New Jersey

High Mountain Park Preserve


Location: Wayne Township, North Haledon Borough, Passaic County

Owned by: Wayne Township and The Nature Conservancy and State of New Jersey

Acres Protected: 1260

Established: 1993

Why is This Land Special?
A natural oasis amid urban sprawl, unique High Mountain Park Preserve is located in the Preakness Range of the Watchung Mountains. Its rolling and often steep terrain provides 11.5 miles of often-challenging hiking trails. Panoramic vistas include stunning views from High Mountain's summit, where you can see New York City and much of northern New Jersey.

The nature preserve is the largest tract of forested land east of the Highlands, encompassing woodlands and wetlands. Along with its open space value, it harbors rare and threatened plants and wildlife.

Several rock shelters in the Franklin Clove section of the nature preserve have been determined to be sites of prehistoric human habitation. Native Americans of the Lenape tribe wintered in the Clove during the 1600s.

It is also said that when Henry Hudson sailed to America in 1609, the first land he sighted above the horizon as he approached New York Harbor was the summit of High Mountain. During the American Revolution, when General Washington was headquartered nearby, colonial troops reportedly used High Mountain’s summit  to monitor British troop movements in and around New York Harbor. High Mountain has been a popular hiking destination for more than century. The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has been active at High Mountain since the 1940s, creating and maintaining the trails.

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The nature preserve is open year-round from dawn until dusk. It offers rigorous hiking, so wear sturdy boots or walking shoes. Bring a cellphone (in case you get lost or need help), binoculars, a camera, plenty of water, and bug spray and sunblock in the warmer months.

  • Please stay on the blazed trails.
  • No fishing or hunting, trapping or collecting.
  • No motorized vehicles or aircraft.
  • No horseback riding, camping, fires, firearms, rock climbing, spelunking and feeding animals.
  • No unleashed pets.
  • Groups seeking to use High Mountain Park Preserve for an organized event must register with and obtain park permits from Wayne Township's Department of Parks and Recreation.

Lots of hiking trails are available.

The Preserve is open from dawn until dusk.

View a Trail Map.


CLICK HERE for directions to the Red Trail parking lot for High Mountain.


Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

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Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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