Parks, Greenways, and Gardens

No matter what type of nature scene you desire -- wildflower preserves, animal habitats, historic landmarks, or even adventure activities with your family -- there are various beautiful parks and outdoor spaces throughout the Region. Follow the links below to learn more about things to do in the Princeton-Mercer Region's great outdoors.  

Delaware-Raritan Canal State Park

This pathway runs 74 miles along the Delaware and Raritan Canal from Milford to Trenton, and North along Millstone River to New Brunswick. Fishing, canoeing, and towpath for jogging and bicycling.

Mercer County Park - Old Trenton Road - West Windsor. View county park information and events.

Mercer County Park encompasses more than 2,500 acres covering areas of the townships of West Windsor, Hamilton, and Lawrence. The Park has year-round facilities for all ages and includes both active and passive recreational opportunities. Open daily, the park includes an athletic complex, softball and soccer fields, golf, championship baseball parks, 26 outdoor tennis courts, 18 basketball half-courts, an ice skating center, Bark Park for large and small dogs, and the Boat Marina's newly renovated boathouse is available for rental. Grandparents Grove, a secluded lakeside area located within Mercer County Park, was created by the Park Commission after the Mercer County Office on Aging and the Mercer County Council on Aging recognized the need to provide a special place for the County's older residents to visit and enjoy with loved ones.

In a typical year, the park attracts over 400,000 athletes/participants/users and over 430,000 spectators. Mercer County Park hosts hundreds of diverse events throughout the year including charity walks and runs, concerts, sporting tournaments and even NCAA Rowing Championships.

Princeton Battlefield State Park - Mercer Street - Princeton

This 85-acre park is the site of Washington's victory over British forces on January 3, 1777, completing the 10 Crucial Days, a major turning point in the American Revolution.

Washington Crossing State Park - 355 Washington Crossing-Pennington Rd - Titusville

2,000 acres with 15 miles of trails, camping, picnicking, outdoor nature interpretive center, and historic buildings.

Plainsboro Preserve- New Jersey Audubon Society

The New Jersey Audubon Society's Plainsboro Preserve is a 1,000-acre nature preserve and is located in central New Jersey along the Route 1 corridor. The partnership between Middlesex County, Township of Plainsboro and New Jersey Audubon has resulted in the conservation and accessibility to one of the region's most significant ecological legacies.

There are over five miles of trails meandering through mature beech woods, wet meadows, and the shoreline of scenic 50-acre McCormack Lake. The preserve is home to more than 150 species of birds and a lot of wildlife.

The Saturday Family Nature Programs and many other educational programs conducted at the center, give participants the opportunity to get a first-hand experience with nature. The Nature Gift Store has Optics, bird feeders, bird seed, books, and gifts.

Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation

The Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT) is a 20+ miles bicycle and pedestrian recreational trail and transportation corridor through public and private lands in Lawrence and Hopewell Townships, Mercer County, New Jersey. The idea for the LHT grew out of a commitment to improving the quality of life for all who live or work in the region.  The LHT supports an active, livable, and sustainable community with alternative forms of transportation to reduce reliance on automobiles. They also promote health and fitness, recreation, and outdoor education.

Barbara Boggs Sigmund Park - Hamilton and Walnut Sts.- Princeton 

Gardens and a playground enhance this branch-lines park named after the former Mayor of Princeton.

Bull's Island Recreation Area and Campground - 2185 Daniel Bay Highway - Stockton

This natural area comprises a portion of a small forested island surrounded by the Delaware River and the Delaware & Raritan Canal. A trail along the towpath of the canal reveals a lowland floodplain forest dominated by sycamore, silver maple, and tulip poplar. Several rare plant species are found in this natural area. (609) 397-2949

D&R Greenway Land Trust Johnson Education Center - 1 Preservation Place - Princeton

Housed in a renovated circa-1900 barn on the lower farm of Princeton's 275-acre Edgerstoune Estate surrounded by 60 acres preserved D&R Greenway and partners in 2001. Home to lectures, panel discussions, and professional workshops designed to raise awareness about the importance of protecting land and our environment. Contact: (609) 924-4646

Greenway Meadows - Rosedale Road- Princeton

55 acres of open space, walking and biking paths, two soccer fields, girls softball field, parking are, small playground, and restrooms. Contact: (609) 921-9480

Herrontown Woods - Princeton

This completely wooded park, with its mature trees and gently rolling contour, is among the best in the area for a moderate hiking adventure. A system of more than three miles of color-coded trails enables the visitor to explore the forest ecosystem and provides an insight into the history of the track as well.

Institute Woods/Charles W. Rogers Wildlife Refuge - Between Alexander Rd. and Quaker Rd.- Princeton

300 forested acres bounded by wetlands and marsh. Birding, hiking and spring wildflowers with an observation platform overlooking most of the marsh.

Marquand Park - Mercer St., Stockton St., Lovers Lane- Princeton

The park, a beautiful 17-acre tract, includes woodlands, forest glades, and open parkland. The wide expanses of lawn provide a magnificent setting for a grand display of specimen trees and shrubs, an arboretum with such a great variety of domestic and foreign species, it truly sets Marquand Park apart. Many of the 200 species are tagged and mapped for visitors' convenience. Eleven of the trees located here are the largest of their kind in the state of New Jersey.

Most of the walks are paved, and all are suitable for wheelchair use. The arboretum, playground, picnic area and ball field make Marquand a rewarding destination for visitors of all ages and interests. A map near the parking lot shows the location of tree specimens throughout the park.

Mountain Lake Nature Preserve - Mountain Ave. and Route 206

74-acre environmental center with woods, flowers, three lakes, wildlife, and scenic views. Bird walks, nature walks, and group tours.  Mountain Lakes House is available to rent for social and community gatherings.

Pettoranello Gardens - Community Park North- Mountain Ave. and Route 206- Princeton

A 13-acre park, home of the summer Shakespeare Festival, concerts, and films.  Fishing and ice skating in the winter.

Plainsboro Community Park - Scotts Corner Road- Plainsboro

Includes battlefields, Little League Field, soccer field, dog park, concession stand, pavilion, picnic area, an asphalt, court for skateboarders/ rollerbladers as well as a playground facility

Prospect Gardens - Princeton University Campus, Princeton

The garden, established in the mid-1800s, includes a colorful array of 8,000 flowers ranging from geraniums to iris.

Ron Rogers Arboretum - Princeton-Hightstown & Clarksville Rds.- West Windsor

Features many species of oak trees and walking trails on 25 acres.  Site of the West Windsor September 11, 2001 (9/11) memorial. (609) 799-6141

Rosedale Park - Federal City Road, Hopewell Township

Rosedale Park has a 38-acre lake for fishing, sailing, and canoeing, a picnic area and ball field. 

Sayen Gardens - Hughes Drive- Hamilton

Situated in historic Hamilton Square, Sayen House and Gardens provide a welcome sanctuary for nature lovers, garden enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Along with this breathtaking scenery as nature's perfect background, Sayen Gardens is available for a variety of functions and gatherings.

Sourland Mountain Preserve - Montgomery Township

2780-acre nature preserve with extensive hiking trails

The Stony Brooke Millstone Watershed Association - 3 Titus Mill Road- Pennington

Offers teacher workshops, classes for family programs, and walking tours through a 585-acre nature reserve.

Turning Basin Park - Alexander Rd., West Windsor

Turning Basin Park, a natural area that includes picnic facilities, a canoe launch, and a playground, is located off Alexander Road. It was built on the site of what once was a thriving commercial area which included two turning basins in which canal boats could turn around as well as unload. The basin east of Alexander Road can still be seen; the basin on the west side of Alexander Road has been filled in.

Valley Rd. Group Picnic Area - Hopewell Township

19 well-equipped acres for picnics plus a sports complex. Reservations and a paid permit are necessary. Contact: (609) 989-6536

Van Nest Park - Cranbury Rd. adjacent to Grover Mill Rd.- West Windsor

Features grills and a playground, as well as the War of the Worlds monument. Party rentals available. Contact: (609) 799-6141

West Windsor Community Park - West Windsor

A 123-acre park that features a playground, pavilion, walking-jogging paths, tennis courts, playing fields, and is home to the West Windsor Water Works Family Aquatic Center.  Party rentals available. Contact: (609) 799-6141

Woodfield Reservation - Old Great Rd. across from Tenacre Foundation- Princeton

100 acres with hiking, bird watching, and wildflowers.  Two streams meet in the center of the Reservation.