Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the weather isn’t great for a stroll or hike. In fact, we consider this time of the year the best for hiking since the trails are less crowded, and you’ll get some much needed fresh air and hopefully vitamin D. We’re outside all season in spring and summer, but now it’s more important to get the sunshine your body is needing/craving this time of year. So we put together our favorite spots in Mercer to do just that. See them all below -


Pole Farm at Mercer Meadows

111-167 Cold Soil Road, Lawrence

Perfect for those who like to stroll or bike since most of it is flat walking paths through woods and meadows. Beautiful scenery for miles and great history of the AT&T International Call Shortwave Radio Station throughout the park.

Trail through open field at Mercer Meadows in Lawrence, NJ


Billie Johnson Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve

30 Mountain Avenue, Princeton

Great location for a family hike. Peaceful, quiet, and picturesque. Stop by the lake for a good photo spot.

Billie Johnson Mountain Lake Preserve in Princeton.

Photo via Max Grey


Institute Woods

Princeton Pike, Princeton

Beautiful and well-maintained trails with a fun suspension bridge added in. Both easy and difficult hikes available with plenty of nature to enjoy, including fishing areas and a bird sanctuary. A great historic spot as well since this was the area Washington’s army marched on their way to Princeton. Be prepared for a bit of mud, especially after rain.

A hanging bridge with green trees surrounding it in Princeton, NJ.

Photo via njhiking.com


Rosedale Park

424 Federal City Road, Pennington

The trails here connect to Pole Farm, mentioned above, so you can keep the hike going on longer if you wish. We’re mentioning the park since it’s perfect for families to get in exercise while stopping at the dog park, lake or playground if needed. There’s also a big hill here for sledding during snowy weather.

Lake and forest at Rosedale Park in Pennington, NJ.

Photo via tripadvisor.com


Delaware and Raritan Canal Park Trail

Canal State Park Trail, Princeton

Beautiful scenery, well-maintained trails and leads to other parks in the area. Great spot for fishing or kayaking as well, if that’s more your speed. It makes you forget about all that stress and worry.

A tree-surrounded trail in Canal State Park in Princeton, NJ

Photo via asergeev.com


Autumn Hill Reservation

*Great for Kids!

Herrontown Road & Snowden Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540

There is a little over a mile of well-maintained trails. It’s away from traffic and has several old stone walls that run along the border of Somerset County. There are some benches along the way that were built by Boy Scout Troop 43, and a couple of picnic tables, which offer an opportunity for rest.

Autumn Hill Reservation in Princeton, NJ

Photo via www.danbalogh.com


Lawrence Hopewell Trail

*Great for Kids!

40 Craven Lane, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

The trails run from Lawrence to Hopewell Townships (hence the name) and offer safe, off-road access for kids and families. You can access the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park along the way, which is a more expansive trail. Bring bikes since the trails are flat and well-maintained!

Lawrence Hopewell Trail in Lawrenceville, NJ

Photo via www.njbwc.org


Mercer County Park

*Great for Kids!

334 South Post Road, West Windsor, NJ 08550

Stroll along the East and West trails to walk along the lake, which is great for bird watching and taking in the stunning views. Another great location for biking as well since the trails are mostly flat pavement. Perfect for kids since all trails are on the easy scale.

Lake at Mercer County Park in West Windsor, NJ.

Photo via www.pinterest.com


The Watershed Institute

*Great for Kids!

31 Titus Mill Road, Pennington, NJ 08534

We can’t conclude this list without sharing one of our favorites. The Watershed has more than 10 miles of hiking trails, including a half-mile accessible boardwalk. Flat trails, but some may be muddy or slippery depending on the weather. Beautiful, scenic views along the way. Offers some quick spots to stop and learn, which will keep little ones having a great time. Trails are accessible near the main entrance, but no bicycles are allowed here along with off-trail travel to protect the wildlife.

The Watershed Institute in Pennington, NJ.

Photo via https://twitter.com/theH2Oshed



Have a dog? Want to take him or her on more adventures? Check out our Dog Friendly Guide in Mercer here.