By Patron Oscar Alvarez
Poplar Road Wildlife Sanctuary is located on Poplar Road in River Vale, NJ, and it’s relatively unknown. As you approach Lake Tappan, you could drive by it and not even know it. There’s a small patch of dirt on the side of the road which fits about 5-6 cars and functions as its parking lot. More often than not, you’ll have the entire place to yourself!
Check out the button above for directions via Google Maps.
The gate at the fence is unlocked and you can just walk in. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by a sign with general guidelines and a map of the park, which consists of a small, untouched forest of very tall trees and a path that is somewhat clear to follow. I estimate that the path is about 2/3 of a mile around before you arrive at the gate again. However, you can explore some larger areas away from the path. As for wildlife, you can spot lots of deer, hawks and smaller birds; and I’m sure the potential exists for foxes, owls, and other animals.
What I like most about this place is how it feels like you hiked into a deep area of a mountain or the woods, but instead you pulled up on the side of the road and crossed a fence. And you can see views like this:
If you have small kids, this is a great place to take them out in nature without a long hike. For more to explore in Bergen County, check out our Bergen County Scavenger Hunt.