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February 17, 2004

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Ken McNaughton

I worked at JH ,during summer vacation.Lived in bklyn,my grandparents owned Marty's tavern in greenwood lake.a few of us from the lake would hitch to and from work everyday during the summer.I have some great memories from being there.i remember one girl karen kramer,very pretty,blonde that i hung out with.There were also Steve perrone,his sister sue frank cardiello,mike paolillo,and his sister.There were a bunch of us.Also had a softball team from there.Whay greay memories..

Rachael

i am looking for any workers, or anyone that has childhood memories, or knows the whole JH story. I am extremely interested in writing about it. i lived right by JH as a kid and it has always mystified me.
please contact me at rachaelisfestive@aim.com

Brian Neumann

I have a banner from jungle habitat call me with what u did with it @ 732-998-5129

James Jhones

i have the idea about map but little bit i forget so i want to suggest go to help from google i sure you will found better map.
http://www.watchmoviesonlineforfree.org/category/horror

Kevin

that's really really nasty...man I'd shit my pants if a lion like that would come at my window...

Jay

I grew up in Northern NJ not far from Jungle Habitat. Went there at least once each summer it was open and even had a birthday party there. The park "gamekeepers" were a wild crew and their after hours parties were legendary in the local area. As far as the dead animals that were found the spriong after they closed, this is what we heard. After the town voted down the expansion and it was announced the park would be closed, they threw a wild party (I think around Xmas of that year) and decided to go on a real safari big game hunt. They were all liquored up and went out "hunting" the animals. Supposedly that is why all the bullet casings and carcasses were found in the spring. It was allegedly covered up by Warner Bros. to avoid bad publicity.

Anyway, I have nothing but fond memories of the place. I will try and locate the pictures if my mother still has them. I remember the bird shows that they had.

Steve Worthy

Looking at the top picture with the burgundy Volvo 164, it could be our car as we had one and went to Jungle Habitat wen i was 7 or 8 yrs old. It was cool and nothing happened to us. After all of these years, I believe I have a guide book from Jungle Habitat stored away somewhere.

This brought back some memories and thanks for sharing!

rubu

The residents of West milford have long been known in Sussex Morris and Passaic counties as a bunch of head cases... They voted down an expansion that would have made it a viable entertainment outlet for northern NJ... when it was voted down... warner bros pulled the plug... Good job West Milford... boneheads as always...

Jungle Habitat was a great idea (but they should have only done the up close adult animal tours in provided, monitored, buses).

Miriam Elias Lawrence

I'm not sure how to contact people here, but I found the JH Safari Guide Book in my possession.

Denise Jenkins

It's sooo funny to read the bits and pieces of information that people have about jungle habitat! I worked there in 74 and 75 and it was a really fun place to work except on the weekends when the crowds would be out of control! I would love to go back there and wonder the trails that i remember so vividly in my mind! unfortunately i now live on the west coast and probably wont make a trip back there just for that! but if i do find myself back east for any reason i sure will try to make it up there! If anyone has any questions about the old place feel free to email me, since my husband and i both worked there and remember it well!!!

Frank Rossi

Jungle Habitat was the BEST place ever !!!!! What fun and excitement, BUT, you Must obey the RULES !!!! The reason they CLOSED was because the town would not APPROVE the expansion. Warner Brothers wanted to do a big expansion with rides and attractions of all kinds. The people of the town were afraid of the Traffic Jams that this would cause and they voted the expansion down. Remember, the small roads in that area were never built for that kind of traffic volume and the jams were crazy, backups for miles. Residents feared the expansion would make things worse. Great Adventure was not the downfall of jungle habitat, they were far enough apart for both to survive. The downfall was the people of the town not allowing the expansion. So sad, cause jungle habitat was an amazing place. Maybe, someone will reopen it, wouldn't that be "GRAND"...........

Reid

The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride f*cking with you. F*ck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.
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Todd Horn

I was at Jungle Habitat in the fall of 1976 just before it closed. I have pictures of me when I was 6 years old in front of the two tubes that were tunnels you could walk thru. There was a sign above the tunnels that said Jungle Junction. I visited Jungle Habitat yesturday, 32 years later and took a picture in the same spot I did back in 1976. A real neat moment in my life. I walked the tracks were the mini safari ride was. I also have pictures of me on that. My friends own a camp on the back side of Jungle Habitat. When they bought the property around 20 years ago the man they bought the house from left some journals that spoke of gorillas or apes getting out and hanging out in the back yard. You can look up into the woods from there property and still see the remnants of the gorilla cages. Even though there is debate about this park and weather it was a good idea or not to have this park, I loved it then and love it even more looking at pictures then and now. I would love to see Jungle Habitat re-open so my kids could enjoy the park.

fleurdelis

Can anyone give me directions to the JH location? I would love to see it again after all these years!

tihopilik

Hello

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G'night







GV

HEY GREG-

THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION. I AM A BIG FAN OF VISITING ABANDONED CASTLES AND MANSIONS. IF YOU KNOW OF SOME IN NJ OR NY, LET ME KNOW.

THANKS!

Greg Pasquariello

I lived about 1/4 mile from Jungle Habitat my entire childhood (I was there from 1970 to 1987). It was cool hearing the lions roaring at night. We had an occasional peacock in the neighborhood, and one time school was closed due to some baboons that had escaped, but beyond that, there's nothing particularly weird or sinister about the place. There are no mountain lions as a result of JH. (Mountain lions historically ranged there naturally, but it's doubtful that any are still around).

Greg Pasquariello

Cross Castle hasn't been there for years, it was torn down by Newark.

Cross Castle is (was) approximately here: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=41.077515,-74.443424&spn=0.0044,0.007972&t=k&z=17&om=1&msid=114029182210948393345.0000011336b56aea10ea4

GV

HOW DO I GET TO CROSS CASTLE OFF CLINTON RD IN WEST MILFORD, NJ? I'VE TRAVELED ON CLINTON RD, BUT IS THERE A TRAIL I TAKE TO GET TO THE CASTLE?

Steve

As a sophomore in High school, I went to Jungle Habitat a few times during the fall of 95 with a bunch of friends. We found all the old buildings. I remember going in one of the buildings and there were smashed glass cases, guess they sold souvenirs there. There was still alot of memorabilia left there. We took a bunch of old signs, ticket stubs and other trinkets from the buildings. We found the tubes, a huge barn where they must have kept elephants or camels, empty pools, and an outhouse with a dead deer strung up inside. Everything has since been torn down, and my mother threw away everything I had bought home with me. Wish I still had that stuff!

Oby

I'm 37 years old and I was born in 1970. I went to Jungle Habitat in 1973 and I remember it like it was yesterday. I had so much fun as a little 3 year old. I have to say I really remember the Luney Tunes more than the live animals. I wish it was still there so I can take my daughter. Thanx GOD for memories it really left a lasting impression with me. I'm always looking for vintage Habitat stuff at tag sales or Ebay.

Albert Saladini

I must been 4 years old, I do remember riding a kiddie ride with my little brothers and still have a picture of it in a photo album. I always wondered what happened to Jungle Habitat. I was disappointed to know that it was shut down. I would have loved to take my kids there someday. It was a great place.

INS

DONT listen they have a horse shoe and it will copy all your personal information

Dante

If anyone has a map -- cartoon, or whatever, can you please email it? Thanks!

Rob

Thank you Paulina for writing back and lettings us know how to get in.

paulina

[ how do you get in? me and my wife took a drive there today. We used the airport road entrance. once there we came to a big gate and could not get in. can anyone please tell me how to get in? thanks. comment made by rob ]

when u get to the big gate, you have to park your car and walk around the gate and up all the hills before you get to the what is left of where the parking used to be.

Neil

By the way, in the West Palm Beach area in Florida, there has been a park exactly like JH.....you drive your car through the areas where animals roam. It was there when I first visited in 1972, and it is still open today, just off Southern Blvd just west of Royal Palm Beach.

Neil

I remember Jungle Habitat when it opened in the early 1970s. I lived in Ft. Lee, and had a small runabout boat on Greenwood Lake. I was also taking flying lessons at Greenwood Lake Airport. Soon after the jungle park opened, the airport put up very African motif gates, and renamed itself Nairobi. After Jungle Habitat closed, the name reverted back to Greenwood Lake Airport. I was always a little amused that when I was in the landing pattern on downwind for the one runway at that time, had the engine quit I would have had to make an emergency landing in a wild animal park with lions roaming free. I doubt that the aluminum skin of a Cessna 150 would have stood up well to those claws!

Rob

how do you get in? me and my wife took a drive there today. We used the airport road entrance. once there we came to a big gate and could not get in. can anyone please tell me how to get in? thanks

pam

This is so great reading these memories of JH. I have long since moved away from NJ and have fond memories of this and other places. I agree with what many said, although it holds great memories - in retrospect, "What the hell were they thinking?!" It was an accident waiting to happen. What I remember most from the drive through area was the monkeys breaking the car antanea and ripping the molding off the car and chewing on it like it was black licorice. My father also went nuts when they put those bumper stickers on the car, he would even leave a note asking them not to but they still did. Despite all this we still came back to visit on several occassion during the years it was open :-)

BJS

I have very vague memories of JH because I went with my family when I was about 5 or 6. The memories that stand out are from the safari and Looney Tunes stage show. I remember going through the safari and seeing baboons jump on the cars including ours and grab food from people from cracks in the windows. My parents yelled at us to not feed them. I also remember seeing lions actually jump on the other cars and telling my parents that I wish that was us. To think about driving thru a zoo with predators loose to jump on the family car today is just insane. I would love to see the ruins today.

lordsomber

Just had to add my youthful impressions on what I remember from JH 30 or so years ago:

http://pungeon.blogspot.com/2006/03/leonine-moonwalk.html

Rob

Can somebody give me directions to Jungle Habitat. I can't remember how to get there. I was too young to rememeber getting there.

aafunnycar

Hey Eric, I've got about 4 rolls of 35mm film I'm gonna transfer on to video, and when I do I'll be happy to arrange for you to get copies. We actually have Bugs and the WB stage show on film!

Eric

I used to work at Jungle Habitat back in the 70's. I played Bugs Bunny (in costume of course) and loved my job. Although I worked there for 3 years, I don't have a single picture of the place (youthfull stupidity). I am looking for anyone that might have any pictures or home movies of the place that they wouldn't mind sharing with me. I am also looking to connect with anyone that used to work there back then as well.

BTW ... that booth just inside the tunnels was not a ticket booth. All tickets were purchased at the ticket booths on the access road before entering the large parking lot. That booth actually served two purposes. One was to rent strollers to anyone with small kids. The other use, which was quite ahead of its time, was to allow you to drop off your dog if you were actually foolish enough to bring him/her. THey actually had an area for babysitting pets while you enjoyed the park.

I would be happy to answer any questions that anyone has. It maybe 30 years ago, but I remember that place like it was yesterday.

bob rathmann

I'm sitting here with my mother talking about how lame that place was. It sucked

Billy Boy

I used to work there when I was in High School. I worked first at the concession stand behind the looney tune and african shows and then tended to the elephants. A few years ago I road my mountain bike through the abandoned runins of the park. Too freaking weird!
Cheers,
Billy Boy

p.s. I added a link to your Jungle Habitat site in one of my recent blog entrys. Hope you don't mind

LJ

My husband, 2 kids and I made the trip to JH yesterday. I copied many of your comments in regards to where to go. We started at the Airport Rd entrance and walked up the steep entrance road (at least .5 miles)to the main parking lot area at the very top of the hill. I read that this 2nd entrance was created because residents on Marshill Hill Rd complained of the line of cars waiting to get in. There are 2 gigantic parking lots, one directly at the top of the hill and another to the right at the top of the hill. They are GIGANTIC...3000 car spaces overall! I found the 2 tunnels at the top of the hill on the left side of the 1st parking lot, We walked thru the tunnels and almost immediately spotted the ticket booth, then saw remnants of what I think was the platform for the train cars on left. We walked a bit further and actually saw thick groups of live bamboo plants on the right...I know that they're not indigenous to W. Milford, so the bamboo must have been planted by JH. Every so often we saw cement pilings, remnants of gates and pieces of wood here and there.
We only could go so far, as we had a 1 and 3 yr old with us, but we DEFINITELY plan to take our bikes up there one day. I'd like to take the roads that were used for the safari ride. I looked on a map and saw that the roads go for what looks like miles (probably not that far though).
If interested, go to google site and look for their map link. Choose satellite view of maps and you can see the huge parking lots and trails if you zoom in real far.
I went as a small child in '75 or '76 for a class trip and mainly remember going on the train. I have a pic of myself and a friend in a zebra-stripe painted car. I actually took a bunch of pics yesterday while exploring and would love to post them. Does anyone have a site where I can upload them?
Finally, there is definately something about that place that I can't put into words. I frequently had the hair stand up on the back of my neck and could almost hear the animals from 30 yrs ago. This is a fun trip that I recommend to anyone in particular who remembers going to this special place.

paulina

just today i went to what used ta be jungle habitat. i was not able to find tha supposed paths that lead to the boneyard. but on our way down (i was with a friend) we saw an older man walking up tha long road and asked him about tha boneyard and he said it was an urban myth. but neways we ended up going all tha way ta tha end of tha parking and going through a path, and not finding ne luck at all cuz we had ta turn back. but i do remember seeing a hawk, and oddly colored ducks, or wut i think it was. so that was my journey to jungle habitat.

and for paul who is looking for a map of the parking lot, tha closest thing i personally have been able to find was going to google.com and typing in "map". then a link should automatically pop up and say google maps. type in airport road and if you follow tha road which you would be coming off tha main road which would be marshall hill road.so neways you follow airport road and you go to tha left and there should be a bunch of road leading aroud. and those roads are in jungle habitat. or wuts left of it.

this is for sandi. to get to demons alley is pretty easy. you go on 23 north. you pass staples and lowes and all that on your right hand side. you pass germantown road. you can get ta germantown road and then exit onta demons alley but its kinda weird ta get off if you dont know tha area. but neways when you pass germantown road, and go a little further there is a bar and a bit further is a gas station. rite pass tha gas station is a tiny exit that winds around and you are on demons alley. but make sure you slow down when you pass tha bar and go slower when your by tha gas station because it is a windy road and many people have hit tha metal poles. i was close but thank god.

sandi

how do i get to demons alley in west milford? i know its off of 23 but where exactly? thanks

Paul

Hello everyone , I'm 39 and was in Jungle Habitat when I was 5 or 6 but I don't remember it I asked my mom to find some pictures she remembers us riding a camel . I read about the place in Weird NJ and had to see what it looks like , so my 2 Boy's Lenny (14) and Tommy (11) walked from the Air Port to the HUGE Parking Lot and didn't know what way to go so we made a left on one path and when threw the woods and we ended up back at the entrance so we left because we were HOT and Hungry . So we went back today with our Mt. Bikes and we went trew all the paths and we saw the Rail car station with the track going around in a circle . First we went into the Parking lot and we saw 2 tunnels right next to each other and we went threw and saw a ticket booth , then went straight and there was the rail . THen up the path to the right is the Otter tank and what looks like a monkey or Bird cage . We saw a busted up cement foundation that could have been a pool for the Dolphins . What I really need is a Copy of the Park map if anyone has one and can scan it and e-mail it to me I'll be forever grateful .
Thanks
Paul

Tropicovekids

My son's and I were there for the second time and we saw the train tracks , the otter tank , monkey cage , the twin tunnels and then the ticket booth (I think) . I'm 39 and my dad said we went when I was 8 but I do not remmeber . I whould love to see a map of the park , If anyone has one please e-mail me ASAP . Also were did the Animals go to your car ? Before the parking lot ? Because the parking lot is HUGE . I could not figure out were you whould drive because the paths were just big enough for our Bikes . Any info whould be apreciated .
Thanks
Tropicovekids

debby

I am happy to hear that many of you have memories of visiting JH while it was opened. I remember my parents taking my brother and me to the park in the early 70's. I was 5 or 6 yrs old at that time and I can't remember too much. I do remember feeding and petting the smaller zoo animals in fenced in pen areas and I remember the Warner Bros Characters walking around because I am a Bugs Bunny fan. I've mentioned the controversy and mystery about JH to my mom a few years ago and she was surprised to hear about the maulings and the inexperience that most of the animal handlers had and she doesn't remember hearing any news about an accident happening at JH and she doesn't know why the park was closed. I check for new info every once in a while about JH because I am facinated about the subject and hopefully someday I will be in the area to visit whatever is left to see.

Explorergal

I had recently been up to the JH site for the fireworks. I wasn't aware that you could hike up there so plan on going back. I found a sort of map on the NY/NJ trail conference site. Here's the URL:
http://www.nynjtc.org/issues/2001/jungle.html

Reverend Flash

Why don't we all organize a big field trip of some sort to explore it all? (There's safety in numbers.)

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