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Explore the Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve»
The Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve was created by the town of Franklin Lakes on the site of the Haledon Reservoir. The town purchased the defunct reservoir and property in 2006 and opened it as a public park in 2011.The NYNJ Trail Conference maintains two trails in the preserve. The Shoreline Loop Trail traces the perimeter of the lake. It starts out as a wide road, with an accessible boardwalk trail to the lake overlook. It narrows as it travels through wooded and swampy areas around the lake.The Island Bridges Trail connects both shores with the islands in the middle via floating boardwalks. I turned onto this trail off the Shoreline Loop before picking the loop back up on the other side. I would estimate this hike is about two miles over easy terrain. I’d previously been to Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve in the winter and it was so cold, I just hiked as fast as a could, without noticing my surroundings, to get back to the warm car. This time, in late Spring, wild irises were blooming, gold finches flitted across my path and fisherman were out early on the far shore.
In one secluded, swampy nook, I watched a Great Blue Heron stalk its breakfast. I listened to a Cormorant squawk at a Canada Goose to stay away from his rock. All in all, it was a very pleasant walk.
Location: 1 Nature Preserve Way, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417
Designation: Municipal Park
Date designated or established: June 2011
Date of my visit: June 2, 2020