulder walls and rock armored bank toes. Additionally, new walking and jogging paths were created, along with benches and refuse bins.[6]

To offset the loss of trees during the initial stages of the project, over four hundred new trees were planted.[7] Five hundred new shrubs and plants were also installed,[7] including the vegetation used to restore the banks of the brook. Plantings along the stream banks include various willow species, such as Salix discolor (American Willow) and Salix amygdaloides (Peachleaf Willow).

Colonial past[edit]

Prior to the American Revolution, two Lenape camps existed within the boundaries of what would eventually become the park. The more significant of the two camps sat at the confluence of Goffle Brook and Deep Voll Brook.[8]

The area of Goffle Brook Park played a significant part in the American Revolutionary War. For a time, General Lafayette’s troops were stationed along Goffle Brook. In particular, Major Lee’s Virginia light horse troop occupied the east bank of the brook in 1780, while Lafayette’s light infantry occupied the west bank on the flank of First Watchung Mountain. Lafayette’s headquarters were at the Ryerson House, the former location of which is marked atop a small hill in the southern section of the park.[9][10]


Meadow in the southern section of Goffle Brook Park.

Sitting on the eastern foot of Goffle Hill (First Watchung Mountain), the verdant Goffle Brook Park follows Goffle Brook for a little over a mile and a half between CR 665 Lafayette Ave and MacFarlan Ave/Maitland Ave in Hawthorne. While no wider than a third of a mile, the park offers sweeping views from its hilly southern meadows. In the winter, these hilly sections of the park are popular sleigh riding attractions. The southern section of the park also features an enclosed dog run, various ball fields, two playgrounds, a picnic area, and wooded walking trails.[3][4]

The northern part of the park features Arnold’s Pond, a former grist mill pond now used primarily for fishing.[11] Another main feature of north end is the single, trodden footpath paralleling Goffle Brook north of CR 654 Diamond Bridge Ave. The path is paved around Arnold’s Pond, but it is otherwise unimproved except for a concrete staircase extending down into the valley of Goffle Brook from the corner of CR 659 Goffle Road and Warburton Avenue The northern part of the park also features a playground and a ball field near the corner of CR 659 Goffle Road and CR 664 Rea Ave.

Magee Road Bridge[edit]

The historic Magee Road Bridge in Goffle Brook Park.

In 2007, the southern end of Goffle Brook Park saw the emplacement of the historic Magee Road Bridge over Goffle Brook.[12] Built in 1930, the bridge originally spanned West Brook in Ringwood, New Jersey. Its steel frame and wood deck construction is an example of a hybrid truss design, specifically a pony truss. When the bridge was located in Ringwood it was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b NRHP Listings: Nov. 11, 2002
  2. ^ a b Paul D. Ledvina. Olmsted Associates: A Register of Its Records in the Library of Congress. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 2000. Available via Library of Congress
  3. ^ a b c Passaic County – Goffle Brook Park
  4. ^ a b Borough of Hawthorne – Environmental Commission
  5. ^ MDKA – Past Projects
  6. ^ a b c Kristi Cattafi (September 6, 2012). "Funds awarded for Goffle Brook Park in Hawthorne". The Gazette (Hawthorne Edition). Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "Goffle Brook Pond Restoration Process". The Clarion. March 10, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  8. ^ Henry B. Kummel. Geological Survey of New Jersey – Bulletin 6: Annual Administrative Report of the State Geologist for the year 1911. MacCrellish and Quigley, Printers, Trenton, NJ, 1912. See Page 77, Archaeological Survey, Sites in Northern New Jersey. Available via Google Books
  9. ^ John Austin Stevens, et al. The Magazine of American history with Notes and Queries. A. S. Barnes., 1879. See Page 490. Available via Google Books
  10. ^ François Jean Chastellux & Howard C Rice. Travels in North America in the Years 1780, 1781 and 1782. (Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture at Williamsburg, Va.) University of North Carolina Press, 1963.
  11. ^ Smith, Don Everett Jr. Images of America: Hawthorne. Arcadia Publishing, 2006. See Page 16. Limited preview available via Google Books
  12. ^ Note from Passaic County Public Information Officer – Magee Road Bridge Opening
  13. ^ Historic Bridges of the United States – Magee Road Bridge

External links[edit]