Nestled in northern New Jersey, we discovered a small beautiful park called Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve. It’s a 120-acre park with a 75-acre lake, and we spent two days there fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. There are 2.3 miles of trail within the park itself, and the trail connects to another 11.2 miles of trails that lie in the High Mountain Park Preserve in Wayne, NJ.
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The Borough of Franklin Lakes acquired the lake in 2006, and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has been maintaining the trails since 2011. There is a lot to like about this park. It’s in a relatively populated area, and it provides a scenic getaway for people every day of the year. In the summer a lot of people come for a great paddling experience. Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve has a partnership with Ramsey Outdoor, which provides an entire fleet of unique boats. They have kayaks, canoes, traditional SUPs, a foot-powered SUP, and a foot-powered pedal kayak. When we were there, we tried all of them out, and it made for a fantastic afternoon on the water.
Fishing is also popular at Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve. There are about 1,700 lakes in New Jersey, and Franklin Lakes was rated as one of the top 100 lakes for fishing in the state. We had no problem catching panfish all afternoon, which was a blast.
Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve is open from 6am-6pm every day, and it’s a hidden gem. If you find yourself in the area and need a little R&R, be sure to stop in. You won’t be disappointed.