Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve, Franklin Lakes

#30 of 55 in Nature in New Jersey
Forest · Hidden Gem · Wildlife Area
Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve is a 147 acre public nature reserve located mostly within Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, with a tiny portion extending into North Haledon, New Jersey. Situated between the First and Second ridges of the northern Watchung Mountains, the preserve occupies the site of the former Haledon Reservoir, which previously supplied water to North Haledon, Haledon, and Prospect Park. Passive recreation opportunities include hiking, fishing, and bird watching.
The area of the Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve was once used as a reservoir and watershed to supply downstream municipalities with drinking water. To this end, Molly Ann Brook, which flows through the preserve, was dammed in 1919 to form the large Haledon Reservoir and an accompanying smaller basin. However, by the mid-2000s, the Haledon Reservoir and its surrounding property were disused and no longer maintained.
In 2006, the borough of Franklin Lakes, the host municipality of the majority of the property, purchased the reservoir facility in part with funds provided by the New Jersey Green Acres Program and the Bergen County Open Space Program. At the time, the site represented the largest land acquisition in the history of Franklin Lakes. After making extensive improvements to the property, including repairing roads and completing much needed maintenance on the property’s two dams, the newly christened Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve was opened to the public in June, 2011.
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Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
32 reviews
  • Beautiful, quiet, serene...but muddy!!!!!!! Many muddy holes ...wear shoes that you don't care about ..some uneven pavement and tree your footing....I lived in Franklin Lakes, and...  more »
  • A wonderful place to relax, commune with nature, have a picnic, walk or run, without crowds. We loved bringing our dog and walking him there. My only regret is that we don't go there often enough.  more »
  • Beautiful trails and scenery. Kayaking and other water rentals available through end of September. Bring the kids and the dogs and enjoy nature for a day!
  • Lovely place for a hike around the lake or for kayaking. Well maintained parking area. Nice variety of natural habitats.

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