Apshawa Waterfall

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Apshawa Preserve Waterfall

Hike to a waterfall along Apshawa Brook, a dam, and water tank ruins.

3.2 miles. Roots and rocks; seasonal rock hop over small stream.

Our two cents:

This is a shorter, direct route to Apshawa Waterfall that includes two other interesting features of this park – a dam and ruins of very large water tanks from the 1900s.

Note: In drought conditions the falls may be low or almost totally dry. This route doesn’t go to Butler Reservoir. The video is of the longer variation of this hike.

Bonus: This is a no-hunting park.

Updated: 7/2020 – Adjusted directions.

Trail Map:

Park map linked above and it also appears on Jersey Highlands Trails. The park’s map lists distances of each segment in order to put other loops together.

Books:

This area isn’t covered in any of the hiking books we own. 

Parking: N41 01.516 W74 22.430

4 Northwood Drive West Milford, NJ 07480. Route 287 to Exit 53 for Hamburg Turnpike. Bear R on Macopin Road. L on Northwood Dr. Large dirt lot.

Restrooms:

None. There are gas stations on Hamburg Turnpike, or along Rt 23 if approaching via Exit 52B off of Rt 287.

Hike Directions:

Overview – BLUE  – ORANGE – GREEN – ORANGE – BLUE

0.0 – Walk through the gate in the deer fence and start following BLUE. It’s the only trail from the lot.

0.5 – Continue on BLUE. [WHITE starts to the right, but you might not spot the blazes].

0.9 – Turn LEFT to now follow ORANGE.  [BLUE continues ahead].

Orange trail

1.1 – Turn LEFT to now follow GREEN. [GREEN also goes right].

1.4 – Continue on GREEN as it approaches the top of a dam and then heads down next to it.

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1.5 – Arrive at a stone building and several very large water tanks that are remnants of a water purification system built in the early 1900’s.

Building ruin
Water tank

One of the water tanks. Another is open:

Open water tank

Looking inside the water tank:

Looking inside a water tank

After the water tank ruins, GREEN turns LEFT to cross Apshawa Brook. Seasonally this can be potentially tricky rock hop.

1.6 – Apshawa Waterfall appears on the left, where there are several pretty cascades along Asphawa Brook.

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Retrace the route back to the parking lot.