Somerset County’s most unique trails and nature preserves continue to be open and safe for use. Grab a friend and check out these nearby natural settings.
- Duke Farms Be sure to explore this 1,000+ acres (with safety measures in place) of trails, waterfalls, wildlife, sculpture, historic buildings, arboretum, Japanese-style meditation garden and more! Update March 2021 – Current hours are Mon-Fri, 8:30am-4:30pm. On April 1 the hours will transition to Tues-Sat, 8:30am-6:00pm. On Saturdays, visitors traveling by car will need to reserve a pass to enter the property. Trails, bikeshare program, and outdoor cafe will be open, however, the Orientation Center and Orchid Range will remain closed. For the latest info, please visit dukefarms.org/update.
- Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve (Raritan Headwaters Association) is 170-acre wildlife preserve with five miles of trails through fields and woods, a scenic pond with a dock, a bird and butterfly garden, and a historic barn complex. Their online Resource Hub will keep you occupied even on cold winter days, or check out their Winter Days Nature Hikes for Kids!
- Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary (NJ Audubon Headquarters) comprises 276 acres of woodland, field, and floodplain habitat that is home to over 200 species of wildlife over the course of a year. View videos, podcasts, activities and other online tools in NJ Audubon’s Media Center to connect with nature in your own places and spaces.
- Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park is one of the most popular recreational corridors for canoeing, jogging, hiking, bicycling, fishing and horseback riding. Don’t miss this significant historic and wildlife corridor, year-round.
- Colonial Park (Somerset, NJ) is home to pristine natural areas, broad lawns, extensive award-winning gardens, and ponds. Check website for seasonal hours and openings/closings.
- Sourland Mountain Preserve (Hillsborough and Montgomery, NJ) offers several recreational opportunities in an undisturbed natural setting, including hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, bouldering, and horseback riding.
- Duke Island Park (Bridgewater, NJ) is a general use park in Somerset County that provides a wide variety of passive recreational opportunities. Duke Island Park also offers trails for Somerset County biking enthusiasts.
- Environmental Education Center (Basking Ridge, NJ) is great for hiking and bird watching. variety of habitats of floodplains, swamps, rivers, intermittent streams, marshes, meadows, and natural and man-made ponds, fields, and forests provide homes for diverse plant and animal populations in this environmentally sensitive park. The main building is closed to the public at this time, but grounds are open for exploration, and virtual programs are being held monthly. Please visit the EEC website and click “Public Programs” at the top-right for detailed monthly offerings, including the February “Nature through a Child’s Eye” art exhibit!
- Little Brook Sanctuary (Bedminster, NJ) Bird watching, hiking, and biking. You can observe birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and flowers throughout the seasons.
- Natirar Park (Peapack & Gladstone, NJ) Extensive areas of lawn and woodland, river access and scenic views are just part of the beauty of this year-round destination. (Don’t miss Ninety Acres at Natirar for a meal or cooking class that will rock your world!)
- Washington Rock State Park is one of the oldest parks in New Jersey, and was originally purchased by the state of New Jersey in 1913 to commemorate the historical events of June 1777. The strategic location of Washington Rock made it a valuable lookout point during the American Revolution.
- Washington Valley Park (Bridgewater, NJ) is located between the first and second Watchung Mountains at the geographic center of Somerset County. It consists of pine and hemlock forests, open freshwater wetland marches, impressive rock outcroppings, numerous historic features and a 21-acre reservoir. Here you’ll be able to hike, bike, fish, and bird watch. The Hawk Watch area is now open to the public, and fall is peak hawk watch season!
Make plans now to get out and get active! To see the entire article follow: Active Outdoor Exploration Open to All | Visit Somerset County NJ (visitsomersetnj.org)