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Pompton Aquatic Park (Wayne)

Features

  1. Fishing
  2. Hiking Trails
  3. Scenic Overlook

Pompton Aquatic Park is geographically separated in two Passaic County municipalities. Pompton Aquatic Park in Wayne Township is a historic park along the historic Morris Canal Pompton Feeder adjacent to the Passaic County Farm and Ramapo River, with hiking and biking trails. Pompton Aquatic Park in Pompton Lakes is a wildlife sanctuary perfect for birdwatching and fishing adjacent to the Pompton River, with hiking and river trails.

The Morris Canal operated from 1831 to 1924 as New Jersey’s first industrial water highway, transporting coal from Pennsylvania and iron from the New Jersey Highlands to the major industrial cities of Paterson and Newark. When it was decommissioned by the State of New Jersey in 1924, the former ‘Ramapo River Towpath’ was deeded by the Morris Canal and Banking Company to the Passaic County Parks Commission, thereby establishing the southern part of Pompton Aquatic Park in Wayne Township. 

Five years later, the Passaic County Parks Commission proposed in their 1929 Annual Report that the County purchase the Canal property to form a trail that would connect the system of County Parks.  In 2010, the Passaic County Department of Planning & Economic Development began to revive that unfulfilled vision, outlining a plan for a passive recreational trail along the former Morris Canal right-of-way in the Morris Canal Greenway Feasibility Study. Pompton Aquatic Park in Wayne is now marked as the Morris Canal Greenway, and contains remnants of the only canal lock in Passaic County – the Pompton Feeder Dam guard lock.

Adjacent to Pompton Aquatic Park is the 15-acre Passaic County Farm.  Passaic County acquired this working farm in 2007 from the Estate of Paul & Clara Kuehm as part of the County’s Farmland Preservation Program, a designated allocation of the Open Space Trust Fund. This was the first farm preserved in Passaic County, and is maintained for active agricultural use and annually leased.