Princeton Loop Hike!

Join us for a very interesting hike through the open spaces in and around Princeton NJ! Hikers will be amazing at just how many trails and parks there are in Princeton. Although it is near to developed areas we will be mostly off roads on many different kinds of trails. Distance is still about fifteen miles.

We tried to do this exact hike but were snowed out and the exact planned route was not possible, so we amended it somewhat. This time hopefully we can go through with the route exactly as planned.

We are meeting at 9:00 am at the Princeton Shopping Center located at 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton NJ. Park near the north end of the parking area out of the way of the business area of the stores, but on the side closest to McCaffrey's Princeton Market, located at the following GPS coordinates:
Lattitude:  40°21'55.54"N
Longitude:  74°39'9.50"W

Joining us once again for co-leading responsibilities is respected historian and former park planner "Snoop Dougie K", aka Doug Kiovsky! Doug will be available to answer questions regarding the history of Princeton along the way!

This hike is a 17 mile loop. No car shuttling is necessary, so we will begin walking directly from the shopping center. We will follow a pathway that leads along a golf course to the Delaware and Raritan Canal. We will turn off of the old canal towpath and enter Institute Woods, a nice preserve which takes us across the Stony Brook on an amazing swinging bridge pictured above.

The route will take us from here across Princeton Battlefield State Park, and then through two more small preserves by way of paved paths. These paved paths lead near to Hun School and into a park known as Greenway Meadows, a lovely preserve that follows more of the Stony Brook further north.

The route continues along a couple of back streets, then makes it's way onto paved development paths which also give way to foot paths. They take us onto property adjacent to the Educational Testing Service, and on to Province Line Road, a partially abandoned road that takes it's name because it was once the boundary between the colonies of East and West New Jersey. It leads over a nice bridge over Stony Brook.

Much of the abandoned roadway retains the look of a regular road, only the lack of traffic has made it appear very narrow. We follow this road north for less than a mile after it becomes residential, and another trail leads us into the Woodfield Reservation, with more rustic natural surface foot paths.

The trail takes us past interesting points such as the Devil's Cave, a small rock overhang, and the Tent Rock pictured above. The trails of Woodfield Reservation continue connectively  to the Pond View/ETS Trail. The character of the trail changes to being more open, near to a private school and along scenic ponds.

From here, we cross into the Community Park North area. Many trails criss cross this property which was used at one time to harvest ice for Princeton. We'll continue through Community Park north and on to Witherspoon Woods, named for a signer of the Declaration of Independence. This trail leads us out to roads with paved parallel pathways on the north side of Princeton.

We'll head south through Princeton, utilizing these pathways across town as well as the college campus, both of which are very lovely. By this time, we will be able to take our time, and find a place to stop and eat somewhere. Those who wish to continue on to the end may take Alexander Street to the canal towpath, and continue back to the access from which we started.
Although this hike is in a suburban area, the majority of it is away from any businesses, so everyone should have a lunch or snack, as well as plenty of water. Most of the trails are not very rocky, with a pleasant natural surface or pavement.
Contact me for more information: M'ke[masked]

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  • Michael H.

    I had a fantastic time...the woods around Princeton and along the Stony Brook are always beautiful. Thanks everyone for coming!

    3 · April 15, 2014

  • Marina

    Btw, McCafferys is completely overpriced. I was like, $5 for an orange??!! Say what?!! Lol

    1 · April 14, 2014

    • Cory S.

      That must have been one badass orange. Now I want to drive there just to try one of these super oranges.

      April 15, 2014

    • Tim

      Are you sure that was an orange :p

      April 15, 2014

  • Victor K.

    A little long and not the most exciting. We also took a good number of "detours". Overall, I'd say a pretty average hike.

    April 13, 2014

    • Victor K.

      Yeah, my original plan was to cut out at 3 to play tennis because I assumed we were stopping in downtown Princeton for lunch. This was also why I was ill-prepared with only 3/4L of water for the day.

      April 15, 2014

    • Cory S.

      Drain water is a natural disinfectant... like probably.

      April 15, 2014

  • Marina

    Awesome hike, perfect weather, great company! Thanks so much, Mike! :)

    April 14, 2014

  • Elena

    I think it was a very interesting, well-organized hike. I had no idea that Princeton had so many beautiful parks.
    I agree, the stops and detours were a bit draining, but for me the bigger issue was packing too little water. This was my first long hike and obviously, a learning experience. :)
    Thanks everyone for your support, I really enjoyed meeting new people.

    1 · April 14, 2014

  • Serious S.

    Mike, i slipped in a creek on Westkill yesterday + might have a knee fracture or bone bruise. Hopefully it's just a bruise. I'm more hurt that i can't go to this awesome hike today.

    April 13, 2014

  • Susie D

    Great hike, great hikers

    2 · April 14, 2014

  • c. w.

    this was a good hike and both my knees and ankles are still functional this a.m., so I am considering this a success.

    3 · April 14, 2014

  • Edward D.

    A geat Day, got a lot warmer then most people expected for swimming

    2 · April 14, 2014

  • Cory S.

    Video of people crawling through the pipe. MUST-WATCH:
    http://youtu.be/NddvRdjftzE

    4 · April 13, 2014

  • Tim

    Another great Mike Hike. Thanks Mike. My body feels like it's gotten a workout. Great group of people too.

    1 · April 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was a great hike! Met some wonderful people along the way and had a good time. Hope to join you guys more often

    1 · April 13, 2014

  • Jeevan

    I dont have a car. Can I carpool with anyone ? i stay in East Windsor NJ. My address:
    158 Princeton Arms N II East Windsor NJ[masked]

    April 8, 2014

    • Jeevan

      Hi Krishna.. I still havent found anyone.. I would be more than happy to come with you. My number is [masked]

      April 13, 2014

    • Jeevan

      Hi Krishna. . Cant make it today. U guys carry om and have loadsa fun..

      April 13, 2014

  • Jaqueline

    Is everybody going out for dinner after the hike? What time the hike is going to be finished?

    April 12, 2014

    • Jaqueline

      sorry michael but I cant make it

      April 12, 2014

    • Michael H.

      AWWWWWW. Hope to see you soon.

      April 13, 2014

  • Lyz H.

    We weren't completely snowed out...

    1 · April 12, 2014

  • Michael H.

    If anyone gets caught behind tomorrow, I can be contacted on my cell phone at[masked]

    April 12, 2014

  • Brandan J.

    It should be interesting to see how different this is without snow.

    3 · April 2, 2014

    • Lyz H.

      You know you miss the TRUDGING!

      1 · April 12, 2014

  • Zain

    If I can get my front bumper on in the morning I am all set to come through. Was easy to take off but a bitch apparently to put back on lol

    1 · April 12, 2014

  • bet s

    sorry I "need" to attend a family matter. I have walked these "trails" since I live inside Princeton... they are very soothing and beautiful, in fact I live off province line road... not far from the "rotting" bridge. ENJOY wish I can be with y'all

    April 12, 2014

  • David L.

    Drive from Jersey City. The traffic is unpredictable. It can be anywhere between 1 hour and 3 hours.

    April 10, 2014

  • Michael H.

    With temperature of 78 degrees Sunday, I will likely NOT be wearing my suit!

    1 · April 11, 2014

  • Tim

    The Small World Cafe just off of Nassau Street on Witherspoon is a great place to stop to eat.

    1 · April 8, 2014

  • Tim

    Looking forward to this. I haven't done a Mike-hike in a while.

    April 8, 2014

  • Michele V.

    Mike Still hoping we can carpool. I can meet you in Washington and pick up you and Brandan and Greg.

    1 · April 7, 2014

  • Michael H.

    Those who wish to come via public transportation, it is possible to walk north from the Princeton station and connect with our route at Community Park.

    April 3, 2014

  • Susie D

    Don't forget the "YES" stone in the archway of the Ebay CEO college.

    1 · March 24, 2014

  • Susie D

    Its the same day as the Pink Floyd conference at Princeton ... I'm doing a half and half.

    March 24, 2014

  • Gregg H.

    Once again I will be on call, so I will need to be able to cut back to car and get home if needed.

    March 18, 2014

  • Elisabeth

    Woo hoo!

    March 10, 2014

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