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hiking, biking, kayaking

Some of the best hiking, biking & kayaking, within an hour of the city!

D&R Canal State Park

145 Mapleton Rd, Princeton

The D&R Canal Tow Path is a flat, nearly uninterrupted 70-mile walking and biking pathway that practically defines Central New Jersey. Part of a historic canal system that dates to the 1830s and is now a State Park, the tow path begins along the “Feeder” canal above Frenchtown, running parallel to the Delaware River. At Trenton, the “Main” canal turns sharply northeastward toward the Raritan River, passing by Princeton and many other historic villages before ending at New Brunswick. Access points are too numerous to list.

Duke Farms

1112 Dukes Pkwy W, Hillsborough Township

Duke Farms in Hillsborough was once the grand estate of the heiress Doris Duke, now with the nickname “New Jersey’s Central Park.” Over 1,000 acres of land is devoted to an ongoing exploration—of native species, preservation and sustainability efforts, and of the area’s natural beauty. A grand stone barn is the visitor center. Statuary, stone bridges, and look-outs will dazzle you. Walk or bike ride through the stunning landscape, attend a workshop, event or festival. Eat at Duke Farm’s award-winning café or support local farmers at our seasonal market.

Leonard J. Buck Gardens

11 Layton Rd, Far Hills

Leonard J. Buck Gardens is a 33-acre public botanical garden operated by Somerset County in Far Hills. The garden began in the 1930s by geologist Leonard J. Buck, a trustee of the NY Botanical Garden. The garden is sculpted from a glacial stream valley where waterfalls once cascaded, leaving behind rock faces, outcroppings, ponds and a stream. The garden is one of the nation’s premier rock gardens, featuring native and exotic plants displayed in a naturalistic setting of woodland, streams, and rock outcroppings.

Mercer Meadows

111-167 Cold Soil Rd, Lawrence Township

Mercer Meadows is over 1600 acres of gorgeous wildflower meadows, historic vistas, and parklands encompassing Mercer County properties known as Curlis Lake Woods, the County Equestrian Center, Rosedale Park, and the “Pole Farm”. Broad, level pathways make the Meadows a comfortable place for long walks. Fishing at four water bodies. Dogs are welcomed, off-leash in some areas. The Meadows connect to the Lawrenceville-Hopewell Trail that connects two historic villages.

Natirar Park

2 Main St, Gladstone

Natirar Park is the jewel of the Somerset County Parks system, set on over 400 acres in the scenic hills of Peapack/Gladstone, Far Hills and Bedminster. Formerly the estate of Kate Macy Ladd and Walter Graeme Ladd, the property features extensive areas of lawn and woodland, river access and scenic views and contains historic farm buildings and residential structures dating from the mid-18th century. The North Branch of the Raritan River and the Peapack Brook traverse the property.

Six-Mile Run Mountain Biking Trails

625 Canal Rd Somerset

These trails crisscross more than 3,000 acres of parkland adjacent to the D&R Canal. Numerous trails traverse streams and fields in an area once designated for a reservoir. New Jersey acquired the lands but ultimately declined to build the reservoir.

The Watershed Institute

31 Titus Mill Road Pennington

Keeping water clean, safe and healthy is the heart of the Watershed Institute’s mission. Visitors can enjoy exhibits and live animal displays, including a butterfly house, and hundreds of educational programs and events every year. Bring your hiking shoes to enjoy more than 10 miles of trails winding through 400 acres of forest, wetlands, meadows, and farmlands, including two historic farmsteads that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

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