Saturday, March 5, 2011

Schiff Nature Preserve, Mendham, NJ

ABOUT THE PARK:  Schiff Nature Preserve

GPS Coordinates 40.753111, -74.625967

View Larger Map
My GPS told me to turn before the entrance which was incorrect, so be watching for the entrance sign on Pleasant Valley Road where you should turn if your GPS is telling you otherwise.

TRAIL MAP:  Schiff Nature Preserve Trail Map

5.85 miles - Schiff Nature Center Loop
8.50 miles - Schiff Nature Center with Patriot's Path

The white-blazed Great Meadow Loop trail starts at the steps between the nature center and kiosk:
Great Meadow
Historic Site
North Conservation Pond
South Conservation Pond
Red Trail to Lookout Point
Lookout Point

[  0.00]  Take the white-blazed trail starting between the nature center and kiosk
[  0.15]  Cross over grass road continuing straight; trails turn right on pavement at Great Meadow
[  0.30]  Continue left on white trail leaving paved road; follow trail around Great Meadow
[  0.50]  Right on red trail leaving Great Meadow
[  0.70]  Keep straight on red when green goes left
[  0.80]  Red trail veers left on paved trail
[  0.90]  Make first right turn on yellow trail at intersection where 6 trails come together
[  1.00]  Keep straight on yellow as unmarked trail (gray on map) goes left to Dan Beard cabin
[  1.05]  Keep straight as unmarked trail (not on map) goes left; historic site on right; at split keep right on yellow
[  1.15]  Turn right on purple Ann's Trail as yellow goes straight
[  1.20]  North Conservation Pond on right, turn left down steps on orange Farrelly Trail
[  1.60]  Orange trail turns left at South Conservation Pond
[  1.65]  Turn right on orange/white as white Franklin Parker Trail comes in from the left; continue on white-blazed Franklin Parker Trail (**see below)
[  1.90]  Cross over small creek
[  2.05]  Turn around to retrace when orange trail comes in from right (***see below)
[  2.40]  Keep right on white when orange comes in from the left
[  2.50]  Cross over bridge
[  2.65]  White trail leaves woods road to the right
[  2.80]  White trail splits; take the left fork (right goes to parking lot)
[  2.90]  Cross woods road and go up short hill; stay on white as woods roads intersect
[  3.60]  Keep straight at intersection with purple Ann's trail past picnic tables and lodge; keep right on white trail when the green trail then the purple trail go left
[  4.00]  Cross over red-blazed gravel road keeping straight on white trail
[  4.05]  Left on green where white goes right (****see below)
[  4.60]  Left on yellow/green briefly then right on green as it leaves the yellow trail
[  4.75]  Revolutionary War Encampment
[  4.85]  Turn right on red-blazed gravel road
[  5.05]  Keep right at Great Meadow when the red trail ends
[  5.10]  Turn right on the red-blazed trail leaving Great Meadow
[  5.45]  Red ends at Lookout Point on right; turn left on blue
[  5.55]  Turn right on red when blue goes straight
[  5.65]  Red ends at paved road; left on paved road
[  5.85]  Arrive back at parking lot at nature center

** The map shows that the orange Farrelly trail leaves the white Franklin Parker Trail to the right and meets back up at the southern end.  I was, however, not able to find this continuation of the orange trail to form a loop so it might still be under construction as of this writing.

*** At the southern end of the Franklin Parker Trail, there is an orange blazed trail but it goes a short distance towards Lake Therese and ends.

**** To the right, the white trail is a connector trail which leads to the Patriot's Path in 1/2 mile.  After crossing over Roxiticus Road the white-blazed trail becomes blue-blazed. 
There is a rock hop over India Brook:
Turn left after crossing India Brook - no blazes but there will be a blue blaze around the bend.  When you get to the intersection with this post, this is the Patriot's Path although there are no signs to identify it as such.

Turning left on the Patriot's Path, it ends at Burnett Brook in .15 mile where there is no crossing.  According to the Patriot's Path map, there is a proposed continuation which apparently does not yet exist.  A bridge to the right leads to unmarked paths for another .15 miles until there is a stream with no way to get to the other side.

Turning right, the Patriot's Path goes through the Ralston Recreation and Natural Area.  The first sign that this is the Patriot's Path is .4 mile ahead on the gate just before Route 510:

I continued on another .4 mile on the other side of Route 510 until it appeared the Patriot's Path was following a paved road (could not find markers).  According to the maps, the Patriot's Path should continue on farther in this direction.
Patriot's Path Map Section 1
Patriot's Path Map Section 2

This site has maps that work with Google Earth: 
Thank you for that link, Bpez!


  1. The trail does continue, it goes to Ironia Road and then to Mountain Avenue and then meets the white trailafter another 3 miles

  2. No problem, I created that site, hope you like it.