Know the New Hiking How-tos
Black River Wildlife Management Area
The wildlife area is located near Chester, which is at the intersection of US 206 and County 513 [North Road]. Several parking areas are on nearby Pleasant Hill Road at the southern end. [Internet Map: "Pleasant Hill Road and Larison Road, Chester, NJ" Approximate location of parking areas; first parking area just south of bridge over the Black River.] GPS Coordinates: 40.80164, -74.69671
Two additional parking areas are off County 513 [North Road] 1.7 and 2.6 miles from the junction of County 510 with County 513.
The Patriots’ Path [white] follows four miles of the abandoned Chester Branch of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, which closely parallels the Black River though the wildlife management area.
The Patriots' Path [white] follows 2.4 miles of the abandoned Chester Branch of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. The entire railbed through the WMA (about 4 miles), which closely parallels the Black River, is part of the West Morris Greenway. The rail bed with its gentle grade offers hikers easy walking and views of freshwater marsh. Other trails and woods roads are not marked.
- Horses require an annual permit
- Current topographical maps of WMAs in PDF format are available for download from the Table of Wildlife Management Areas.
This 3,000-acre WMA encompasses river bottom, swampy woodland, freshwater marsh, fields and upland deciduous woods. Woods roads cross the mixed hardwood forest with a heavy understory and an occasional pine plantation. Some of the fields are filled with wildflowers and grasses, while others are still cultivated. The area is well known for birding.