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401 Grand St. Paterson, NJ 07505 | (973) 881-4000
"Rich History, Bright Future"

Peckman Preserve

Peckman PreserveThe Peckman Preserve is a 12-acre passive preserve located off Wilmore Road in Little Falls, adjacent to the filled bed of the Morris Canal, and acquired in 2001. The County conducted a study to recapture fallow land for a nature preserve. Open space areas were transitioned to meadows that minimize disturbance to wetlands and wildlife which inhabit the land. Low impact paths were established to interact with the distinct ecotones and river estuary. New access points can be created, as well as a potential footbridge over where the river bends. The main river access can be located at the river bend along a new river walk and a smaller access at the south end of the preserve. Low maintenance perennial gardens will greet visitors at the entrance and river access pathways.

Peckman River Crossing

The Peckman River Crossing is an essential part of the Morris Canal Greenway.  The goal of the Greenway is to develop multimodal transportation routes, improve pedestrian accessibility to downtown centers, protect environmentally sensitive lands, and promote cultural and heritage tourism within Passaic County.

Peckman Preserve Map
The Peckman Preserve Bridge site was one of eleven challenge sites identified along the 25-mile Morris Canal Greenway route. The site selection process identified key sites or sections of the Greenway that could substantially affect the overall feasibility of creating a contiguous Greenway. The following criteria were used:

  • Sites of existing open space along the canal and parcels highly deserving of preservation should be restored to open space due to environmental sensitivity or location
  • Sites that enable connectivity whereby residents will be able to traverse the entire length of the trail on foot or bicycle safely
This site is located in the southern section of the Peckman Preserve between Wilmore Road and Cedar Grove Road. It is recognized by the state as a historic place known as the “Morris Canal prism over Peckamin”. This is an important connection between the two completed sections of the Morris Canal Bikeway in Little Falls and provides multimodal access to the County-owned Peckman Preserve.

The project will consist of a new 600-foot bikeway extension including a bike/pedestrian bridge that will span the Packman River. This extension will increase the bikeway and provide a significant visual amenity as well as connect the two existing bikeway paths that are currently separated by the river.

The project will dramatically improve user safety by removing the need to walk along three different roads, none of which have sidewalks or adequate shoulders, to continue on the Greenway. At the Cedar Grove Road intersection, there will be a pedestrian crossing installed as part of this project. This will include signage, a high visibility crosswalk, curb ramps, detectable warning devices, lighting, and pavement markings to warn vehicular traffic of pedestrian and cyclists crossing.

peckman river corssingThe improvements will provide residents and visitors with easier and safer access to downtown shopping, recreational fields, and cultural and historical sites along the Greenway. This project will provide access from largely residential areas east of the Peckman River, which are currently unable to access the preserve to the west. Additionally, the ability to walk to the Peckman Aqueduct increases the public’s awareness of its historical significance and its connection to the Morris Canal.

This is an integral part of creating a uniform and continuous bikeway in the Township of Little Falls. It also is critical in assuring the feasibility of the 25-mile contiguous Morris Canal Greenway in Passaic County, which is a major component of a regional effort to connect the entire 102 miles of the Morris Canal Greenway.