Celebrate National Trails Day on June 6 hike

| 29 Sep 2011 | 03:19

    WEST MILFORD - Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6, with a guided hike at the beautiful Apshawa Preserve in West Milford, sponsored by New Jersey Conservation Foundation. The first Saturday of June is National Trails Day, when thousands of hikers, bikers, equestrians and others take part in events celebrating America’s growing network of trails. The moderately strenuous two-mile hike through the heart of the New Jersey Highlands begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Apshawa Preserve parking lot near the intersection of Macopin and Northwood roads in West Milford, and will be held rain or shine. Hikers will traverse rugged terrain on the way to the picturesque Butler Reservoir. Highlights include an overlook with dazzling views of the water, and a visit to a rocky peninsula jutting out into the reservoir. “This is one of the greatest places to hike in northern New Jersey, and we’re really excited to get people out on the trails,” said Ingrid Vandegaer, Highlands regional manager for New Jersey Conservation Foundation, who is leading the hike. The third annual National Trails Day hike is part of New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s “Step Into Nature” series of outdoor events. Admission is free, and advance registration is not required. The hike will take approximately two hours from start to finish. Hikers should wear hiking boots, carry water and bring a camera. For online directions and trail maps, go to www.njconservation.org/html/preserves/apshawa.htm. The 576-acre Apshawa Preserve, owned by Passaic County and New Jersey Conservation Foundation, offers a diversity of habitats in the heart of the Highlands. The 40-acre Butler Reservoir is a scenic attraction for hikers and birdwatchers, and the Apshawa Brook flows through the preserve to the Pequannock River. Nearly seven miles of blazed trails traverse the preserve and are open to the public for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, nature study and fishing. New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, the Foundation has protected more than 120,000 acres, or 187 square miles. For more information, visit www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).