Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Get a Bird's-Eye View

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Get a Bird's-Eye View

Article excerpt

FEATURES: This hike loops around the sanctuary, paralleling a pristine section of the Passaic River for part of the way.

LENGTH: About 1 1/2 miles

DIFFICULTY: Easy to moderate

TIME: About one hour

MAP: Available online at njaudubon.org or at the Hoffman Building

DOGS: Not allowed in the sanctuary

HOW TO GET THERE: Take I-287 to Exit 30B. At the traffic light, go straight across U.S. 202 onto Childs Road. In 0.2 miles, bear right at the fork onto Hardscrabble Road. Continue on Hardscrabble Road for 0.9 miles to the entrance to the Scherman-Hoffman Sanctuary, on the right. Proceed up the driveway to the Hoffman Building, where you can view the interesting exhibits and obtain a trail map. GPS address: 11 Hardscrabble Rd., Bernardsville, NJ 07924.

The New Jersey Audubon Society's Scherman-Hoffman Sanctuary encompasses 275 acres of land donated by the Scherman and Hoffman families. Although birds are the primary focus of the sanctuary, it also offers attractive hiking trails.

To begin the hike, leave the Hoffman Building and drive back down the entrance road. Turn right onto Hardscrabble Road, and take the first right into the Scherman parking lot (51 Hardscrabble Rd.). The Dogwood Trail begins at the kiosk at the eastern end of the parking area. Just beyond the kiosk, the trail divides. The trail ahead is your return route, but for now turn left and head uphill on the Dogwood Trail, which you will follow in a clockwise direction. The trail is marked by both red paint blazes and New Jersey Audubon logo blazes. You'll also notice some Patriots' Path logo blazes (blue path-and-tree logo on white).

The trail climbs on switchbacks, steeply in places. Soon, you'll reach a junction, marked by a signpost. Here, the Patriots' Path leaves to the left, but you should bear right to continue on the Dogwood Trail, which continues to ascend through dense barberry thickets.

As the trail approaches the crest of the rise, the grade moderates. When you reach the top of the hill, you'll notice interesting boulders to the right. The trail now begins to descend, soon passing a tree wedged at a 45-degree angle between two trunks of another tree. …

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