In the midst of New Jersey's Union County's busy highways lies a grassy, spacious retreat known as Echo Lake Park. The sprawling park offers an escape from the bustling surrounding towns and truly provides something for everyone, even the family pet.
At the heart of the park is the scenic Echo Lake, home to activities such as boating, fishing, and ice skating, as well as several peaceful walking paths. Surrounding the lake are green hills, ball fields, playgrounds, a dog park, and a snack bar. Echo Lake hosts a variety of seasonal activities, from sledding to Halloween fun to summer concerts. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or a day of activity, you can get the best of both worlds here.
Take in the natural beauty of Echo Lake and its lush surroundings from the lakeside walking path. The paved path is simple, flat, and easy enough for the younger set to enjoy a stroll. And if you need to rest along the way, there are plenty of benches and a photo-worthy gazebo by the lake.
Don't miss the playground's cool climbing wall. Photo by the author
Echo Lake’s shady playground features a climbing wall, twisty slides, monkey bars, and bridges. While the equipment is designated for the 5-12 age range, there are both baby and regular swings in the area. Over by the ball field, there is a separate mini playground with a swing set, too.
Plan a puppy play date at Echo Lake’s dog park, with fenced-in areas for both larger and smaller dogs. The spot is accessible for people with disabilities, offering designated parking and sloped paths.
Wander around the green grassy fields. Photo by the author
More Fantastic Features
Echo Lake Park houses both a softball and soccer field, plus three picnic areas with plentiful benches. Well-maintained restrooms are located in buildings, and ample parking is provided along Echo Park Drive.
In 2003, a September 11th Memorial was added to the park, which features two girders from the World Trade Center and a list of local residents who lost their lives.
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Take in the view while you pedal around the lake. Photo courtesy of the park
Set sail on the scenic Echo Lake in a pedal boat, available for rental at the Echo Lake Boathouse from April through October, seven days a week. The boats, which cost $10 an hour to rent, accommodate up to four guests and include life vests. If all that pedaling works up an appetite, stop in for ice cream, hotdogs, and other treats at the nearby snack stand.
Grab a blanket and picnic basket and relax to live music every Wednesday evening in July at the park, as part of the Union County Summer Arts Festival.
Great Pumpkin Sail
Give your jack-o-lanterns a celebratory sendoff at Echo Lake’s annual Great Pumpkin Sail. The day after Halloween, dozens of illuminated, carved pumpkins light up the lake, while participants enjoy campfire songs and hot chocolate.
The under-16 crew can take part in competitive fishing every spring in this three-week series sponsored by the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club. Echo Lake is stocked with trout for the event, and prizes are given for first trout caught, largest trout, and other categories.
Sledding and Skating
The grassy hills throughout Echo Lake become a sledding destination in the winter months. The Summer Arts Hill near Springfield Avenue offers the best slopes for winter fun. Cold weather visitors can also enjoy ice skating on Echo Lake.
Bustling downtown Westfield is just down the road from Echo Lake Park and home to a diversity of both chain and mom-and-pop stores and restaurants.