Thursday, November 20, 2014

Plainsboro Preserve, NJ

Plainsboro Preserve - New Jersey Audubon

GPS Coordinates 40.349692, -74.559725

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I thought with the amount of cars in the lot the trails would be packed but they were not.  Turns out there was a meeting taking place at the Visitor Center.

Plainsboro Preserve Hiking Trails and Landscape Features - New Jersey Audubon
Plainsboro Preserve, NJ at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE: 5.7 miles

The trails start to the left of the Visitor Center.  Signs show distances to the next trails.
This is a good choice for during the week during hunting season.
I think the beavers would like to be added to the sign above.  Looks like a beaver protest!
It was as cold and windy as this little bird looks.
The white trail is a long, straight, wide gravel trail.
Incoming Canada geese over on McCormack Lake.
The bench at the end of Maggie's Trail.
McCormack Lake
The white trail along McCormack Lake.
More incoming.
Right to Maggie's Trail.
The bench at the end of Maggie's Trail.
On the blue trail through the woods.
It gets a little hilly on the blue trail.  According to the interpretive sign on the white trail, this is dredge spoil taken from the lake.
The blue trail leaves the woods and skirts McCormack Lake.
Then back into the woods.
Safe on this property.
The blue trail turns left on a raised path along a creek.
Then left again along live railroad tracks with LOTS of trains going by.  Surprisingly, I did not find that annoying at all.
It's a straight path, looks like an old rail bed with all of the old railroad ties scattered off to the sides.
Devil's Brook along the trail.
The blue trail has a cutoff to shorten the hike but I forged onward.
Thinking the was a huge mistake based on the big puddles.  But it was not because ...
... as I was standing still trying to shoot a picture of this little guy, I saw all kinds of movement out of the corner of my eye and it turned out to be ...
... Cedar Waxwings, dozens of them, landing in the tree right where I was standing still
Heading on to the green trail...
... with outdoor seating,
then the yellow trail,
then the red trail,
and back to yellow.
Just before the open field, look to the right ...
... for the start of the Education Trail.  No sign, no blazes, just a couple of logs outlining the trail.  You have to look for it.
The Education Trail runs parallel to the field.
Birdhouse security system.
At the end, the Education Trail turns left, crosses a wet area then the field towards the Visitor Center.
To get to the orange trail, cross the parking lot, turn left towards the visitor center and look for a post with faded orange paint on the right.  Alternatively, keep heading towards the lake at the Visitor Center, turn right at the lake and follow the path along the lake which will lead to the orange trail.
The orange trail turns left at a wildlife blind.
Not many orange blazes along this trail and the ones that are there are pretty faded.
A short side trail on the left leads to a bench at McCormack Lake.
Continuing on orange.
Orange ends at a wet area.  The map says the orange trail is 1/2 mile but that would be round trip, not one way.

[  0.00]  Take the wide gravel white-blazed trail to the left of the Visitor Center
[  0.30]  Lake view on right
[  0.55]  Straight on white when green goes left
[  0.80]  Right at intersection towards Maggie's Trail
[  0.85]  Right on Maggie's Trail
[  1.20]  End of Maggie's Trail, retrace
[  1.50]  Right on blue, then right at fork
[  2.25]  Blue turns left along raised path
[  2.35]  Blue turns left on old rail bed and parallels live tracks
[  2.75]  Straight on blue when blue cutoff trail goes left
[  3.00]  Blue veers away from live tracks
[  3.30]  Right on white
[  3.50]  Right on green
[  3.75]  Right on yellow
[  3.85]  Keep straight on yellow where yellow also goes left then turn right on red
[  4.30]  Right on yellow when red ends
[  4.45]  Straight towards field when yellow turns left; right on Education Trail just before field
[  4.75]  Education Trail turns left, crosses wet area then crossed over field towards Visitor Center
[  4.90]  Continue across grass to the right of Visitor Center and turn right on orange trail or proceed to lake and turn right along lake path which runs into orange
[  5.25]  Side trail on left to bench at lake; retrace and continue
[  5.35]  End of orange, retrace
[  5.70]  Back at parking


  1. Very nice photos. Looks like a nice place to hike. How is Shawnee doing? Hope you post a picture of her again next time. Thanks for sharing. Joanne

  2. Really nice pictures! I'm guessing that the little birds in the pictures are yellow-rumped warbler (Myrtle) female and song sparrow, but it would be nice if some experienced bird watcher could comment on this.