Tenafly Nature Center: Tenafly, NJ

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Park Mama reader recommended Tenafly Nature Center as a place that she was very grateful for, especially during the pandemic, so we excitedly made the trek over to check it out. What a cool find! The park greeter recommended 3 short trails for our little family to explore – yellow (0.4 mile), red (0.3 mile), and white (0.4 mile) – all of which are currently one-way and clearly marked for social distancing ease.

My boys were big fans of the hawk and owl aviary at the entrance, and our favorite trail of all was the storybook trail (aka yellow trail). Butterflies fluttered above, crickets chirped merrily, and chipmunks scurried over crumpled leaves below as we meandered down the trail. Every few feet along the path, we discovered a new set of illustrations with a brief caption posted on the trees. My little guys raced to find the next one and the next one and the next one while I read aloud. A page out of a storybook indeed. What a delightful experience!

We visited the day after a heavy rain, so the picnic area on the red trail was muddied, but that didn’t stop our fun. If you ask my 4 year old about his favorite part of the trip, he’ll tell you it was stomping around in the mud. Wooden bridges and a pond added more variety, and before we knew it, we were back at the car. The perfect hike for little legs.

The Park Mama Tips:

  • There’s a nominal admission fee – $2 per person over 2 years old or $10 per family – and payment is contactless with several different options available (cash, card, Venmo).
  • Strollers and bikes are not allowed. Foot traffic only.
  • Composting bathrooms are available beside the parking lot.
  • There are camps in session, including a newly added Forest Preschool for 3.5 – 5 year olds (more about that here), so you should be aware that the parking lot is closed during pick up and drop off times (12:15pm-12:30 pm / 2:30pm – 2:45pm / 3:15pm – 3:30pm / 5:30pm-5:45pm).
  • Mosquitos live here. Bug spray is a must.

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Published by TheParkMama

Hi, I'm Janet, a city dwelling nature lover and mama bear of toddler and preschool aged explorers. We love discovering uncrowded green spaces within a short drive of Hoboken, NJ that are little kid-friendly - from botanical gardens and nature preserves to arboretums and parks - there's something magical about adventuring together.

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