Friday, June 21, 2013

Rutgers University Ecological Preserve, NJ

Rutgers University Ecological Preserve - Rutgers University

GPS Coordinates for parking at Johnson Park: 40.505656, -74.443883

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Parking is available in Rutgers University lots per the trail map but only during certain times.  Parking is always allowed across the street at Johnson Park and there are porta potties!

Rutgers University Ecological Preserve Trail Map - Rutgers University
Johnson Park - County of Middlesex NJ
Rutgers University Ecological Preserve, NJ at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  5.2 miles

From the parking lot, walk a few steps across the grass towards Softball Field 1 then turn right on the paved bike trail.
Head towards the bridge ...
... over Buell Brook.
At the intersection, turn left on the bike route ...
... cross River Road at the crosswalk ...
... then turn left a few steps ...
... before turning right into the preserve.
Not only did this robin have breakfast in her beak, she was singing with a full beak!
You smell the honeysuckle before you see it!
It looked like two American Goldfinches flew out of this nesting box but they were too fast to photograph.
The Buell Brook gorge is very scenic.
That is our (Daisy's) poop bag and we most certainly picked it up and took it out with us.  It just wasn't worth carrying through the entire preserve.
Heading back to the crosswalk to get to the other side of River Road.
Entering Johnson Park on the bike path.
Before returning to the parking lot, some Raritan River views a short distance off trail to the left.
A pond in Johnson Park with the Raritan River in the distance.
Looping around back to the parking lot.

[  0.00]  Walk across the grass towards Softball Field 1 then turn right on the paved path
[  0.20]  Turn left on paved bike route towards River Road
[  0.30]  Cross River Road at crosswalk, turn left a few steps then right into the preserve
[  0.35]  Turn right on blue when orange goes straight
[  0.50]  When orange comes in from the left at a T-intersection, turn right on orange/blue
[  0.70]  Turn right at fork - no blazes and it looks like you are heading towards homes but the trail soon switchbacks to the left and crosses bridge; right after bridge turn right uphill on blue when orange/blue goes left
[  1.30]  At T-intersection turn left on blue when right goes to Road 1; after a few steps keep right on white/blue when white comes in from the left; then right on white/blue/yellow when yellow goes straight
[  1.40]  Left at the yellow blaze (yellow/blue trail) when right (white/blue trail) goes to gated lot
[  1.50]  Turn right on yellow then blue goes left
[  1.65]  Just before trail dips at small cascade in Buell Creek on left, make a sharp right turn on red (no blazes)
[  1.75]  Just after log benches make a sharp left on red when right goes to gated lot
[  2.05]  Turn left on red/green at T-intersection
[  2.20]  Turn left on yellow/red when yellow/green goes right and crosses Buell Brook on a bidge
[  2.40]  Keep straight on yellow after dip in trail when red (unmarked) leaves to the left
[  2.50]  At intersection keep right on blue the right again on blue/white
[  2.55]  Keep straight on white/yellow when white and blue leave to the left, then keep right on yellow when white leaves to the left, then keep right on yellow when a trail along a chain link fence goes left
[  2.85]  At T-intersection turn right on yellow/green then left on green when yellow/green goes right to bridge over Buell Brook
[  3.10]  Turn right on green/orange when orange comes in from the left then left on green when orange leaves to the right
[  3.45]  Turn right on orange when green/orange goes left
[  3.60]  Keep left on white in clearing with nesting boxes
[  3.65]  Cross straight over second clearing then turn right on white/yellow when yellow comes in from the left
[  3.75] Turn right on blue/white for a few steps then at fork left on blue when white leaves to the right
[  4.15]  Keep left on orange/blue when orange comes in from the right; keep left at fork a few steps ahead
[  4.20]  Keep right across footbridge on orange/blue when blue goes uphill to the left
[  4.40]  Keep right at fork then right on blue when orange leaves to the left
[  4.55]  At intersection turn right on orange towards River Road then left along River Road
[  4.60]  Cross River Road at crosswalk
[  4.70]  Turn right at paved T-intersection
[  4.75]  Turn left on gravel path then cross park road to continue to Raritan River; continue to right along pond and loop around to paved path to return to parking
[  5.20]  Back at parking lot.


  1. Great Pictures, Sounds like an amazing hike!

  2. The photographs you shared is really very-very nice...Thank You for sharing this...