Branch Brook Park is not really a place to hike. In fact, unless yoy live nearby, it is not worth your time. That is, except of the middle of April, when all of its 2100 cherry trees are in full bloom...
Getting there is a little counterintuitive, and may get a little confusing, so I'll try to be as detailed as possible. Take Exit 13 off I-280, onto First Avenue. Turn north (left, f you come from the west) onto First Avenue. On the second light (Park Avenue), turn right. Turn right into the next street. This may seem a little strange at that time, as the road clearly leads into the park, but in the opposite direction you want to go. You will arrive at a fork almost instantly; turn left here. Continue on that road, which soon becomes a one-way street, assing the first parking lot and building to your right. After the loop is complete, go on north on what is now a two-way street. Immediatelly after you pass a tran station on your left (The Branch Brook Park Station) and go under a bridge, turn right onto the parking lot.
I can't call this a hike. The terrain is largely flat, and the walk will take place on pawed sidewalks, next to roads. You want to go behind the information center and cross the sports fields, to a water canal. This is the best place to enjoy the cherry trees; simply walk around, and enjoy the sight. If you want some solitude, which adds to the atmosphere, consider arriving at sunrise, which is around 6.30 in the middle of April.
Click on the thumbnails for a better view:
Park site - maintained by the city of Newark
© Jozef Purdes, 2003