NOTE: Many parks have closed as a result of COVID-19, please check with the municipality's website before venturing out for the below hikes!
 

Amid unprecedented times of social distancing and self-isolation, nature is still open. And the fact remains that fresh air and sunlight are crucially beneficial to your immune system and mental health, especially during times of emotional distress.

From leisurely walks to more intense trails, here are our favorite spots to get outdoor time in our system. Six feet apart, of course.

 

Delaware and Raritan Canal

523 Alexander Road, Princeton, NJ

This 70-mile-long trail that spans across three counties is great for hiking, running and biking. The flat water of the canal make it work for paddling as well. Picturesque with lush greenery, streams and bridges to take it all in. Dogs are welcome on leash!

A view of the D&R canal path trail

Photo via Amanda Brown, Star Ledger

Princeton Institute Woods

Princeton Pike, Princeton, NJ

Well-maintained nature preserve with easy interconnected trails. The grounds have unique sculptures throughout to keep your eyes entertained and a swinging bridge for a little extra adventure. Note that the trails are not clearly marked and get very muddy when wet. Parking available.

two people crossing over a rope bridge in Princeton Institute Woods

Photo via run-hike-play.com

 

Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve Trail

30 Mountain Avenue, Princeton, NJ

This one is good for an easy walk, but offers challenges for more experienced hikers. Lots of short trails, along with streams and a beautiful lake with benches. You can’t beat the views and dogs are welcome.

a view from Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve Trail

Photo via Michael Spencer, alltrails.com

 

Woodfield Reservation

Great Road, Princeton, NJ

This is undisturbed land so expect a mix of dry hardwood forest and wetland, along with shrubs, ferns, wildlife and wildflowers. It has some fairly steep slopes, making it more suitable for experienced hikers. Be sure to check out Council Rock and Tent Rock. Dogs are welcome.

a view from Woodfield Reservation

Photo via getoutsidenj.com

 

Lawrence Hopewell Trail

Carson Road, Princeton, NJ

This one is perfect for little kids since the path is flat, well maintained and perfect for walking, running and biking. It offers a variety of views since the 20+ mile trail will take you trough fields, woods and lake. Just note that the surface can change along the way from paved to dirt or crushed stone. Dogs will love it!

a view from Lawrence Hopewell Trail

Photo via exploringbybike.wordpress.com

 

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We know times are tough, but if you can, support your local restaurants during this time as well. We put together a blog post here of all the ones that are offering take-out and delivery. Be sure to check their websites often since details can change daily.