Thursday, September 13, 2012
Bonsal Wildlife Preserve
Alonzo F. Bonsal Wildlife Preserve is a 20.68 acre preserve located and owned by the Township of Montclair, New Jersey.
A citizens group lobbied to save the woodland from development in the 1970′s. It was purchased with NJ DEP Green Acres funds and the Bonsal Preserve was named after a local resident whose family’s contribution augmented Green Acres funding of the site.
This urban preserve consists of remnant wetlands and uplands surrounding the Third River, a major tributary of the lower Passaic River watershed. The Third River headwaters are located in Rifle Camp Park in Woodland Park.
There are also 9.12 acres of adjacent lands located to the north of the preserve which are controlled by the North Jersey District Water Commission for its Wanaque Reservoir Balancing Tank which provide additional habitat for wildlife.
The preserve has been left in its natural state with the exception of an old sewer line built in the early 1900′s. (The sewer is owned by the City of Clifton and is scheduled to be removed and rerouted in the spring of 2013.)
The main entrance to the Bonsal Preserve is located in a right of way off of Riverview Drive in Montclair. After crossing the bridge over the Third River, you can continue north to Daniels Drive in Clifton or head east or west to explore the wetlands near the Third River.
The trails are not blazed but due to the size of the preserve, you can’t get lost physically without soon discovering a spot you previously traveled.
directions & map