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Parks & Playgrounds
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Parks & Playgrounds

Parks & Playgrounds Princeton is known for its beauty, in part due to many preserved areas, trails, and municipal and county parks. Beautiful lakes, most notably Carnegie Lake, along with canals and, a bit further west, the Delaware River, await those who wish to explore by foot or by oar.

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Parks & Playgrounds

Washington Crossing State Park
355 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road Titusville NJ 08560
609-737-9303
Originally preserved for its historical significance, the park is also well known for its trails and wildlife habitat. A wide variety of migrating birds use the stream and ravine as a resting place and for nesting. Many bird species winter in the park, creating a perfect location for bird observation year round. The park supports an interesting assortment of plants including mixed hardwoods, red cedar forests, plantings of Eastern white pine, Japanese larch, Norway spruce and red pine. A splendid variety of spring and summer wildflowers can be found throughout the park. Among the most notable species of wildlife are whitetail deer, fox, raccoon, great-horned owl, screech owl, red-tailed hawk, red-shouldered hawk and Eastern bluebird. The park also is popular for picnicking and, in the winter, for cross-country skiing on existing hiking trails.

Princeton Battlefield State Park
500 Mercer Street Princeton NJ 08540
609-921-0074
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. The battlefield is part of a 681-acre state parks that also includes the Princeton Battle Monument and the 1772 Clark House, where General Hugh Mercer died. The park is a popular spot for hiking, birdwatching, and cross-country skiing.

New Jersey Audubon Society/Plainsboro Preserve
80 Scotts Corner Road Cranbury NJ 08512
609-897-9400
Explore Plainsboro Preserve’s 1,000 acres of woods, meadows and McCormack Lake shoreline on five miles of trails. Check out more than 150 species of birds. Plants include a diverse showing of spring wildflowers and a number of endangered species. At the Plainsboro Preserve Environmental Education Center, you can check out educational programs, visit the gift shop or enter the “under the pond” room.

HOURS: Tuesday to Saturday, 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. / Sunday, 12:00PM to 4:00 P.M. / Closed on Mondays TRAILS: Open dawn to dusk daily. CLOSINGS: December 24th, 25th, and January 1st

Sayen House and Gardens
155 Hughes Drive Hamilton NJ
609-890-3543
Sayen House and Gardens is a beautiful attraction throughout the spring. Filled with azaleas and rhododendron brought from China, Japan and England they highlight a collection of colorful blossoming species providing a feast for the eyes. The gardens hold some 2,000 azaleas and 1,500 rhododendrons of hybrid and native species. The grounds are dotted with fishponds, gazebnos and walking trails. The house was built in 1912 in the bungalown style and Hamilton's annual Azalea Festival takes place here each Mother's Day.

Rocky Top Dog Park
Route 27 near Routes 518 & 522 (Promenade Blvd) Rocky Hill NJ 08553
732-297-6527
Rocky Top is a privately operated, secure recreation park for dogs situated on more than 2 acres of shaded woodland. The park encompasses a large, wooded main recreation area with swimming pond as well as 3 smaller areas that are also used for events, gatherings and small dog/puppy play.

Charles H. Rogers Wildlife Refuge
West Drive off Alexander Road Princeton NJ 08540
609-921-9480
This park is a fine place to learn about marshes and the creatures that live in them. Nearly 200 species of birds visit the 39-acre habitat during migration and some remain to nest. An abundance of dogwoods and an imposing stand of tulip trees are noteworthy.

Institute Woods/Charles W. Rogers Wildlife Refuge
Between Alexander Road and Quaker Road Princeton NJ 08540
Here one can find 300 acres of deciduous forest surrounded by wetlands and marsh. Activities include birdwatching, hiking, and spring wildflowers. There is an observation platform overlooking most of the marsh.

Pettoranello Gardens
Community Park North Route 206 at Mountain Avenue Princeton NJ 08540
609-924-8720
This 13 acre park was restored by the Princeton/Pettoranello Sister City Foundation. It is the home of the summer Shakespeare Festival and has fishing and ice skating in the winter.

Prospect Gardens
Princeton University Princeton NJ 08540
609-258-3000
The grounds surrounding Prosepct House present an array of trees, bushes, plants and flowers from the commonplace to the exotic. While the garden has been shaped and changed over the years by Prospect’s various owners and residents, many of its trees predate the house, notably the Tulip trees and the American Beech, which are native to the area. The flower garden at the rear of Prospect was laid out in approximately its present form by Mrs. Woodrow Wilson after her husband had the iron fence erected around the garden’s perimeter. Mrs. Wilson was the one who laid out the garden in the shape of the University Seal, so that, when viewed from above, the pathways define the shield outline.

Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park
625 Canal Road Somerset NJ 08873
732-873-3050
At Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, you can walk among 19th-century bridges, bridgetenders’ houses, locks, cobblestone spillways and hand-built stonearched culverts. A popular spot for canoeing, jogging, hiking, biking, fishing and horseback riding.

John A. Roebling Park
Access from Schiller or Park Avenues Hamilton NJ
609-989-6530
Fishing, boating (no gas motors) and birdwatching are popular pastimes at the 257-acre park. The park is home to both a freshwater marsh and 18-acre White City Lake. The 1708 Watson House, the oldest house in Mercer County, is also there.

Mercer County Park
Hughes Drive West Windsor/Hamilton/Lawrence
609-989-6530
Recreation is king at Mercer County Park. The 100-acre athletic complex is at the heart of this 2,600 acre park. MCP offers softball, baseball and soccer fields and basketball courts (call 609-989-6540 for league information) along with an outdoor tennis center. Picnic areas, a special area for dogs, and seasonal boat rentals and ice-skating are also available.

Rosedale Park
Federal City Road Hopewell NJ 08525
609-989-6532
Rosedale Park is a great park to bring the family for a barbeque and afternoon of fun. The picnic area at the 472-acre park has built-in tables and charcoal grills and children’s play equipment nearby. The 30-acre lake is stocked with trout, and car-top boating (no gas engines) and canoeing are popular activities

Autumn Hill Reservation
North side of Herrontown Road West of its junction with Snowden Lane Princeton NJ 08540
609-688-2566
The Reservation includes approximately 78 acres of walking trails, wildflowers, birdwatching and wildlife.

Cadwalader Park
State Street and Parkside Avenue Trenton NJ 08601
609-989-3632
Cadwalader Park was designed by the eminent landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in the early 1890’s. The park has retained Olmsted’s signature style of natural rolling landscape, various species and subspecies of trees and shrubs, and curved paths and roadways.

Community Park North
Route 206 at Mountain Avenue Princeton NJ 08540
This 71-acre park offers cool forests and open space. Meadow areas contain an amphitheater and pond (with sunfish/catfish), and there are paved trails suitable for wheelchair use.

Curlis Park
South Main Street Pennington NJ 08534
Curlis Park offers wonderful wooded walking trails that connect with Rosedale Park.

Greenway Meadows Park
Rosedale Road at Johnson Park Elementary School Princeton NJ 08540
Greenway Meadows Park is situated on the former Robert Wood Johnson estate in Princeton, New Jersey. On the estate's 60 acres, one will find walking trails, playing fields and a playground. The park is also the home of the Johnson Education Center which is housed in a circa 1900 barn.

Hamilton Veteran's Park
Off Kuser, Klockner or Yardville-Hamilton Square R Hamilton NJ
609-581-4116
Veterans Park, located in the center of Hamilton Township, is known for its wooded walking paths, picnic grounds, skateboarding, bird-watching, athletic fields, playgrounds and a large lake with a fountain. The 418-acre park hosts outdoor concerts, fireworks displays and annual events such as Civil war re-enactment and Septemberfest.

Herrontown Woods Arboretum
Snowden Lane Princeton NJ 08540
609-989-6530
Alive with nature and seasonal beauty, this arboretum grants an inviting measure of quiet. The 142-acre site includes a stand of pine woods, along with more than thirty different species of trees. These, of course, are in addition to a wealth of shrubs, wildflowers, and their attendant wildlife. A variety of color-coded trails wend through the terrain, and visitors can educate themselves about the plants as they go along or simply enjoy the arboretum for its spectacle. The arboreteum is free and open to the public every day.

Hopewell Skatepark
Scotch Road (Next to the Hopewell Municipal Bldg) Pennington NJ 08534
609-737-3100
This park just opened in the fall of 2004. It is a small but nicely constructed park with a good layout. 4ft mini, hipped to a 4ft 1/4. It offers a couple of flyboxes with ledges and rails, 3-step box, an angled full metal grind box, a couple of stand-alone rails, and a nice curved cement "bench" with coping on both the lower and upper parts. This is a fun park with some equipment you don't see in other parks. Helmets required.

Kunkel Park
King George Road Pennington NJ 08534
Kunkel Park is a lovely wooded area with sheltered picnic facilities, walking trails, playground, sandbox and basketball court. It is wonderfully shaded for those warm summer months. The walking trail will lead you to a stream where wading and catching crayfish is fun for all.

Lake Carnegie
Washington & Faculty Roads Princeton NJ 08540
Made possible by the generosity of industrialist Andrew Carnegie, this lake was a boon to Princeton University. When the Delaware & Raritan Canal proved unsatisfactory for the sport, two brothers from the class of 1876 implored Carnegie to create a rowing venue for undergraduates. A dam across Millstone River resulted in this three-mile-long body of water. Since its appearance in 1906, the lake has attracted not only rowers but sailors, ice skaters, and picnickers alike.

Marquand Park
Lovers Lane Princeton NJ 08540
609-921-9480
These seventeen acres were private land for many decades until forward-thinking heirs donated them to the city for a public park. The site is a mix of open fields and wooded parcels, ideal for exploring on sunny days. Paved walkways provide access, and picnic areas, a ball field, and a playground add a family-friendly quality. Especially prominent in the park are a collection of approximately 200 specimen trees. Identified and mapped, these rare, old, and impressive trees are easily tracked by visitors.

Rosedale Park
Federal City Road Pennington NJ 08534
The 472-acre park, part of the Mercer County park system, includes a 38-acre lake stocked with trout, a softball field, quoit area, volleyball court and basketball court. There is a family picnic area with tables and charcoal grills, and a group picnic area available by reservation. Call 609-989-6536 for reservations.

Sked Street Mini Park
Sked Street Pennington NJ 08534
Sked Street Mini Park offers a playground that is suitable for younger children.

Kuser Farm Mansion & Park
390 Newkirk Avenue Hamilton NJ 08609
609-890-3630
For a taste of the Victorian Age, visit the 1892 Victorian mansion and park of Fred Kuser and his family. 18 rooms are open for guided tours and self -guided tours take in the coach house, tennis pavillion, barn, windmill, gazebo and other out buildings. The mansion hosts more than 60 free educational programs and summer concerts are offered in the park.

Maggie's Playground

Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve
West of Route 206/North of Mountain Avenue Princeton NJ 08540
609-924-8720
Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve is home to many species of trees, wildflowers, birds, amphibians and mammals. The best way to tour the preserve is to walk along the unpaved trail that loops the lakes.


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