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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.

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.

Upcoming Storywalks

Explore-a-bag Backpack

Enhance your exploration of nature with our Nature Explorer Backpacks. This self-guided, year round program is designed for families to learn together, at their leisure, as they explore the Tenafly Nature Center trails. To help you on your adventure, we provide a backpack with an easy-to-understand Exploration Guide and an activity kit, which children of all ages will enjoy. Current backpack themes are Rockin’ Geology, Incredible Insects and Forest Explorer.

Rental Fee: Members: $2/Non-members: $5

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.

You are reminded, however, that even in the safest conditions, there is always a chance for weak spots and/or that conditions could deteriorate without warning. Thus - anybody wishing to access either location at any time must USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

If after considering the risk you choose to ice skate on the pond 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.

Education Pavilion & Campfire Ring

Individuals and families wishing to enjoy the trails and not reserve a space exclusively are welcome to use the picnic tables in and/or around the pavilion (whenever they are not in use by a reserved group) dawn to dusk everyday. A facility rental will be required for any interest in the use of the campfire ring, fireplace, or an animal encounter. 

If you have a group that would like to reserve and of these spaces please visit our Facility Rentals web page.

Education Pavilion

  • Dedicated in November 1999, the Education Pavilion is a 30-foot by 40-foot open-air structure. 
  • Contains eight recycled plastic lumber picnic tables, four of which have wheelchair extensions.
  • Used for camp, school, scout, birthday, and public programs throughout the year.
  • Has accessible concrete floor and walkway.
  • Five lights line the walkway and there are nine pendent lights inside the structure.
  • Additional outlets are available for approved equipment.
  • Roll-down Sunbrella® cloths are available on three sides to keep out inclement weather.
  • A large covered fireplace is available for use (with staff supervision)!
  • A wheel-chair-accessible, eco-friendly, water-less composting toilet is next to the parking lot and just 90 feet from the pavilion. 
  • Two flush restrooms are available on the ground floor of the John A. Redfield Building.

Campfire Ring

  • A rustic spot in the woods 150 feet southeast of the parking lot and Pavilion.
  • A stone fire circle, ringed by nine recycled plastic lumber benches.
  • Can accommodate a maximum of 30 people.
  • For forest protection, safety, and insurance reasons, fires are permitted only with staff supervision.

We encourage all visitors to make a small donation (suggested at $2 per person), which can be placed in one of our donation boxes. Reservations are required for all self-guided groups of 10+ people to avoid conflicts.

Pokémon At TNC

Tenafly Nature Center is home to a wealth of wildlife and is also home to Pokémon! Recent introductions to the wild have lead to a diverse group of Pokémon taking residence on the Tenafly Nature Center property. Pokémon have quickly established themselves and are attracting many Pokémon Trainers. There are already nine PokéStops on TNC’s Yellow Trail and a PokéGym at the entrance, which can be accessed from the Nature Center Visitors Center. 

Please note, Pokémon are the only creatures that are allowed to be captured on the TNC property.


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.
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