Overview: The Bergen Arches are an urban forest growing in the heart of Jersey City. Located right next to a highway (Rt 139), all you hear are singing birds.
Abandoned in 1957, nature is reclaiming the Bergen Arches/Erie Cut, a mile-long railroad trench through Jersey City created by the Erie Railroad to run passenger trains from the Palisades to the waterfront.
Note: Accessing the Bergen Arches may require walking over/around fencing and signage intended to keep people out. This is not an official park or trail. It is not yet intended to be open to the public, although some great organizations are trying to do just that. Sadly, people throw garbage over the edge and into the trench. It is also frequented by people experiencing homelessness, so don’t necessarily expect to be alone. Access at your own risk.
Length: About a mile.
Elevation Gain: It’s flat. Probably close to 0.
Parking: (If you need to park) On the street near William L. Dickinson High School, 2 Palisade Avenue, Jersey City, NJ. Pay close attention to street regulations.
Getting there: This is the only hard part. This is not an official park or trail, so it’s not obvious how to access it. There are several ways to access the Bergen Arches. This page explains how to get there from the William L. Dickinson High School parking lot.
You’ll see a locked gate with a sign – “DANGER CONSTRUCTION AREA AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY.” To the left is a fence which has been trampled over. You’ll need to walk over the fence and onto the paved service road.
Kids: I took mine. Use your judgement.