India Brook and Buttermilk Falls Natural Area


Pond in Buttermilk Falls and India Brook Natural Areas. Photo by Daniel Chazin.


Park Overview:

Three contiguous forested natural areas -- traversed by two miles of India Brook, a pristine trout stream -- with a variety of hiking trails, a waterfall, and ruins of colonial era mining and forging  

Trail Uses:Hiking
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:11.7 miles
Park Acreage:375 acres
Web Map:Set of Mendham Twp Trail Maps
Park Description:

The bankruptcy of a developer in the 1980s made it possible for the Township of Mendham to acquire what is now the Buttermilk Falls Natural Area as open spaces. After reforestation and wetlands restoration, combined with the adjacent India Brook Park and India Brook Natural Area, 375 acres of parkland have been preserved for public use and enjoyment.  According to the Township some of its “loveliest trails wander through these properties.”

Historical features scattered throughout the parkland include Lewis Forge, Lewis Mine, Rush Forge, Bockoven Saw Mill, and Mendham Waterworks.

Trails Overview:

The parkland and natural areas form a continuous tract of woodland along two miles of India Brook including a blazed trail network of just under 12 miles -- with primarily "moderate" hikes.

Use the web map link near the top of this page for a list of all Mendham Township parks -- scroll down the page to find maps for specific hikes. For an overview of the combined parkland around India Brook a good trail map to view is Mountainside to Combs Hollow.   

Each trail map in the set features a single hike with a short description.  Connecting trails appear with less detail so it might be helpful to have several different maps on the hike if one choses to be spontaneous along the way.

  • Trailheads on Calais Road (near 12 Calais Road, Mendham, NJ 07945)
    • Buttermilk Falls Upper Trail (3 miles; moderate)
    • Buttermilk Falls Calais Road Loop (1.5 mile; moderate)
  • Trailhead on Combs Hollow Road (near 9 Combs Hollow Road; limited parking)
    • Buttermilk Falls Combs Hollow Trail (2 miles; moderate)
  • Trailheads on Mountainside Road (near 280 Mountainside Road; large parking area))
    • India Mountainside Loop (1.2 miles; moderate)
    • Mountainside Road to Comb Hollow (4 miles; difficult)
      • Note: The northeastern trailhead is at Combs Hollow Road
  • Trailheads on Ironia Road (97 Ironia Road; large parking area)
    • India Brook 1-Mile Loop (1 mile; moderate)
    • India Brook 2-Mile Loop (2 miles; moderate)

Click for a detailed description of a hike in this parkland.

In the recent past hunting in season has been permitted in these natural areas.  No updated information for the 2015-16 season is posted on the Township’s web site.



Approximate street addresses for parking areas and trailheads are included above for GPS or internet map searches.

The parking area off Ironia Road will hold a substantial number of cars. From this point all trails in hikes listed above can be reached.  

  • Directions to Ironia Road:  Take I-80 West to Exit 43 and head south on I-287 (towards Morristown). Take Exit 43A of I-287 (NJ 10) and head west on Route 10 for 8.6 miles. At a sign for Dover-Chester Road, turn right, then turn left onto Dover-Chester Road and cross Route 10. Proceed south on Dover-Chester Road for 3.0 miles and bear left onto South Road. Continue along South Road for 1.8 miles and turn left onto Ironia Road (do not turn right onto Ironia Road in Randolph, which you will pass along the way). In 0.2 mile, turn left at a sign for India Brook Park, and continue a short distance to a large gravel parking area on the right.
Contact Information:Mendham Township
Region:Morris County