Tenafly Nature Center and Lost Brook Preserve

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Small park with multiple easy trails, a nature center, and a storybook loop.

5.2 miles, surface is dirt/roots with rocks. Minor stream crossings. Not much elevation change. No dogs.

  • Shorter: Extensive trail system for multiple shorter routes – a good option in the description below is to skip Haring and Seely, cutting out the south portion of the park, and take Allision straight to loop back via Little Chism. Roughly 3.4 miles.
  • Longer: Use RED/YELLOW off of Little Chism to get to the Long Path in Palisades Interstate Park (we’ve not done this.)

Our two cents:

Trail system is good for short/beginner hikes. A seasonal StoryWalk® has pages from a children’s book at intervals along a trail. The route below has multiple bailout points to shorten.

Avid hikers can consider adding a section of the Long Path but this requires busy road crossings. Also a nature center and rescued raptors (barred owls and a hawk). 

Significant road noise in the further reaches of the park and a brief walk in view of a highway on the southernmost portion of Little Chism.

Updated: 4/2020: Page refreshed, not re-hiked. 

Map:

Print ahead or pick up in the nature center. The Hudson Palisades Trails map set shows the trails that link to this park for longer hikes.

Books:

A shorter route is in Hike of the Week.

Parking: 40.924306, -73.944389

Turnpike North, towards Geo. Wash Bridge, to exit 71.

Broad Ave to Grand Ave; L on Huguenot Ave, R on Grand Ave, continues straight into Engle St; R on Hudson which ends at the park. More directions on park site.

Restrooms:

Nice composting toilet in the parking lot that was open before the center was. Bathroom around the back of the nature center.

Trailhead

Hike Directions:

Overview: RED – PURPLE – YELLOW (Allison) – ORANGE (Haring Rock) – YELLOW/ORANGE (Seely) – RED (Little Chism) – WHITE/RED (Bischoff) – WHITE (DeFilippi) – YELLOW

0.0 – From the parking lot, walk down the main path, passing the YELLOW trail on the left, and turn RIGHT to start following RED.

Red Trail

There may be storybook pages attached to trees along the way.

RED Storybook trail

0.3 – Start following PURPLE. [RED goes to the left.]

PURPLE trail

0.7 – Continue straight on PURPLE [BLUE is on the right].

Rocks along the trail

In a bit, turn RIGHT to now follow YELLOW (Allison). [Yellow also goes left. Purple ends.]

1.0 – Turn RIGHT to now follow ORANGE (Haring Rock).

/// Shorter option: Continue on YELLOW (Allison) to meet up with RED (Little Chism) to cut out the Haring and Seely portion and shorten the hike by roughly 1.8 miles ///

1.5 – Pass Haring Rock, a large glacial erratic.

Haring Rock - glacial erratic on ORANGE

Turn LEFT and now follow YELLOW/ORANGE (Seely) as it parallels Rt 72.

YELLOW/ORANGE Seely trail
Seely passes close to a road
Seely trail

1.8 – Now follow RED (Little Chism). [YELLOW/ORANGE (Seely) ends. YELLOW (Allison) is on the left].

RED Little Chism

/// Shorter option: Instead, turn LEFT and start to follow YELLOW (Allison) – this ends up on RED (Little Chism) but is slighter shorter and doesn’t come into view of the road. ///

2.1 – RED (Little Chism) comes out of the woods and briefly follows along a very wide grassy shoulder in view of Rt 9W before popping back into the woods.

Stream on Little Chism

2.7 – Cross a stream near a small old dam (Dam/Iodine Lake on the map).

Stone dam on Little Chism
Crossing near a dam on Little Chism

2.8 – Continue on RED (Little Chism) as it turns to the right and is briefly co-joined with YELLOW (Allison).

2.9 – Continue on RED (Little Chism) as YELLOW (Allison) veers away.

3.3 – Continue on RED (Little Chism) passing RED-YELLOW on the right, which leads to the Long Path.

RED-YELLOW spur leads to the Long Path across the highway

3.8 – Cross the Main park road and now follow WHITE/RED (Bischoff).

/// Shorter option: Turn LEFT and take the Main park road back. ///

WHITE/RED Bischoff
Rock field along Bischoff
Old stone fence on Bischoff

4.4 – Turn RIGHT and now follow WHITE (DeFilippi) [WHITE (DeFilippi) also continues straight].

The trail approaches Pfister’s Pond and then runs along it on a boardwalk to the DeFilippi Shelter.

Boardwalk along Pfister's Pond on DeFilippi

4.6 – Turn RIGHT just after the shelter and cross the end of the pond.

4.7 – Just after the pond, turn RIGHT to now follow YELLOW along the other side of the pond.

Pfister's Pond

/// Shorter option: Skip YELLOW and continue straight back to the lot. ///

YELLOW goes to a viewing platform at the other end of the pond, then curves back towards the nature center and parking lot.

Viewing platform on YELLOW at Pfister's Pond

Near the nature center… a rescued barred owl and hawk:

Rescued barred owl
Rescued hawk


Hiked: 1/27/18.