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Tenafly Nature Center Loop #1
This loop hike circles this nature preserve, passing a glacial erratic and an interesting pond.
Historic feature, Woods
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Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Take U.S. Route 9W to the traffic light at East Clinton Avenue in Tenafly. Proceed west on East Clinton Avenue for 1.7 miles and turn right onto Engle Street . Continue on Engle Street until it ends at a T intersection with Hudson Avenue . Turn right and follow Hudson Avenue to its end at the nature center, where parking is available
Stop at the visitor center to obtain a trail map, then proceed ahead on the Main Trail, a wide dirt road which is the continuation of Hudson Avenue. In about 300 feet, turn right onto the Red Trail (blazed with red triangles), which proceeds south. After several turns, the trail begins to follow along a stream.
After crossing a wet area on puncheons, be alert for a trail junction at several huge fallen trees, where the Purple Trail begins. Turn right and follow the Purple Trail, which immediately crosses the stream on a footbridge. When you reach a T-intersection (with a sign pointing to "Highwood Ave."), turn left, continuing along the Purple Trail (the trail to the right is the Blue Trail, which leads to an adjacent residential street). After crossing a stream on a footbridge, the Purple Trail ends at a T-intersection with the yellow-blazed Allison Trail. Turn right onto the Allison Trail and follow it to a junction with the orange-blazed Haring Rock Trail (marked by a sign on the right). Turn right and continue south on the Haring Rock Trail.
As you reach the southern boundary of the nature center, you’ll notice a large boulder to the left of the trail. This is the Haring Rock, a glacial erratic, after which the trail is named. Here, a triple yellow/orange-blaze marks the start of the Seely Trail. Turn left and follow this trail, which heads southeast, parallel to East Clinton Avenue (visible through the trees on the right). After crossing a footbridge over the Green Brook, the Seely Trail ends at a junction with the yellow-blazed Allison Trail, which comes in from East Clinton Avenue.
Turn left and follow the Allison Trail northward, parallel to the Green Brook. In about half a mile, the Allison Trail turns sharply left and is joined by the red-blazed Little Chism Trail. Both trails recross the Green Brook on a footbridge, then turn right and parallel the brook. Soon after the trails turn left, away from the brook, you’ll reach a junction, marked by a cairn, where the two trails diverge. The Little Chism Trail leaves to the right, but you should continue ahead on the yellow-blazed Allison Trail.
When you reach the junction with the orange-blazed Haring Rock Trail (marked in this direction by a sign to “E. Clinton Ave.”), continue ahead on the yellow trail, now covering an 0.3-mile section of trail that you previously hiked in the reverse direction. When you reach the junction with the Purple Trail, remain on the yellow trail (following the signs to “Hudson Ave.” and "Nature Center"), now once again proceeding along a stretch of trail that you have not covered previously on this hike. About a third of a mile beyond, the yellow-blazed Allison Trail ends at the Main Trail, a wide dirt road.
Turn left onto the Main Trail, passing the historic Laimbeer House, a private residence which dates back to the 1870s. Beyond the house, the road is blocked to vehicular traffic, but you should continue ahead, following the wide path. Just beyond a sign “Nature Center Regulations,” the De Filippi Trail (marked by white triangles) begins on the right. Turn right, leaving the Main Trail, and follow the De Filippi Trail northward. When you reach a junction with the white/red-blazed Bischoff Trail, turn left to continue along the white-triangle-blazed De Filippi Trail, which soon begins to run along the shore of Pfister’s Pond. Sections of the trail that traverse wet areas are built on boardwalk.
Just beyond a wooden shelter used for programs (camping is not permitted), the De Filippi Trail ends at the Main Trail (the junction is marked by a stone monument to Dr. Joseph A. De Filippi). Turn right onto the Main Trail and follow it back to the parking area where the hike began.