JERSEY CITY, NJ - Efforts to construct a pathway along a former railroad will get a boost if Norfolk Southern’s application to the federal Surface Transportation Board to cease rail service along the old Boonton Line between Montclair and Croxton Yards in Jersey City is approved.

The rail company announced in early June that it is looking to sell the 8.6-mile right-of-way which could ultimately become part of the connected network of trails called the Greenway.

The pathway is envisioned to accommodate walkers, joggers and bicyclists by offering them an off-road option for recreation and movement, and would connect Hudson County with other neighborhoods throughout the state. Some of the trail would follow the original path of the Morris Canal, a waterway constructed in the 1820s that connected much of northern New Jersey with the Hudson River in Jersey city.

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While there are a few towns with parks and trails to commemorate the historic canal, most of the canal has been filled in, especially in Jersey City. Last year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Jersey City $800,000 to begin the process of finding sites along its former route.

Passing through six counties, from Jersey City to the Delaware River, the proposed  102-mile Greenway will be a unique recreational amenity in the highly developed northeastern New Jersey and become part of a larger network of urban trails that links 25 cities along the Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Florida. 

The overall project is also expected to include the development of three new parks in Jersey City and Hoboken.