Buildings and facilities are closed to the public but trails remain open. Please refer to our COVID-19 resource page for the latest information on NJ Audubon’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis, center closings and postponed programming.
Please do not leave any animals at our centers. Buildings are closed and staff are working remotely until further notice due to COVID-19 closures.
The Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Bernardsville, Basking Ridge, and Harding Township, NJ, has its beginnings in the 1965 donation of 125 acres by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Scherman to the New Jersey Audubon Society.
Later, in 1973 and 1975, Mr. G. Frederick Hoffman donated parcels of land. The Hoffman estate house and caretaker’s house were added to the Sanctuary in 1981, at the time of Mr. Hoffman’s death. This completed what is now the Scherman-Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, 276 acres of woodland, field, and floodplain habitat supporting over 200 species of wildlife over the course of a year.
The Hoffman estate house, added on to and renovated in 2004-5, is now New Jersey Audubon’s magnificent Hoffman Center for Conservation and Environmental Education. The Center, located in the foothills of the Highlands, boasts an environmental learning center, tree-top level observation deck, bookstore, and exhibits. The Center also houses the Sanctuary offices, as well as the office of the NJAS President. The bird-feeding station next to the building is a popular attraction for birds and bird-watchers alike, and can be viewed in comfort from the inside of the building.
Well-maintained and marked trails traverse the Sanctuary, ranging in length from 0.3 miles to 1.3 miles and passing through upland deciduous forest, fields, woodland, and the floodplain along the headwaters of the Passaic River. The Sanctuary is home to more than 60 species of nesting birds, and over 200 species of birds have been sighted at the Sanctuary, including as many as 25 species of warblers during spring migration. Nesting birds of interest include Worm-eating Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Pileated Woodpecker, Wild Turkey, and Great-horned and Screech owls. Red Fox, Long-tailed Weasel, Mink, numerous White-tailed Deer, Eastern Chipmunk, Gray and Red squirrels, Coyote, and many other mammals inhabit the diverse habitat at Scherman-Hoffman.
Scherman-Hoffman is conveniently located within minutes of the Morristown National Historical Park (Jockey Hollow preserves more than 2,500 acres, including the Cross Estate), the 7,000 acre Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, the Somerset County Environmental Education Center, the Raptor Trust, Washington Valley Park’s Chimney Rock Hawk Watch, and Montclair Hawk Watch.
Things To Do
- Nature Store
- Shop Optics
- Art Gallery
- Guided Walks
- Field Trips
New Jersey Audubon is closely monitoring federal, state and local COVID-19 guidelines related to our summer camp programs. With the health and safety of our staff and community our top priority, New Jersey Audubon’s nature centers are currently closed and school programs, field trips and events have been postponed or reimagined using virtual platforms. At this time, summer camps are on still on the calendar, but that may change. We will provide updates as this situation continues to emerge. Thank you very much for your support!
Please click here (https://njaudubon.org/COVID-19/) for our latest updates in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
BRIDGES TO THE NATURAL WORLD
Summer Nature Camp Quests
Nature at your own pace…in your own space
REGISTRATION WILL OPEN ON OR BEFORE JUNE 5, 2020
Keep in touch with your NJ Audubon summer camp teachers and counselors and meet new experts from across the state of New Jersey. At home in northern New Jersey? Explore the shore with Mr. B in Cape May. Don’t have access to green space nearby? Learn about New Jersey’s animals and plants and then explore your own space to see what you can find. Never been to swamp? Join us for a virtual slog. All this and more for your summer adventure.
Bridges to the Natural World is a subscription series celebrating nature! Subscription packages will focus on a different theme including Amazing Animals, Wonders of Wetlands, Creepy Crawlers and Outdoor Skills. Each subscription includes exclusive access to a variety of short, exciting nature and how-to videos from NJ Audubon naturalists, an information-rich themed booklet mailed to your child with daily challenges, and nature quests that can be done in your own neighborhood or local green space. Each packet will also include surprise materials that support things your child can do to become a NJ Audubon Junior Naturalist.
If you have already registered for in person camp at our center, please contact us directly for any refund needed.
Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary
11 Hardscrabble Road
Bernardsville, NJ 07924
For more information contact Stephanie Punnett, Program Director
June 6th & 7th
Come choose from a wide variety of hard-to find native plants to beautify your yard and boost its ecological value for wildlife — as well as raise money to fund the NJA programs you believe in. They are all chosen to attract and sustain bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife. We’ll have different kinds of milkweed, monardas, low berry bushes, small native trees, ferns and more! Native plants are designed to fit into your ecosystem and need less maintenance.
We offer a selection of nature-based badge programs for Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts. To schedule a program for your troop, please call 908-396-6386 or register in person at the center.
Programs are 90 minutes, and take place at Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary. The cost is $100 for the first 10 Scouts, and $10 per additional scout or participating sibling up to a total of 20 participants.
Please contact us about community service projects, Eagle Scout projects, or Bronze, Silver, or Gold projects.
Browse through our selection of informative programs about birds, wildlife, plants and gardening, and conservation and ecology. Our programs are popular with garden clubs, senior centers, libraries, corporations, civic groups, and more.
We bring our program to your location; the fee is $150 plus mileage.
If you would like to visit our beautiful 299 acre sanctuary, we also offer these programs for your group at our center. Please call for details.
To schedule a program, please call 908-396-6386.
School and Youth Environmental Education Programs
Bring your students to our Sanctuary for a hands-on outdoor program.
Birthday parties are an NJ Audubon member benefit. If you are not a member you can join at anytime and schedule a birthday party for your child.
Children’s Birthday Parties
Treat your child to a nature themed birthday party at Scherman Hoffman! Your child and guests will have a fantastically fun time exploring the sanctuary with our Naturalists. Explore our pond, stream, search for birds or nature’s treasures, meet our live animals at the center, or build a fairy or gnome house in our Enchanted Forest.
Parties are held all year long. Do something different to celebrate the nature lover in your family.
- Parties are booked for a two hour period.
- $250 for a party of up to 15 children, an additional charge of $10 per child will be added for parties up to 20 children.
- Parties are a NJ Audubon member privilege, and an active Family Membership is required.
- $50 deposit and your membership fee will hold your reservation. Payment of balance is due the day of your party.
- Deposits are non-refundable within 14 days of your scheduled party.
- Memberships are not refundable.
Call (908) 396-6386 to schedule a birthday party. Your $50 deposit and membership fee will hold your reservation. Payment of balance is due the day of your party. Deposits are non-refundable within 14 days of your scheduled party. Memberships are not refundable.
Staff & Personnel
Susan Garretson Friedman
Nature Store Manager
Nature Store Associate
- No litter
- No picnicking, fires, or camping
- No alcoholic beverages
- No pets
- No vehicles, bicycles, skateboards or horses on the trails
- No hunting, trapping, or woodcutting
- Fishing by special license only