Planning Your Visit
2017 Operating Hours
Open weekends, Saturday May 27th through Sunday June 25th, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Open Daily Starting Saturday, June 26th through Monday September 5th.
Weekend hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. — Weekday hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Open weekends, Saturday, September 9th through Sunday October 1st, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
PLEASE NOTE: On occasion, groups - typically children - are scheduled to visit the Pool; call us if you want to know when groups are scheduled. In the event of a special member-only evening program, the swimming pool will close to the public as early as 5 p.m.
Daily Fees and Membership
The pool is open to the public, membership is open to all. To visit for the day, provisional Memberships are available which allow you to enjoy several all-day visits before you would have to join as a full member. Please note that these fees are charged at each visit and the pool we accept cash and credit cards for both entry fees and refreshments ($5.00 minimum to charge).
For 2017, the Pool charges nominal Provisional Membership fees as follows:
• $10 weekdays/$13 Weekends and holidays per adult, ages 18 and above
• $5 weekdays/$10 Weekends and holidays Seniors (over 65)
• $5 weekdays/$10 Weekends and holidays per young adult (ages 13-17)
• $3 on weekdays/weekends and holidays per child (ages 12 and under)
The Highlands Natural Pool is funded primarily by Annual Memberships.
For information on becoming an annual member, visit the Membership Page for a detailed explanation of the various membership options and rates. If you have any other questions not answered here, call the Pool at 973-835-4299.
Things to Do When You Visit
In addition to swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing (!) there are lots of great activities at the Highlands Natural Pool and in the immediate area:
Have a Picnic!
There are a number of picnic tables set under a grove of trees along the Blue Mine brook near the pool. No open fires are allowed, but you can bring a table-top propane grill or use the stationary grills available in the picnic area. The pool snack stand offers hot and cold food and drinks if you don't want to bring your own.
Our policy is that you must take your garbage with you when you leave, so please plan accordingly.
Adjacent to the pool and picnic grove is a beach sand volleyball court, and softball field with backstop. In addition, ping pong tables and a number of board games are available for use during your visit.
Go for a Hike!
The pool is located next to the Norvin Green State Forest which offers 5,400 acres of sanctuary for birds and other wildlife. Part of the Wyanokie Wilderness Area, the forest contains an extensive trail system built and maintained by the NY-NJ Trail Conference.
Norvin Green State Forest offers you a variety of hiking options and destinations. Several of the trails climb hills of up to 1,300 feet in elevation providing you with scenic vistas overlooking the New York City skyline, Wanaque reservoir, and Ramapo mountains. Other trails lead you to waterfalls, abandoned farm dwellings, and two historic iron mines that can be explored.
Here are some recommended hikes:
• 3.0-mile loop takes you past the Roomey and Blue mines.
• 4.0-mile loop Passes the abandoned iron mines and goes over Wyanokie High Point summit.
• 5.5-mile loop that goes up over Carris Hill and along the ridgeline to Wyanokie High Point.
A PDF Trail Map can be downloaded here. Using the PDF Maps app from Avenza on your Android or Apple phone, you can pinpoint your location on a map using GPS, track your route, mark waypoints and geotag photos, measure distances, and much more. We do recommend the high quality North Jersey trail map set from the NY-NJ Trail Conference which is available for purchase at the pool snack stand.
Local Guide to Food, Lodging, and More
Make a full day, weekend or week of your visit to the pool. Our Local Guide lists a number of area parks, recreation, restaurants, inns, motels, and more.
Any combination of 20 or more people is considered a group. Groups are welcome to visit the Highlands Pool, and to use our picnic tables and barbecue grills. However, such visits are subject to certain restrictions:
✓ All visits by bus, and all groups of 20 or more, must be registered in advance.
✓ For the safety and enjoyment of everyone, we cannot accommodate groups that show up without prior registration.
✓ No alcohol, pets, amplified music or speech, ground fires, etc., are allowed at any time. Before planning your visit, please review the Grounds Rules for our Picnic Grove and our general Rules and Regulations
Please call the Pool at (973) 835-4299 to discuss a group visit, well in advance of any date you have in mind. Here is a copy of our Group Contract, which you will need to send to us, along with a deposit, prior to any visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I come for the day without being a member?
Yes, you can become a provisional member and visit the pool up to 3 times before you are required to become a full member. Provisional memberships are available at the pool entrance during normal operating hours.
Can I get to the pool via public transportation?
To reach the pool, use a combination of NJ Transit buses and a ride-sharing service. From the NYC Port Authority Bus Terminal (42nd and 8th), take the NJ Transit #197 bus to the Lakeside Diner (16 Greenwood Lake Turnpike, Ringwood). There are no taxi's in Ringwood, but there are a number of local Uber and Lyft drivers who can bring you to the pool. We recommend that you arrange your trip with a driver in advance.
Does the pool have a changing room?
Yes, the pool has changing facilities, but no showers. The pool also has modern restroom facilities.
Can I buy food at the pool?
Yes, the pool snack stand offers a variety of hot and cold snacks, ice cream, and drinks. Please be aware that no alcoholic beverages, including beer, are allowed anywhere, at any time, on Highlands Pool property. Anyone bringing alcohol onto the property will be required to leave.
How deep is the pool?
The fenced-in shallow area has a gentle incline sloping to 4 feet deep. In the section for experienced swimmers, the pool slopes from 6 feet up to 10 feet in depth.
Is there cell service or WiFi at the pool?
Cell service is very spotty. The pool does offer free Wifi, ask the gate attendant for the password.
Is there a children's swim section?
Yes, there is a fenced, shallow section for children and non-swimmers. Infants and toddlers in diapers MUST wear “swim diapers” (waterproof). In addition, the deep end of the pool is off limits to children until they pass a swimming test.
Are there picnic facilities?
Yes, just outside the pool there is a picnic grove with a number of tables available, first come, first served (you can reserve in advance). There is a table-use fee (provisional membership rates apply); this fee includes swimming for the day and use of the restroom facilities.
No open fires are allowed, but you can use the stationary grills in the picnic area (first come, first served) or bring a table-top propane grill. No chemical starter or treated (self-starting) briquettes are allowed in the stationary grills!
We have a carry-in / carry-out policy: you must take all garbage and recycling home with you. Visitors must familiarize themselves with the General Rules and Regulations that govern the swimming pool and sitting area, as well as Grounds Rules for our Picnic Grove and the rest of the Pool property. Please read these before you visit.
Is Smoking Permitted?
Smoking is only allowed in the designated area, outside the pool gates.
Are babysitters available?
No. All children must be supervised by an adult.
What are the requirements for senior membership?
Senior memberships are available for those persons age 65 and older. A child who is a minor can't be added onto a Senior Family Membership. If a senior wants to include a child, then a regular Family Membership is required.
Who can be included in a Family Membership?
Family Memberships are for members of your immediate family, including parents and children. If you have a child over age 18 who is living at home and going to school full time, then an extra fee of $50 will be added to your Family Membership. Children who are 21 years or older, living at home and not full-time students cannot be included in your Family Membership.
Can we have our family reunion or child's birthday party at the pool?
Yes, but any type of group visit needs to be planned for and approved by the pool staff in advance. For information on scheduling a party, read the group visit section.
Are There Any Other restrictions?
Pets, alcohol, and radios are not allowed in the Pool Area or on the Weis Ecology Center grounds.
Call the pool for more information: 973-835-4299.
General Rules & Regulations
For the safety and enjoyment of all members and guests, the Highlands Natural Pool has general Rules and Regulations that govern the swimming pool and sitting area, as well as Grounds Rules for our Picnic Grove and the rest of the Pool property. Please read these prior to you visit.
At the Manager's discretion, the Highlands Pool reserves the right to: close at an earlier time than listed above, such as if visibility is diminished or due to inclement weather (though light rain, or limited-duration heavy rain, without thunder, typically does not cause closure); close the gate to additional visitors if the Pool has reached capacity; require any individual to leave, who is not adhering to the Pool's Rules & Regulations and/or State Health Regulations as posted (entry is automatically denied to anyone who is deemed to be under the influence); Close any portion of the property at any time; make any other decision for the proper and safe operation of the facility and enjoyment of members and guests.
Note: Prices subject to change without notice.