Welcome to the
The Newark-Pequannock Watershed is a 35,000 acre natural resource owned by the City of Newark.
The Newark Watershed supplies the City of Newark with its water and sells water to the surrounding suburbs.
The Watershed resource, from a land-use perspective, is managed by the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation (NWCDC).
Part of the Watersheds physical make-up are large reservoirs and streams. More specifically, the Watershed has four reservoirs normally open to recreational boating and fishing.
The average size reservoir is 388 acres and the average depth is 42 feet.
The Six Municipalities
The Pequannock Watershed is located in portions of six separate municipalities in Morris, Passaic, and Sussex Counties. Kinnelon Borough, Rockaway and Jefferson Townships in Morris County contain the southern one-third of the site. West Milford Township in Passaic County contains one-half of the property to the northeast, while Vernon and Hardyston Townships in Sussex County contain the northwestern and western portions. The area is at the edge of the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region in the heavily populated Boston-Washington northeast corridor. Newark is approximately thirty miles to the southeast and New York City about forty miles directly east of the site.
The population of the six communities surrounding the Watershed nearly doubled during the past decade to 67,500 persons. Many newer residents of the region commute to Newark, Paterson, and New York. Many others work in the new industrial parks and research and development centers off Interstate 80 to the south. Still others are attracted to the area for weekend and summer vacations because of its rural atmosphere and proximity to the urban centers.
The only State Highway in the Watershed is Route 23 which, after crossing Interstate 80, carries traffic from Newark and New York through the southern third of the site to recreational facilities in the area. Two county roads, Routes 513 and 515, provide the major north-south access to the property. Many township roads are paved within the Watershed, although some areas remain inaccessible. Oak Ridge Road provides good access to Interstate 80 via Berkshire Valley Road and State Highway 15.
Historically, the Watershed and surrounding areas formed a major center for the iron mining and industry during the colonial and revolutionary periods. Evidence of its early contributions to the nation may still be found on the property. The Clinton Furnace, one of the best preserved in the State, is located near Clinton Reservoir. A city-owned house on Green Pond Road, which is stilled occupied, bears a cornerstone dated 1773. The former Charlotteburg Inn, all that remains of a once thriving iron town, is located near the reservoir which bears its name. A bandstand, recently rehabilitated by a private party and located near Route 23 in Newfoundland, marks the site of the once popular Peter Browns Inn which flourished during a previous resort era.
Also of interest is the network of trails throughout the Watershed many of them constructed for the purpose of hauling ore and fuel to the iron furnaces. Now they lead the adventurous to old cemeteries, mines and building foundations of an earlier time. A fire observation tower located on Bearfort Mountain provides a rare vista of the way the State once looked during the early period of settlement.