Trail Guides
Ridgefield Nature Center

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Shaler Blvd at Ray Avenue, Ridgefield, NJ 07660
Phone: (201) 943-5215 ext 353

OWNER:  Borough of Ridgefield

DIRECTIONS:  Exit DeKorte Park via Valley Brook Avenue. After 1.5 miles, turn Right onto Polito Avenue. At the second traffic light, turn Right onto Rutherford Avenue - Route 17 North. Proceed with caution around the curve. After 4/10 of a mile, bear Right onto the Route 3 East entrance ramp. After 1.5 miles, take Turnpike entrance on Right. Get ticket and stay Left for New Jersey Turnpike North. After passing Vince Lombardi Service Area stay Right and follow signs for 95 North/Turnpike/JCT 46. Follow signs for 46 East Ridgefield/Palisades Park and take the exit on the Right. Bear Right and merge onto 46 East. Follow signs for South 1 & 9, Broad Avenue and after 4/10 of a mile take exit on the Right. Get in Right light lane on ramp, proceed to top of short ramp and turn Right at first traffic light onto Broad Avenue – 1 & 9 South. Turn Left onto Ray Avenue at first traffic light and proceed up the steep hill. After second stop sign Ridgefield Nature Center is on the Right enclosed by a green fence. It continues to the intersection of Shaler Boulevard. Parking is allowed on Ray Avenue all days except Friday from 9am to 3pm. The entrance is on Shaler Blvd.   Map
ACCESS AND PARKING:  Open Saturday 8am to 12 noon. Guided tours by appointment. On-street parking. Please stay on trails; the presence of an active spring makes certain areas inaccessible.

NEAREST PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:  New Jersey Transit Bus Line No. 127 Ridgefield/Union City/ New York stops at Slocum Avenue and Shaler Blvd. Walking distance is 2 blocks.

American Robin
American RobinAngel Reytor
SITE DESCRIPTION:  Ridgefield Nature Center is the site of Trinity Spring, the natural source for the old Great Bear™ spring water bottling plant. In 1920 Great Bear purchased the property and used this spring for the next 35 years, distributing water throughout the metropolitan area. In 1975 Great Bear sold the property to the Borough of Ridgefield. Understanding the importance of its natural resources to the community and general public, the Borough is increasing access to this 5.4 acre parcel of relatively undisturbed woodland. A restoration project will be implemented in the future that will include new trails, planting native trees and plants, and removing some non-native invasive plant species.

DON'T MISS:  Don’t miss the moderate hiking path that leads to the top of the man-made hill to the right of the entrance. It provides a different vantage point from which to view the area.

A CLOSER LOOK:  A spring-fed pool, to the left of the main entrance, is a haven for wildlife. Ruby-crowned Kinglets flit from place to place; Hermit Thrush, American Robin, American Goldfinch and Red-tailed Hawk enjoy this rich abundant area. Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers tap away on old snags. American Woodcock, Veery and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker have been known to inhabit the woods and at one time the Eastern red-backed salamander was a resident. Not far from the spring-fed pool you will find several American persimmon trees, one of which is believed to be one of the largest in New Jersey. Stately oaks dot the property along with wild cherry, sweet gum, sassafras, American hornbeam and yellow-poplar, also known as the tulip tree, for reasons that will be obvious when you see its flowers.

Hiking TrailsIdeal for BeginnersInterpretive Trail