Schiff FAQs


Schiff Nature Preserve, Mendham NJWho owns Schiff?

Schiff is a private land trust under the management of Schiff Natural Lands Trust, Inc. Many acres of our preserve and land easements are jointly owned or managed in partnership with local municipalities, including Mendham Township, Mendham Borough and Chester Township. Our board of trustees is responsible for financial and operational oversight of Schiff.

How is Schiff funded?

Membership fees account for more than half the monies we raise every year to keep our trails groomed for your safe enjoyment, and our Nature Center open for our educational programs. The rest of the money is raised through our annual campaign, occasional fundraising events, and a few grants. As a registered nonprofit organization -- 501 (c)(3) -- Schiff is exempt from local property taxes, but we receive no other recurring funding from our local municipalities. Your membership and generous donations are critical to preserving this land for generations to come! Join today!

Why doesn’t Schiff have outdoor trash cans?

Schiff is home to a variety of animals, including black bears... and bears love to dig through trash cans. We don't want to invite them to a picnic! Please carry out all waste materials, including doggie bags.

Is it okay to walk off-trail?

Walking off trail is NOT permitted. While it may seem fun to do some bushwhacking, going off trail increases your chances of tripping over hidden rocks and tree limbs, disturbing ground wasp nests, and contributing to erosion. Walking off trail increases your chances of encountering the many bear that enjoy the preserve as their habitat. Please stay on our marked trails. We want your visit to be a safe one!

Is it okay to walk with my dog at Schiff?

Walking with your dog is permitted provided you walk on the marked trails, keep your dog on leash at ALL times, and remove all dog waste following your visit. As noted above, walking on trails maintains the integrity of the land and is the safest way to enjoy the preserve. Letting your pet off leash is dangerous for your pet and potentially uncomfortable for other visitors. There are regular bear sightings on the preserve. Please control your dogs by keeping them on leash. We want all visitors to feel safe walking at Schiff.

Is it okay to drive through any of the gates onto the preserve?

Driving through the gates is NOT permitted by visitors. Schiff authorizes its staff, some volunteers, and the hunters who operate our deer management program to make use of the internal roads, but visitors are to remain on foot within the preserve.

When is the Nature Center open?

The Nature Center is generally open Tuesday - Friday, mid-day. Please call ahead to be sure that the building will be open - 973-543-6004.

Can I ride my horse / bike at Schiff?

Schiff has several trails marked for horseback riding and mountain bike riding. Please stay on the designated trails. No electric or motorized vehicles are permitted on the preserve at any time.

Does Schiff allow camping?

There are no official campsites, waste facilities, and no accommodations for camp vehicles. However, Schiff may accommodate small groups, such as scout troops, through prior arrangement. Please contact our Land Steward for details.