Franklin Parker Preserve


Swans in water (Photo by Daniela Wagstaff)


View Franklin Parker Preserve in a larger map

Park Overview:

14-square-mile preserve, situated near five other major parks in the Pine Barrens, is a significant ecological treasure, with beautiful wetlands and several loop trails.

Trail Uses:Hiking, Mountain biking, Bridle path, X-C skiing
Trail Miles:20.7 miles
Park Acreage:9400 acres
Woodland and Tabernacle
Web Map:Trail map
Park Description:

On the site of a former cranberry farm, and in the heart of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, the Franklin Parker Preserve contains approximately 5,000 acres of wetlands habitat and 4,400 acres of contiguous upland pine oak forest.  The Preserve is crossed by 14 pristine tributaries of the West Bank of the Wading River; be prepared to encounter some soggy trail sections and somewhat challenging water crossings here and there.

It is adjacent to approximately 250,000 acres of five state-owned properties: Brendan Byrne State Forest, Wharton State Forest, Bass River State Forest, Greenwood Wildlife Management Area and Penn State Forest. For more information about these parks go to “Find a Park” and scroll down the alphabetical list to the park(s) of interest.

Trails Overview:

The Preserve has four blazed trails, each of them forming loops ranging from three to nearly seven miles.  Blue-blazed connecting trails, under a half-mile each, make short-cuts possible.  The trails are multi-use with pathways consisting of sand roads, save for the Red Trail’s narrower footpath and a similar segment of the Yellow Trail (identified on the trail map).  Accessible from the Chatsworth Lake entrance, both the Green Trail and Red Trail (co-aligned in places) loop around the DeMarco Cranberry Meadows Natural Area.  Climbing an observation tower along the way provides unobstructed views.  The White Trail loops around Bald Eagle Reservoir and passes by yet another observation tower.  See trail link above.

Click for detailed hike descriptions, scroll down to the name of this park.


Chatsworth Lake Entrance via the NJ Turnpike South:  Take exit 7, keep left at fork after tollbooths and merge onto Route 206 South.  Continue about 17 miles to the traffic circle.  Take the 3rd exit from the circle on to NJ-70 East.  In 1.4 miles turn right on New Road then in another 1.4 miles continue on Patty Bowker Road.  In 2.1 miles continue as the road becomes Chatsworth Road/County Road 532.  In 7.3 miles turn right at the Franklin Parker Preserve sign just before County Road 532 veers left at Chatsworth Lake.

From the Garden State Parkway and other locations or for driving to the Speedwell entrance use Contact Information below and follow the direction links at the bottom of the page

Contact Information:NJ Conservation Foundation