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Part of the extended area of New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary, draining part of the suburban and urbanized area of New Jersey west of Staten Island, New York, the river is approximately 24 mi (48 km) long. The upper reaches are lined with several urban parks while the mouth serves as an industrial access channel.
The river is also the source of the name for the Rahway Valley Railroad which has a bridge over it on the Springfield/Union border.
The Rahway River rises in Essex County as two separate branches.
- The West Branch begins at spring-fed Crystal Lake in West Orange and flows south through the South Mountain Reservation in the valley between first and second ridges of the Watchung Mountains. It runs directly through downtown Millburn.
- The East Branch rises as a surface stream in West Orange and forms part of the boundary between West Orange and Orange, then travels through the towns of South Orange and Maplewood.
The two branches meet at Hobart Gap near Interstate 78, continuing south through the Union County communities of Springfield, Union, Cranford and Clark. In Rahway the river receives the Robinson's Branch and South Branch, which are approximately 10 mi (16 km) long. The South Branch starts in Roosevelt Park in Edison behind the Menlo Park Mall, and flows through Edison, Iselin, and Rahway. The river's mouth is at Arthur Kill between Carteret (on the south) and Linden (on the north) and opposite Port Mobil on Staten Island.
- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Watershed Management Area 7, accessed December 1, 2006
- United Water Rahway data on City of Rahway Municipal Water Utility, accessed October 11, 2006
- NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife 2006 Spring Trout Allocations and In-Season Stocking Days, accessed October 11, 2006
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rahway River.|
- Rahway River Association
- Rahway River Greenway Project
- U.S. Geological Survey: NJ stream gaging stations
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Rahway River Flood Protection and Ecosystem Restoration Study
- Photo and brief narrated history of river carnivals along the Rahway in Cranford
- – Mouth of the Rahway River