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.


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.


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

Hike Directions:


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.


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.


Retrace the route back to the parking lot.