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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Unincorporated Wayne Lake Community Appeals To Residents, Outsiders

Cara and her mom, Helen, go for a walk with newborn Declan, and Ava, 2. Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
Friends Stefany Pucci and Alexa Martinez go for a stroll around Packanack Lake Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero

WAYNE, N.J.– Residents from inside and out of Wayne's unincorporated community, Packanack Lake, come to get exercise or take in the scenery.

For some, it's a family tradition.

For others, it's as close as they can get to the private community, which boasts Tom Cruise, comedian Uncle Floyd, and former N.Y. Ranger Ron Duguay as former or current residents.

Packanack Lake features two beaches, a golf course, tennis courts, and about 1,500 homes. There's also over a dozen clubs/organizations, including scouting troops and a fire department.

"I think its fantastic for kids. There's so many things for them – in the summer especially," said Packanack resident, who only gave her name as Helen. "They started a kickball league. There's men's softball [too]."

Helen and her husband are members of the community's tennis club.

She and her daughter Cara, 37, were pushing the latter's children – three-month-old Declan, and two-year-old Ava – around in strollers when Daily Voice approached them.

"It's safe, it's pretty, and it still has a charm," said Cara.

But because of its exclusivity, the Community Association doesn't like to publicize its events, its Manager Marilyn Ludwig said.

News of a fishing derby got out and non-members had to be asked to leave, she added.

Stefany Pucci and Alexa Martinez meet to take walks while on break from their college classes.

"I love the view," said Pucci, 20, a babysitter and Montclair University student.

"It's such a beautiful area," said the 22-year-old Martinez, who attends New York City's Fashion Institute of Technology.

She grew up across from the lake and "felt excluded" due to the community's mainly member-only activities.

Martinez participated in theater productions at Packanack Church, which were open to the public. She and her family also attend the annual "Packanack Day" festivities.

But mainly, she's there exercising when she's not in class.

"I start at the beach and run a lap," she said. "Then to the church and back, which is three miles."

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