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Apshawa Preserve, West Milford

#74 of 78 in Wildlife in New Jersey
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Apshawa Preserve is a 576-acre nature preserve in the highlands of northern New Jersey, United States. Located off Northwood Drive in West Milford, the preserve is managed by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and by Passaic County. The preserve is mostly wooded with oak and maple.

The Apshawa is a brook, a tributary of the Pequannock River; it flows through the preserve and is dammed to form the 40-acre Butler Reservoir within the preserve. The reservoir once served to provide water to Butler. Apshawa Preserve includes a network of hiking trails and a 43-acre reservoir.

Since 2010 part of the preserve is protected by a gated deer fence to protect native plants that otherwise would be decimated by a high density deer population.
In September 2014, 22-year-old student Darsh Patel was mauled by a 300-pound (140 kg) black bear in the preserve and died. He was the first known person in New Jersey history to be killed by a black bear.
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Apshawa Preserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
7 reviews
  • My family returns to this lite hike repeatedly for its compact but assorted beauty. We usually only need bring a water bottle. After the recent rainy weeks there are amazingly huge mushrooms...  more »
  • We did the Blue- Orange - Green trail loop from the parking lot. Beautiful park. This was a lovely find for us and we will be back. The trails are very well marked but we also downloaded the map...  more »
  • Great for hiking Number of well maintained trails, clearly marked. Beautiful lake in the middle. Interesting ruins and huge metal thanks right next to the green trail. The preserve is not big. Good maybe for a half day of hiking. But easy to get to. I imagine the relatively small parking lot fills up really quick on a good day.
  • Awesome little hike. I only gave it 4 stars because theres definitely better trails. Overall good hike.

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