Hiking the Trails

Rules and Regulations
Bergen Swamp properties are special places where you will find unique associations of plants and animals. All Bergen Swamp properties are owned by the Bergen Swamp Preservation Society. They are open to the public by permission of the society. The chief goals of the Society are the protection and management of these unique communities, the education of the public  about these areas and scientific research.  In keeping with these goals, the properties of the Society are open to visitors interested in learning more about these unique communities. For the safety of visitors and the protection of the flora and fauna of these properties, we require visitors to adhere to the following guidelines:

• No collecting or damage to plants or animals is permitted.
• No harassing of animals is allowed.
• No releasing of plants or animals is permitted.
• No pets are permitted, other than those registered as service dogs.
• No “gardening” for photography will be allowed.
• No littering.
• Visitors must stay on trails. This is to protect the visitor from getting lost and to protect fragile habitats from damage.
• Please respect marked research sites; do not touch, move or damage research equipment or barriers.
• Visitors are responsible for their own safety. Zurich Bog has unstable soils, so visitors should watch their footing. The Society recommends that visitors not walk on trails alone.
• Visitors should wear appropriate footwear (boots). The trails on these wetland properties are rugged and may be very wet. Come prepared and you will enjoy your visit.
• The rugged nature of the trails makes them inaccessible to people who have difficulty walking. The trails are definitely not wheelchair accessible.
• Children should be supervised at all times. The Society requires that an adult accompany all children under the age of 16.
• Groups of six or more are not allowed on the properties without prior written permission from BSPS. For permission, Contact us at ZurichBog@gmail.com.
• No alcoholic beverages are permitted on BSPS property.

Parking and the trail head for Zurich Bog is located just north of the railroad tracks on Arcadia Zurich Norris Rd. in the town of Arcadia. The parking area is marked by a large rock bearing the National Natural Landmark plaque.

The trail begins at the parking area and starts through an old hedgerow. At the kiosk, you start down into the wetland beginning with a swamp forest habitat. You’ll noticed a change, marked by ground yews, as you enter a bog forest habitat. The trail continues to the open, sphagnum bog and on to a loop trail around an upland forest habitat on the drumlin. Stay on the boardwalk through the swamp, and bog habitats. Follow the white trail blazes through the upland forest. (see note below on reading our trail blazes.)


How to Read Trail Blazes
The blazes used in Zurich Bog are white. Reading the blazes correctly will allow you to stay on trail and prevent your getting lost.
• Blazes are painted on tree trunks along the side of the trail about 6 feet off the ground.
• Blazes are approximately 2 inches across and 6 inches high.
• The next blaze should be visible as you are passing the current blaze.
Be aware: trees with blazes can fall over, paint can fade and animals may also affect blazes. This is why it is important to start with a map: reinforce your confidence and knowledge of the trail before you set out.
The trail is obvious when on the boardwalk and the well trod path is visible. The blazes are most crucial in the dense woods where leaf litter can obscure the path. If you are unsure of the trail, stop at the last visible blaze and spend some time looking for the next. A double blaze on a tree indicates a ninety degree change of direction of the trail. Our trails wind in and out of habitats so please pay close attention to the blazes.
Another clue you can use is to look for chainsawed logs or limbs. We only clear downed trees that cross the trail, the rest are left to decay naturally. If you spot a clean cut limb you are on or near the trail. Stop and look for one of the white blazes.
Please give yourself enough time to make it out of the preserve by nightfall. It is easy to become disoriented in fading light. And please pay attention to the weather before you head in to the preserve. High winds and sudden storms can create windfall trees and limbs.



  1. I appreciated the Bog talk today, 3/23/13, at the Newark-Arcadia Historical Society. Keep up the good work. Wayne CountyTrail Works has toured the Bog in the past perhaps we can do it again soon.

  2. Hello,

    I am a freelance copywriter and creative director. May I have permission to use your blaze image on my blog to illustrate a post about the importance of proper creative briefings? It’s a great image and fits my piece beautifully. I would be happy to share a draft of the blog (it’s my first) to be sure you’re comfortable with the usage. Thank you for considering my request.

  3. […] Zurich Bog Trail map is used with permission from The Bergen Swamp Preservation Society: https://thezurichbog.wordpress.com/hiking-the-trails/ […]

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