Outdoor Activities

Below you will find information and activities to enjoy on your next visit. Memberships are available to anyone with an interest in helping to support the Tenafly Nature Center

Hiking, Walking & Wildlife Watching

Tenafly Nature Center is a sanctuary for human visitors - an island of green where bonds with nature can be renewed. Whether you have an hour or a day, our woods offer a peaceful respite from the rush of daily life.  We welcome visitors to take a leisurely walk to Pfister's Pond or enjoy a hike along our 7+ miles of trails between dawn and dusk. Wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy bird-watching and observe other wildlife on their own or join our educators monthly for guided nature walks and full moon hikes.

Adventures in Reading

Hikers can enjoy our seasonal StoryWalk®, an interactive outdoor exhibit that turns reading into an adventure. Read a nature-themed story while walking in the woods. Designed for beginning readers, stories will appeal to all ages.

Upcoming Storywalks

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library.

Butterfly House

Opening to the public August 19th, 2017.

Come visit our new 12 x 24' butterfly house filled with native butterflies. This new Butterfly house offers visitors a total immersion experience for the young and old as it introduces visitors to the wonders of metamorphosis. 

This seasonal exhibit showcases several beautifully colored butterflies sipping nectar and taking flight, offering guests the opportunity to better understand and appreciate their life cycle and importance to the ecosystem. Inside the exhibit you will be welcome to chat with staff or volunteers, ask questions, or simply relax and enjoy the space while butterflies flit and fly about. See if a butterfly will land on your nectar stick or just watch them fly around you as they move between nectar plants. Observe butterfly chrysalis in the chrysalis box. Maybe you will be lucky enough to see a butterfly emerge!

Visitors are encouraged to show off pictures of their visit on social media using the #TNCButterfly

Open Wednesday through Sunday 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Butterfly House will close in October (closing date is weather dependent).

  • Members: Free
  • Non-members: $5 (for 1 adult and 2 children).
  • Additional Children: $5 (for up to 3)*
  • Young children who will be held off the floor by an adult the entire time inside the house are free.

*Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Upcoming Dates

  • No upcoming events

Trail Running

Trail runners are welcome to train and enjoy a sprint through our woods along the 7+ miles of trails. In early spring, experienced trail runners are invited to discover the native terrain of the Lost Brook Preserve while participating in our annual Lost Brook Trail Race.

The Lost Brook Trail Race is a resurrection of the once great Raccoon Run and the first organized trail-running event in this nature preserve. During this 5 & 10 mile challenging run participants can experience sections of the trail in rocks and roots, foot bridges over streams, and thousand year-old boulders moved by the glaciers that one covered this landscape.

Snow Shoeing, Cross Country Skiing & Ice Skating

Cross country skiing, snow shoeing and ice skating are among the activities which you may enjoy here, with Mother Nature’s cooperation, of course! Even when covered by snow, visitors are welcome to bring their own equipment and explore the trails of the nature center.

For ice skating, visitors should call to learn if the ice is safe; ice skating is allowed only when the ice exceeds four inches. Some years there are no safe days; thick enough ice for safe skating usually takes several days of sustained below freezing weather.

Clear ice is stronger than white (bubble filled) ice. Four inches of clear ice will support 2000 pounds in a 30’ by 30’ space while it takes 8 inches of white ice to do the same thing.

If the ice is thick enough, please follow the following safety guidelines:

  1. Skating is permitted only during regular business hours and everyone must be off the ice and the trails by dusk.
  2. Check in at the office and let a staff member know that you will be out.
  3. No skating alone.
  4. Bring rescue equipment – a rope that will float and a pole just in case of an emergency.
  5. If the ice is wet stay off until it has frozen again. Stay off ice that isn’t flat. For example if the pond level drops the ice will sink too but the ice touching the shoreline will be tilted and may not be able to support weight.
  6. Beware of areas with moving water such as inlets and outlets of the pond where the ice may be thin.
  7. A snow covered pond should be studied for wet spots in the snow. If there are none, clear the snow and skate; however if there are wet areas, they indicate that the ice beneath has been pushed down and submerged in water. Skating must wait until the slush has frozen adding more white ice to the pond.
  8. No ice hockey.
  9. Don’t throw sticks or stones onto the ice.
  10. Youth under 16 must be supervised by an adult at all times.

Pavilion, Campfire Ring, Restrooms

The Education Pavilion is used for school, scout, and seasonal programs year-round. Individuals and families may use the picnic tables in the pavilion whenever they are not in use by an organized group or class. The open-air structure contains eight recycled plastic picnic tables, four of which have wheelchair extensions. It has a concrete floor and walkway that make it accessible to all. Lights line the walkway and inside for evening use. An additional outlet is available for approved equipment. A large fireplace is an attractive cool weather bonus. Roll-down sides are available on three sides to keep out rain or cold winds. 

The campfire ring is a rustic spot in the woods 150 feet southeast of the parking lot and Pavilion. The stone fire circle is ringed by several recycled plastic benches, which can accommodate up to thirty (30) people. For forest protection, your safety, and insurance reasons, fires are permitted only with staff supervision.

A wheelchair accessible waterless composting toilet is next to the parking lot and just 90 feet from the pavilion. This facility is augmented by two other flush restrooms on the ground floor of the John A. Redfield Building.

If you have a group that would like to reserve use of the pavilion please contact the Education Director.


Letterboxing is a hobby that involves using clues to find secret boxes hidden in many locations. For more information and the clues for the letterbox hidden here at TNC please visit The box on site is titled Rock, Paper, Scissors. The letterboxes here were not placed by TNC staff, but are listed here because they may be of interest to visitors.


Geocaching is an outdoor activity for GPS users to use location coordinates shared on the internet to find caches all over the world. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. For more information and the coordinates for the geocaches hidden here at TNC please visit Type in our zip code (07670); several caches can be found throughout the park. The caches here were not all placed by TNC staff, but are listed here because they maybe of interest to visitors.