Passaic County Parks & Recreation
Register Now

Park Ranger Hikes & Programs 2024 Register View Cart

Join the Passaic County Parks & Recreation staff as we lead you through the best trail systems that our county has to offer!

Visitor Services Rangers offer public hikes throughout the year at various locations throughout Passaic County. Hikes are available to various skill levels, whether you are a novice hiker or experienced trekker. 

This list will be updated throughout the year, so be sure to check back often for new hikes!

Please read before you register:
Hiker safety is a top priority! We kindly ask that everyone adheres to our basic safety & preparedness guidelines.
  • We strongly suggest privately informing a guide of any pertinent medical conditions before the hike.
  • Review the difficulty grading scale before registration
You must come prepared to hike with:

Sufficient water and nutrition.

Bring at least 0.5 liters of water per hour and pack snacks providing 200-300 calories per hour. Energy bars, nuts, or trail mix are great choices to keep your energy up.

Appropriate footwear
: Choose high-traction, sturdy, and comfortable footwear. While sneakers or work boots can suffice, we recommend hiking boots, hiking shoes, or trail runners. Please, no open-toed shoes for your safety.

And of course...
A backpack, ideally packed with all of "The Ten Essentials". We strongly recommend that you carry the Ten Essentials whenever you hit the trail. While it may seem cumbersome to pack all of this gear on a simple day hike, doing so is the best way to be prepared for whatever may happen in the wilderness.
Click here to learn more about the "10 essentials for hiking"

Check the weather and dress appropriately!
We recommend avoiding cotton. When cotton gets wet, it stays wet and can lead to hypothermia when it’s cold. Instead, opt for moisture-wicking fabrics like spandex and polyester as base layers and consider wool or fleece for a warm mid-layer. For more details on what to wear, check out the guide What to Wear While Hiking.

Our Hiking Difficulty Scale:

Easy: An easy hike will typically be 3 miles or less, with minimal occurrences of gradual slopes. With all hikes, expect rocky and uneven terrain.

Moderate: A moderate hike can be anywhere from 3 to 7 miles. Steep inclines and tricky water crossings occur more frequently than they do in easy hikes.

Difficult: A difficult hike is typically 7+ miles and may feature numerous obstacles such as water crossings and rock scrambles. Be prepared for numerous sections of challenging uphill climbs and downhill descents.


Ecosystem Engineers: Beaver Ponds Walk & Talk - Sunday, April 7th @ 6:00PM
Highlands Preserve Ball Field- West Milford, NJ, 
(Easy) Did you know that beavers have their own holiday? April 7th is International Beaver Appreciation Day! Join us in celebrating the history and legacy of this industrious mammal during an educational walk & talk around a local beaver pond.
We’ll learn about their lifestyle and ecology of these animals and the ecosystems they build. Family friendly event and all ages welcome. 
Waterproof footwear is advised! We will be walking near mucky and muddy areas, so the better your boots, the better you'll be!

Night Hike to Beaver Dam at Apshawa Preserve - Friday, April 12th @ 7:00PM
4 Northwood Drive, West Milford, NJ 07480 
(Moderate/Difficult) April 7th is International Beaver Appreciation Day! In celebration, Passaic County Park Rangers are hosting a 3.5 mile twilight adventure to see the nocturnal engineers in action. The trails we will take are rugged, rocky, narrow, and occasionally steep, and difficult conditions are heightened in the dark night. Please come prepared for the terrain and weather. ILLUMINATION IS REQUIRED! Headlamps are strongly recommended, but flashlights are acceptable as well. Cell phone flashlights do not count!

Intro to Hiking Safety Course & Group Hike - RESCHEDULED to Sunday, May 26th @ 11:00AM
Camp Hope- West Milford, NJ/Highlands Preserve, West Milford NJ 
There's nothing quite like the sight of the first flowers of the season, or the smell of fresh air through open windows. Though the first signs of spring are beckoning you to step outside and spend some time in the wilderness, you might be new to hiking and find yourself wondering, "Where do I begin? What should I bring? What should I wear, and what if I see a bear?" 
In this program, we’ll discuss the knowledge, gear, and skills you’ll need to be prepared to safely set out for springtime excursions. Afterwards, we’ll head out on an (optional) hike at nearby Highlands Preserve. This program is designed for the beginners who are just starting out, and the intermediate hiker looking to expand their knowledge base.

Scenery of the Season: Spring Hike at Apshawa Preserve - RESCHEDULED to Saturday, May 25th @ 11:00AM
Apshawa Preserve, 4 Northwood Drive, West Milford, NJ 07480
(Easy/Moderate) 3 miles. Our second installment of the Scenery of the Season hiking series, in which we follow the same trails to the same viewpoint once per season, in order to gain an appreciation of how different the sights, sounds, and smells of nature are at different times of the year. 

Hike to Waterfall Ruins at Apshawa Preserve - Saturday, June 1st @ 10:00AM

Apshawa Preserve, 4 Northwood Drive, West Milford, NJ 07480
(Difficult) The green trail loop of Apshawa Preserve is home to the history of Butler's water supply. In this 4 mile hike, we'll stop at some remarkable viewpoints detailing the (now abandoned) features and ruins of the historic Butler Reservoir system. Come prepared with apprpriate clothing & footwear, and plenty of water and food to sustain you through this rocky, steep, and rugged terrain. 



Park Ranger Group Hikes

Register Activity Ages Grades Days Date/Time Fees
   Log In
Intro to Hiking Safety Course & Group Hike 
and up N/A Su  05/26/2024
11:00 AM - 02:00 PM

Camp Hope - Stephen Tilton Dining Hall
$0.00 Res
   Log In
Hike to Waterfall Ruins at Apshawa¬†Preserve 
13y and up N/A Sa  06/01/2024
10:00 AM - 02:00 PM

Apshawa Preserve West Milford
$0.00 Res, $0.00 Non-Res