Apshawa Preserve, West Milford

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. Onsite parking is provided in a gravel parking lot that is located off Northwood Drive, where hikers will find a kiosk with trail maps as well as trailheads. Apshawa Preserve cannot yet be accessed via public transportation.
The preserve is open year round during daylight hours for recreation such as hiking (about 7 miles of trails), fishing, and birdwatching. In September 2014, 22-year-old student Darsh Patel was mauled by a 300lb 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 galore, o...  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 from ...  more »
  • Well marked medium difficulty hiking trails inside a 600+ acre preserve. Several beautiful vistas circling two small lakes. Yes, this is the area where the only recorded black bear fatality happened. Be "bear aware," don't throw granola bars at the wildlife and you'll be just fine.
  • A great place to hike with challenging trails and plenty to see.

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