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.