Cherry Blossom Festival, Branch Brook Park

Here's a little-known fact: New Jersey has more cherry trees than Washington, D.C. Every spring, residents and visitors alike can see the largest cherry blossom collection in the United States.

Branch Brook Park, which runs through Belleville and Newark, has more than 5,200 Japanese cherry blossom trees that burst into full bloom during the annual Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival, being held April 2 – 10, 2022. Go to view the beautiful flowers, or if you’re feeling more active, sign up for the Cherry Blossom 10K Run or the Cherry Blossom Challenge Bike Race (advance registration required). 

Each year, thousands of visitors are awed by the exquisite colors of pink and white. The park first adopted a pink and white hue in 1927, when Caroline Bamberger Fuld donated 2,000 cherry blossom trees to the Essex County Parks system in memory of her late husband.

Branch Brook Park also holds the distinction of being the first county park in the United States opened to the public. It was designed by the famed Olmsted Brothers landscape architectural firm, established by the sons and successors of Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park in New York City.