White Oak Trail

This is an odd little trail that starts by the Bull’s Island recreation area on the Delaware, and climbs for a mile before dropping you at the intersection of Federal Twist and Raven Rock-Rosemont Roads, about a quarter of a … Read More

Watershed Reserve

Formerly the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve, the Watershed Reserve is a 930 acre site in Pennington, about 20 minutes from Princeton and half an hour from Trenton. It provides 10 miles of hiking trails, is home to Honey Brook Organic … Read More

Pole Farm at Mercer Meadows

Pole Tree Pasture In 2010, Mercer County merged 5 separate parks into the “Mercer Meadows, a 1,619 acre utopian park for walking, cycling, and wildlife observation. Primarily consisting of acres upon acres of wildflower meadows. Frankly, while there are some pretty … Read More

Carson Road Woods

Carson Road Woods is a superb, 183 acre swathe of preserved farmland midway between Princeton and Trenton. The preserve is a mix of woodlands and open fields, with mowed walk-ways along the margins. In a few places, trails are cut through woodlands, including, notably, an awe-inspiring stand of beech.

Haycock Mountain

Haycock Mountain is an entertaining, short hike (only about 0.75 mile from the trailhead to summit). You gain 460 vertical feet in this distance, which puts the average gradient about 12%, though the hike gets a fair bit steeper as you approach the summit. The payoff is the scramble: from roughly the midpoint of the hike to the summit, you’re picking your way through giant boulders. The short length and scrambly nature of the hike makes it particularly entertaining for experienced hiker-kids. It does require experienced hiker-adults to accompany them because the trail is poorly blazed, and appears as if it was never officially marked. (Driving time is just about an hour; rated for experienced hikers for elevation gain, scrambly nature, and poor blazing).

Bowmans Hill Tower Hike

Bowman’s Hill climbs a bit over 300 vertical feet from River Road, with an average gradient of over 25%. That’s pretty darn steep, and it’s one of only a handful of spots within half an hour of downtown Trenton where you can gain so much elevation. Most of this trail is on paved paths, but the climb up the hill is on a trail that’s no longer maintained, hard to find, and unmarked. But it’s short, sharp, and fun: definitely worth checking out by experienced hikers, given its proximity. (Driving time is only about 20 minutes from downtown; rated for experienced hikers only for elevation gain, steepness, and lack of blazing).