Palisades Nature Association/Greenbrook Sanctuary members current in membership receive approval to join our meetup group. Begin by clicking JOIN US above and create your user ID.
Become a PNA/Greenbrook Sanctuary member via the link below. A key to the gate, provided with an annual PNA membership, is required for entrance to the sanctuary on most days when Greenbrook is not open for programs for the general public.
Greenbrook Sanctuary is a member supported, secluded nature preserve. Please write us with any questions or comments.
PNA (Palisades Nature Association) is a non-profit org. of conservation-minded people, founded in 1946 to preserve the natural character of the Palisades cliffs and to develop a wild sanctuary in the Greenbrook area. Today it administers Greenbrook Sanctuary to provide a place within the metropolitan area where interested persons can study nature and relax in a peaceful undisturbed setting.
We have approximately 1,500 members and created this meetup group for an interactive experience. Members may post pictures taken in Greenbrook and get to know Naturalists and Board Members.
Rules & Responsibilities
To insure the safety of the members of the Palisades Nature Association and the preservation of the wildlife and natural character of Greenbrook Sanctuary, the following regulations (in addition to those of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission) have been authorized:
The Sanctuary is open to members dawn to dusk.
Automobile decal should be displayed and current membership card carried.
For their protection, members are to register at the bulletin board in the parking area.
Keys to the Sanctuary are not to be loaned.
Members should lock the gate upon entering and leaving.
NO pets are allowed in the Sanctuary.
NO bikes are allowed on the trails in the Sanctuary. They must be left in the parking area.
Snowshoes are permitted on trails, NO cross-country skis.
To prevent fires and litter, smoking is allowed only in the parking area and eating is allowed only in the picnic area.
Beach blankets and chairs are not permitted.
As guests in a sanctuary for wildlife, members must remain on marked trails only and must not remove or disturb plants or animals.
Members’ guests are welcome, but membership is urged if visits are repeated.
Family members under 17 years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
ALL groups—school children, adults, or otherwise—must arrange for their trip to the Sanctuary through the Alpine office.
“Greenbrook Sanctuary is 165 acres of woodland on top of New Jersey’s magnificent Palisades. 4.7 miles north of the George Washington Bridge, off U.S. Route 9W, the sanctuary is an oasis of solitude and natural beauty, minutes away from one of the noisiest, most densely populated areas in the world. In the wildest, most secluded acres, trees rise 100 to 130 feet and are often over 200 years old. Awed hikers feel hundreds of miles and years away from the cities in such primeval forests”
The sanctuary is largely an oak forest, especially along the cliff edge where red oaks, hickory, and black birch dominate. In cooler, moister, more fertile coves, sugar maple, beech, dogwood, and tulip trees are common. Swampy, poorly drained areas are covered with red maple, sweet gum, elm, tupelo, hornbeam, pin oak, ash, and willow. Common shrubs are maple-leaf viburnum, witch hazel, laurel, blueberry, wild azalea, poison ivy, grape, and, in wet areas, spicebush.
Starting in early spring, before the trees produce their leaves, the sanctuary experiences a parade of colorful wildflowers springing up from the forest floor, and the fiddleheads of twenty species of native ferns uncoiling from the dead leaves. This paralleled in late summer and fall by an amazing variety of mushrooms, shelf fungi, and slime molds.
A five-acre pond with small adjoining bog increase the great diversity of this sanctuary. The 250-foot Greenbrook Falls is one of three major streams which drain the area and tumble down the ancient diabase cliffs into the Hudson River. Views of these waterfalls, the Palisades and Highlands to the north, and the densely populated cities across the Hudson, are possible from several promontories which look down 350 feet into the river.
250+ species of birds have been identified in the sanctuary. Mammals include the nocturnal raccoon, red fox, striped skunk, gray squirrels, chipmunk, muskrat, cotton-tail rabbit, and the secretive white-footed mouse, short-tailed shrew, and common mole. Deer, opossums, weasels, flying squirrels, and red bats are also occasionally seen.
Each March, the pond, bog, and swamps fill with the egg masses of wood frogs and spotted salamanders. The dominant reptiles are eastern garter and northern water snakes, and painted and snapping turtles.