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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

Can I park in the cul-de-sac at the TNC entrance?

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

What is the red building I see from the parking lot?

It's not a house, it's our Visitor Center! It's open daily 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Come by and say hello!

Do the trails close when the building closes?

Building hours are daily 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The trails remain open from sunrise to sunset.

The building is closed on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

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

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

Is there a place we can bring a picnic?

Yes, we have five large circular white picnic tables (located near the upper Yellow Trail) that are available for use by families and small groups ONLY. No grills or cooking allowed. Tenafly Nature Center practices the principles of Leave No Trace. Trash removal is your responsibility.

Can we barbecue at TNC?

No open flames are permitted.

Can we drink any alcohol at TNC?

No alcohol is permitted.

Can I make a fire or use the fire pit?

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.

Can I smoke or vape at TNC?

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.

Can I film/take pictures at TNC?

Learn if a permit is required!

Can I fish or hunt at TNC?

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).

Can I ride a bike on the trails?

No bikes or other wheeled vehicles are allowed on the trail. This includes but is not limited to dirt bikes, motorcycles, ATV's, scooters, wagons, unicycles) . Wheeled vehicles cause trail degradation. Please leave your bike at the bike rack at the entrance to the Main Trail.

What PIP trails (near 9W) connect with to TNC?

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.

Is the pond man-made or natural?

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.

Who lives in the mansion near the main trail?

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.

Animals at TNC

Can I feed the wildlife?

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

  • Disturb the natural balanced diet. Animals used to being fed become habituated to human-provided food, altering 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 reliant 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 humans as they lose their natural 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.

Are the turkeys dangerous?

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

Can I bring my dog to the Tenafly Nature Center?

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 animals in general. 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.** This can pertain to some service animals*

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. Tenafly Dog Park (147 Grove St, Tenafly, NJ)
  2. Roosevelt Common (located on Riveredge Road Tenafly, NJ)
  3. Palisades Interstate Park (NJ Section) 
  4. Overpeck County Park Dog Run (Fort Lee Road, Leonia NJ)
  5. Wild Duck Pond  (East Ridgewood Ave, Ridgewood NJ)
  6. Fort Lee Dog Park (519 Stillwell Ave. Fort Lee NJ)
  7. Riverside County Park (North) (Joseph Carucci Area Riverside Ave., Lyndhurst NJ)
  8. Saddle River County Park (Wild Duck Pond Area E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood NJ)
  9. Samuel Nelkin County Park (Rose St. Wallington NJ)
  10. Van Saun County Park (Continental Ave., River Edge NJ)
  11. Wood Dale County Park (Prospect Ave., Hillsdale NJ)
*For information regarding service animals for persons with disabilities, please contact our Executive Director at 201-568-6093.

**Tenafly General Ordinance: 5-6 Animals running at large; LEASH REQUIRED.

All dogs shall be leashed when in any place within the Borough, except when on the owner's property.

All cats shall be leashed when in the Business District, as such district is defined by the Zoning Ordinance of the Borough, or when on any property of the Board of Education or church property. When in any other place within the Borough, such cats shall not run at large, except when on the owner's property or accompanied by the owner, keeper or harborer.

Any person owning an unlicensed dog or cat is found to be running at large is subject to the issuance of a summons to appear in Municipal Court, subject to the fines and penalties.

Why are the birds in the aviary left out in winter? Will they be okay?

The birds living in the aviary 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.

Are there bears at TNC?

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.

Are there ticks on the property?

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.

Are there venomous snakes at TNC?

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

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