Princeton is predominantly known for its university, its many museums, and its multiple historic landmarks. However, it is also known for its parks and the beautiful areas surrounding the town. Therefore, it is a fantastic place to live or visit for those who enjoy spending time outdoors. One of the best ways to fully appreciate the beauty of the area is to explore the hiking trails. If you visit this area for the first time and would like to know more about the hiking trails, then here is a traveler's guide to hiking in Princeton, NJ.
Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve Trail
According to All Trails, Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve Trail in Community Park North is one of the best places for hiking in Princeton, NJ. It is an easy trail of just 2.3 miles that loops around the lake. It is also possible to walk shorter sections of the track if 2.3 miles is too far, or if you just want to spend some time in the fresh air with your children without overtiring them. The trail is marked, and it is perfect for beginners. It boasts picturesque views across the lake, and
Delaware and Raritan Canal Trail
As its name suggests, this trail is within the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. It is the longest trail in Princeton, at 60.8 kilometers, that runs along the canal's full length. There are multiple places where you can join or exit the trail, so you can walk as much or as little of it as you like. As there are so many sections of this trail to enjoy, you can visit for many days and walk a different section each time.
Woodfield Reservation Loop
Owned by Princeton Borough, Woodfield Reservation is north of the town on a steep slope on Princeton ridge. The loop trail within this park is a moderate trail that will take just over an hour. The path has an elevation gain of 82 meters, although this is gradual and not too challenging. While some sections of the trail take you through the woods where you will see lots of wildlife, other sections take you through quiet residential streets.
Baldpate Mountain- Ted Stiles Preserve
Visit Princeton lists the Baldpate Mountain- Ted Stile Preserve trail as one of the best in the area. It is just outside Princeton in Titusville, and you will find the trailhead on Fiddlers Creek Road. It is a challenging hike, as the 12-mile trail is not paved, and there are steep stone steps that lead to a grassy summit, which is the highest point in Mercer County. However, it is possible to complete shorter sections of the trail if the full 12 miles is too far for you. There are two parking lots at the beginning of the trail and restrooms at the top of the mountain.
Herrontown Woods Trail
Herrontwon Woods Trail is a moderate trail with a gradual elevation gain of 42 meters. The atrial takes you through areas with wildflowers, so you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings. It is worth noting that you can take dogs on this trail if you keep them on their lead.
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association
The full trail at Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association is 8 miles, although it comprises shorter, interconnected trails. It is an easy trail that is predominantly paved, so it will suit people of all abilities. Along the trail, you will find an environmental center and a nature center that are open seasonally. You will also walk by a pond with swans, see a hobbit tree, and discover a haiku station, with wooden blocks that flip to create different haiku.Therefore, there are lots of highlights along this trail.
One of the most accessible and scenic trails in Princeton is Mercer Meadows. It is a suitable trail for all the family, and most of the trail is flat with gravel. The trail leads you through picturesque meadows, and it is a fantastic place to see birds and butterflies.It is also a popular spot with photography enthusiasts, due to the landscape and vast array of wildlife.
Princeton Institute Woods
There are several interconnected trails at Princeton Woods, all of which are easy and ideal for beginners. Man of the trails feature unique sculptures, and there are interesting sections, such as a swinging bridge. Although the trails are not clearly marked, you will not get lost as they are all interconnected. It is worth noting that some of the trails can become muddy during wet weather. Parking is available on Springfield Road.
Pettoranello- Brookside Trail (White Triangle Trail)
The trailhead for this trail is at the parking lot for Pettoranella Gardens, and it takes you to the Stuart-Witherspoon Trail in Witherspoon Woods. Therefore, you have the option of continuing along the second trail. Along the trail, you will pass through woodlands, fields, and stream crossings. There are some muddy sections, although it is less muddy at the higher sections of the trail where it is rocky with lots of tree roots. Overall, this is an intermediate, point-to-point trail that is well marked, says Hiking Project.
Stuart Coventry View Trail (Red Triangle)
If you want a short hike that will take under an hour, then a good option is the Stuart Coventry View Trail, also known as the Red Triangle. It is appoint-to-point. It is a good place to take the kids for an outdoor adventure, as it is a short and flat trail that is close to town. This trail is one that most people will enjoy as there are interesting points along the way. For example, there are lots of bridges and stream crossings. The starting point is the main parking lot on Mountain Avenue, and the trail runs to an intersection of the Stuart-Witherspoon Trail. One thing to note is that the trail is often muddy at the southwestern end.
Written by Dana Hanson
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