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Outdoor Action

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On-Campus Natural Areas

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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.

  • Grad School Garden-- small, sunken garden tucked behind the graduate school. This garden is sometimes referred to as the "secret garden" since it can be easy to pass by without noticing. Enter the walled area through a gate on the western edge.
  • Forbes Garden-- an active vegetable garden with an entrance on Alexander Road, a few driveways north of Forbes College. Walk down the driveway, through a grassy field, to get to the start of the garden proper. The garden fence may be locked (to keep out curious herbivores), but the the grassy  field along the driveway is a nice destination too.
  • Prospect Garden-- the most famous of Princeton's gardens! There is nearly always something in bloom in Prospect Garden, although it is most breathtaking in the spring. Enter from the front of the front lawn of the house (south of McCosh Hall) or from a path that runs between Frist Campus Center & Dod Hall.
  • Chapel Garden-- another secret little nook, nestled in the side of the chapel, as you descend the stairs between Firestone and the Chapel.
  • Betsey Stockton Garden-- a relatively new addition to campus, the Betsey Stockton emerged at the conclusion of a decade-long renoation Firestone and is named in honor of a former slave.
  • Behind Frick- enter this natural area, the largest on central campus, via a gravel path just below the big bridge over Washington Road. The gravel path curves behind Frick towards Jadwin Gym, or you can venture off the path into the woods, to follow the quiet stream down towards Faculty Road.
  • Field & Dock- in the southeast corner of Faculty & Washington Roads, there is a large grassy field that the geese are quite fond off (watch your step). At the end of the field is a little dock out into Lake Carnegie. Beyond the dock there is the entrance to a poorly maintained trail that goes along the edge of the lake. 
  • Boathouse- the home of Princeton's crew teams, the boathouse's exterior areas (field, parking lot, and dock) offer spectacular views of the lake.
  • Short wooded path- frequented by Grad Students living at Lakeside, this short sidewalk is surrounded by tall trees and shrubbery and makes it easy to forget the bustle of construction that is taking place nearby.

For other walking destinations, consider the (In)visible Princeton walking tours, developed by OA Alumna Abby Klionsky '14!

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