|Distance:||A total of 10 miles of trails|
|Time:||Anything from short ten minute walks to several hours|
Trails unmarked except for stone posts with signs at several trail junctions; metal markers on trees at Rogers Refuge.
Please keep your dog on a leash at all times!
|Walking/Hiking, Dogs permitted on leash|
Easy - maybe muddy in spots after periods of rain. Hiking shoes are recommended.
|Parking:||Ample parking lot at Princeton Battlefield Park.|
There are historic plaques just inside the woods from the Clarke House. There is great bird watching at Rogers Refuge, especially during spring migration (late April- late May) the tall oaks, vines and understory on both sides of the gravel road offer some of the best birding in the area.
The Princeton Battlefield Park adjacent to the Institute Lands and Princeton Borough is located closeby.
A coalition of nonprofit organizations, with support from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres program and Princeton Township, in 1997 preserved as open space a 589-acre property owned by the Institute for Advanced Study. With the cooperation and ongoing financial contribution of the Institute, the coalition protected the Institute Woods and adjacent farmlands. These lands remain under Institute ownership and are not a public park, but the Institute graciously allows members of the public to use the Institute Lands under terms of a conservation easement signed on April 15, 1997. The conservation easement preserved the forest in perpetuity and provides public access on the pathways through the woods. Walkers will see permanent markers that list many of the organizations and citizens who spearheaded the preservation of the Institute Lands.
The Charles H. Rogers Wildlife Refuge, a contiguous but spearate preserve, is owned by the New Jersey American Water Company, which operates several wells there for public use. A conservation easement was granted to Princeton Township in 1969, and here, also, the public is permitted to use the trails. The Refuge is a well-know bird sanctuary, a large marshy area is flooded each spring to encourage their visits, and two new viewing platofrms have been built along the edges.
Flat trails, ideal for leisurely walks, jogging, and cross-country skiing (no wheeled vehicles), lace through the majestic woods, farmlands that offer vistas unchanged since the American Revolution, and run along the Stony Brook. Walkers can go from the Institute Woods to the D&R Canal towpath by crossing an arm of the Stony Brook on stepping stones or driftwood.
DIRECTIONS TO INSTITUTE WOODS
From Nassau Street in Princeton
For the Rogers Refuge, take Alexander St. and turn right onto West Drive just before the bridge. After ¼ mile, turn left onto the gravel driveway, and park in the small lot next to the first viewing platform, or on West Drive.
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