Hike the Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve

New Jersey Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve

Added by Khürt Williams

This 75-acre natural area located just outside downtown Princeton is a favorite for family walks, birding, and fishing. Originally part of King George III's land grant to William Penn, it was farmed until the late nineteenth century. In the early 1980s it was purchased by Princeton Township - in part through the Green Acres funds - and is now preserved as open space. With the Preserve’s two lakes, numerous rocky creeks, wooded wetlands, and upland forests, this park provides a diversity of ecosystems for native flora and fauna.

An 8-mile network of maintained trails traversing this Preserve, Mountain Lakes North, John Witherspoon Woods,parts of Tusculum (private) and Community Park North makes a variety of loop hikes possible. Pathways include a boardwalk (over wetlands) and paved bicycle roads. Click here for a trail map of the entire open space area, provided by the NJ Trails Association (2009).

Mostly flat terrain: from 100 ft. at the lakes to 280 ft. in the NE corner of John Witherspoon Woods.

GPS Coordinates for the parking area: 40.361256, -74.676491

Pack List

  • Clothing appropriate to the weather
  • Bottle of water
  • Camera
  • Snack
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

280 Feet



Family Friendly
Picnic Area

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How to Get There

3 months ago

Excellent day hike

I go hiking with my dog and this was a nice day hike through mostly woods. We took the widest possible loop, and once you get away from the trail head, you pretty much get the place to yourself (I went on a weekday). I'll definitely be back.

3 months ago

Added by Khürt Williams

Husband, father, Informaton security professional, avid photographer ad *NIX geek. Craft ale and coffee snob.

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