The LENAPE34 Walk follows the Lenape Trail (Yellow Blaze Markers), a trail that traverses much of Essex County - in a horseshoe pattern. The entire walk is mapped out to be somewhere between 32 and 34 miles. For those that prefer less, there are many challenging sections to walk and still be part of the LENAPE34 event. See the posted schedule to plan your walk.
The existing Lenape Trail has two different sections branching out at Rt. 280 and Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange. One branch heads West/East and another North/South. Our walk begins in Millburn as we head North on the North/South branch, through South Mountain Reservation and eventually connecting to the the main Lenpe Trail at the Rt 280/Pleasant Valley Way intersection.
The Kind of Walk
The first five miles of the walk through the So. Mtn. Reservation is a real hike in the woods. The trail is fairly well marked but meanders through the reservation and involves some minor climbing. Expect the pace of the walk to be slow through most of the South Mountain Reservation, the West Essex Trail, and the Mills Reservation. Eagle Rock Reservation, while a wooded trail, is a bit more open and easier to walk. It's fair to say that the walk is about 50% wooded trail (avg 2 mph pace) and 50% sidewalk/pavement (avg 3 mph). Our pace is generally moderate, athough you can walk on your own at any pace you like.
Degree of Difficulty
Besides the long distance, the elevation and constantly changing environment makes this a difficult walk. While the weather is generally good this time of year, we experienced a freaky rain and hail storm in the early evening, cool weather setting in and the inevitable darkness makes the going tougher. Let's hope for the best and be prepared for the worse. The walk is an informal group effort and will probably go on rain or shine - unless heavy rain or electric storms cancel our plans (check back at this website for final details).
If you are new to long distance walking and are concerned about finishing or making your personal distance goal, we'll have some suggestions for walking sections and hopefully some shuttle assistance to get you back if needed.
Safety is an Issue
Due to the time of the year, we'll have approximately 12 hours of daylight. Our projected time to complete is 13.5 hrs. The last section of the walk is through Branch Brook Park and downtown Newark. We recommend NOT walking in the park in the dark. Its also important that you walk with someone, especially in the later stages of the walk in case of any problem.
Some good alterntiaves are to walk on the streets or take the convenient Newark Light Rail (subway) to finish your walk. If you get to the Branch Brook Park subway stop you will have walked about 28 miles which is the next best goal to completing the entire 34 miles.
Please enjoy the challenge, adventure and cameraderie that these walks offer but play it safe and be prepared.