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The Butterfly House is open Wednesday through Sunday 11am-4pm weather permitting. For inclement weather please call ahead. The Butterfly House is closed Monday & Tuesday and will remain closed after October 1st.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding our area. If you have a question, or would like to receive more information about Tenafly Nature Center, please visit our visitors center, or contact us with your question.

TNC Property

Animals

Q. Is that red building I see from the parking lot someone’s house?

A. It's not a house, it's our Visitor Center! It's open weekdays 9am to 5pm and weekends 11pm to 4pm. Come by and say hello!

Q. Is there a gift shop in the visitor's center? 

A. No, but please visit TNC's online shop where you can shop and support us. 

Q. Do the trails close when the building closes?

A. Building hours are weekdays 9am to 5pm, weekends 11am to 4pm. The trails remain open from sunrise to sunset.

Q. Are there any trails on the other side of 9W that connect with the TNC trails?

A. Tenafly Nature Center runs parallel with the Palisade Interstate Park. Using the Sweet Gum spur, carefully cross 9W to an access point for the Long Path (aqua blaze), located next to the entrance to Greenbrook Sanctuary (accessible only to Palisades Nature Association members). The Long Path's southern trail head is outside the Visitor Center at Fort Lee Historic Park. It continues along the top of the cliffs north and reaches its terminus in Altamont, NY.

Q. Can I ride a bike on the trails?

A. No bikes or other wheeled vehicles are allowed on the trail. Wheeled vehicles cause trail degradation. Please leave your bike at the bike rack at the entrance to the Main Trail. 

Q. Is there a place we can bring a picnic?

A. Yes, we have tables in the pavilion that may be available depending on programming. If the pavilion is occupied, there are five circular tables by the parking lot. Tenafly Nature Center practices the principles of Leave No Trace. Trash removal is your responsibility.

Q. Can I make a fire or use the fire pit?

A. Fires in the fire pit require a permit and a staff member present. No fires are permitted anywhere else on the property. Please email TNC staff to find out more about using our fire pit.

Q. Can we barbecue?

A. No open flames are permitted.

Q. Can I smoke/vape or use a electronic smoking device at the Tenafly Nature Center

A. Smoking and/or the carrying of a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or other combustible substance, in any manner or any form, including vapor from an electronic smoking device, is prohibited at all times.

Q.  Can we drink beer or wine at TNC?

A. No alcohol is permitted.

Q. Can I park in the cul-de-sac at the Tenafly Nature Center entrance?

A. No, it is illegal to park in the cul-de-sac. If the parking lot is full, please park on Hudson Ave.

Q. Can I fish/hunt at TNC?

A. No. As a nature preserve, we ask that you do not disturb, feed, collect or remove wildlife. This encompasses plants, animals, and other objects (rocks, soil, leaves, acorns).

Q.  Is the pond man-made or natural?

A. Pfister's Pond was created by damming off the East Brook in the early 1900's.  It was most likely created as an irrigation pond.

Q. Who lives in that big mansion off of the main trail?

A. The mansion, and the property it sits on, is privately owned. Called the Laimbeer House for the former owner William Laimbeer, a commissioner of docks for NYC, the house was built in the 1860s and originally called Hilltop. It is an example of the Second Empire style of architecture. Please respect the current owners' privacy.

Q. Can I bring my dog to the Tenafly Nature Center?

A. Unfortunately, no. As advocates for the outdoors and all living things, it should be no surprise that, as individuals, the staff and Board of TNC are big fans of dogs, cats, and other domestic animals. Many of us own dogs and cats ourselves, so we fully understand how wonderful they are!

As an organization, however, we are often charged with responsibilities -- and are legally bound to make decisions -- that must sometimes supersede our personal feelings. One example is our No Dogs Allowed Policy, which expressly prohibits any dog walking on Tenafly Nature Center property, with or without a leash.*

We are aware that this policy is controversial. We sincerely value all visitors to the Tenafly Nature Center, and we feel obliged to explain our rationale, which hinges on our official mission and vision:

TNC’s official mission is “the stewardship of nearly 400 wooded acres for the purposes of conservation, education and recreation”. Our vision is to promote the highest level of biodiversity possible for our natural areas.

Mindful of this mission and vision, the TNC Board of Trustees and the Borough of Tenafly many years ago determined:

  1. By their very nature, dogs are both a perceived and real threat to wildlife: Their presence on our trails (scent, noise, droppings, fur, tracks) both during and after a walk on our trails, cause wildlife to take cover or leave the area. This, in turn, reduces the capacity for observing and learning about nature while at TNC, the very purpose for which these natural assets were established.
  2. Leashed or unleashed, dogs may also pose a perceived and real threat to persons on our trails. Please remember, our trails are frequented by young children, adults, and senior adults. Our mission is to provide a safe recreational and educational experience to all people. We are obliged to eliminate this threat. Compounding this problem is the associated risk to our organization. Unfortunately, we live in a highly litigious society, where a single lawsuit can destroy an organization such as ours.

We apologize if this policy may be perceived as unfriendly toward domestic animals and their owners, and we regret the inconvenience it may cause. However, we also hope that you – as an animal-lover in your own right – will understand and fully cooperate with this policy.

Places to take your dog near the area are:

  1. Roosevelt Commons (located on Riveredge Road Tenafly, NJ)
  2. Palisades Interstate Park (NJ Section) www.njpalisades.org 
  3. Overpeck County Park Dog Run (Fort Lee Road, Leonia NJ)
  4. Wild Duck Pond  (East Ridgewood Ave, Ridgewood NJ)

*For information regarding service animals for persons with disabilities, please contact our Executive Director at 201-568-6093.

Q. Are the turkeys dangerous?

A. No, they will not come after you. However, keep your distance and respect our wildlife.

Q. Are there venomous snakes at the Tenafly Nature Center?

A. There have been no reports of venomous snakes at Tenafly Nature Center.

Q.  Are there ticks on the property?

A. Yes. As is the case with outdoor spaces in the Northeast United States, ticks are a part of our ecosystem. Staying on the trails minimizes exposure, but we still advise tick checks when you leave.

Q. Are there bears at the Tenafly Nature Center? 


A. While bears have been sighted in past years on the property, as they migrated through, the acreage of Tenafly Nature Center cannot support resident bears, so they are not seen frequently. Read more about Black Bears in New Jersey and bear safety tips.

Q. Why are the birds left outside in the winter? Will they be okay?

A. The birds living in the enclosures outside live in the region year round and are not affected by inclement or winter weather. Their feathers will insulate them and keep them warm throughout the cold months.

Q. Can I feed the wildlife?

We do not allow feeding wildlife by the public at the TNC property.  Feeding wild animals will:

  • Disturb the natural balanced dietAnimals used to being fed become habituated to human-provided food & alter their foraging behavior. Human foods do not offer a healthy diet for animals. Animals may readily consume foods like corn and bread, but these foods provide an animal with little nutrition and may disrupt the digestive system.
  • Disrupts migration. Animals that become reliable on an abundant year-round food source may not migrate during the normal time of year. Fed animals also become more aggressive towards each other and towards humans as they lose wariness.
  • Cause overcrowding and encourage the spread of disease. The intentional feeding of wildlife not only attracts predators, feeding wildlife can result in wildlife being concentrated at artificial feeding areas, making them more susceptible to disease transmission.