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Outdoor Action

Leadership Starts Here

Places to Go

These are locations for getting outdoors in the Princeton area.

Please be sure to adhere to Public Health guidelines at all times, and especially during Arrival Quarantine. The links below include options both for on-campus and off-campus exploration; please select according to your quarantine permissions level.

Arrival Quarantine


For an overview of several natural spaces close to campus, we recommend this "Explore Nature" video series produced by the Office of Sustainability!

Explore Nature Videos

Campus map annotated with nature locations

On-Campus Natural Areas

This map identifies several nature refuges spread throughout campus. Each location is distinct  in what if offers, and all will serve as interesting walking destinations.

"The Towpath": Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park

The 70-mile Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is one of central New Jersey's most popular recreational corridors for canoeing, jogging, hiking, bicycling, fishing and horseback riding. The canal and the park are part of the National Recreation Trail System. This linear park is also a valuable wildlife corridor connecting fields and forests. The D&R Canal parallels Lake Carnegie and provides easy access from campus for walking, running, and biking both north and south.

Institute Wooods Map

Institute Woods

The Institute for Advanced Study Woods and Charles H. Rogers Wildlife Refuge form a 300-acre tract of deciduous forest bounded on the east side by the wet woodlands and marsh of the Refuge. Though crisscrossed by a network of trails and a sewer right-of-way, the Woods include a small area of virgin forest and harbor an unusual number of bird species, particularly during the songbird migration seasons. For this reason, the Woods are described in many birding guides and hiking books, and birders from all over the country come to visit.

Mountain Lakes Trail Map

Mountain Lakes Open Space Area

The Mountain Lakes Open Space Area, a “central park” in Princeton, consists of some 400 acres just north of the center of town, most of it open to the public. It has a wide variety of hiking trails- and two biking trails – some connecting to other trails outside of the area described here. Along with views of Tusculum, the estate built by John Witherspoon, and historic Coventry Farm, it features a great variety of open fields, several small streams and lakes, old stone walls, boulder fields, and old growth pine and hardwood forests. The area is divided into five sections: The Billy Johnson...

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Biking Mercer County

The Mercer Country Bikeability Web Site provides detailed trail maps raking the best roads for biking throughout Mercer County.

Mountain Biking Areas near Princeton, NJ

Whenever mountain biking make sure that you are properly equipped including a helmet, water, extra tubes and repair kit, bike tools, etc. Also be aware of other people using the trail--hikers, folks on horesback, etc. By treating the land and others properly, we can all enjoy the trails.

Commercial Climbing Walls in the New Jersey Area

There are a number of commercial climbing gyms in central New Jersey.

Camping Places Close to Princeton

The closest place to camp near Princeton is Washington Crossing State Park along the Delaware River in Titusville, NJ.