Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve


Shorline Trail Between Lake and High Mountain Road. Photo by Daniel Chazin


View Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve in a larger map

Park Overview:

The former Haledon Reservoir is now Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve with a loop hiking trail around its perimeter and a short trail jutting into the lake on dikes. The borough recently installed two new floating bridges to complete the Island Bridges Trail.    

Trail Uses:Hiking
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:2 miles
Park Acreage:120 acres
Franklin Lakes/Bergen/NJ
Web Map:Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve Trail Map
Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Park Description:

The Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve, formerly known as the Haledon Reservoir, was acquired by the Borough of Franklin Lakes in 2006 from the Borough of Haledon, and was opened to the public in June 2011.  The 120-acre site is dedicated to hiking, fishing and bird watching. 

The former reservoir was created by damming part of the Molly Ann Brook in 1919.  The brook rises south of Franklin Ave in Franklin Lakes.  After flowing through High Mountain Golf Club, Molly Ann Brook joins two smaller tributaries to form the reservoir.  A second man-made lake, Lower Basin Pond, which is part of the new Preserve -- but without blazed trails – is situated directly south.

A two-minute video provides a brief history with a description of the Preserve's features.

Trails Overview:

The Preserve Shoreline Loop (white blaze; 1.5 miles) -- trailhead at the parking area -- encircles the former reservoir.  The Island Bridges Trail (blue blaze; 0.5 mile) follows dikes and bridges that cut across the lake near its northern end.

The Red Trail from High Mountain Park Preserve has been extended via Reservoir Drive to the Preserve.  Its trailhead is roughly 0.2 mile il from the parking area on the loop trail, on the west side of the reservoir.

 Click on the "Web Map" link above for a trail map. 

Click for a detailed hike description in the Preserve.  


Take N.J. Route 208 to the Ewing Avenue exit in Franklin Lakes. Turn left at the end of the ramp (if coming from the west, turn right) and continue for about two miles until Ewing Avenue ends at High Mountain Road. Turn left onto High Mountain Road and continue past a lake and a smaller pond on the left. In 0.5 mile, at the end of the smaller pond, you will see a small brown sign for the Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve on the left. Turn left into a driveway, passing old reservoir buildings on the right, then turn left again at a sign for parking and continue to a parking area just below the dam.

Note: Part of the preserve, including the entrance and parking, is in North Haledon (Passaic County), which accounts for its address:  1196 High Mountain Road, North Haledon, N.J. 07508.  GPS coordinates:

40.976532, -74.1941681


Contact Information:Borough of Franklin Lakes, Department of Recreation and Parks