Princeton Woods

Princeton Woods, in and around Princeton Battlefield State Park (7/11/2009)

This is hike #24 ("The Princeton Woods") in Hiking New Jersey: A Guide to 50 of the Garden State's Greatest Hiking Adventures (1st edition). The basic hike described is a 3.5-mile loop in and around Princeton Battlefield State Park. But it was such a beautiful day we did every suggested side trip in the itinerary which brought the total distance for us to nearly 6 miles.

It's an amazingly varied trek which visits several sites on and around the field where the Battle of Princeton was fought in January, 1777. There's the Mercer tree (or at least the remaining stump, since the tree toppled in 2000) under which General Hugh Mercer died of battle wounds; the Thomas Clarke house (built in 1772) at the top of the battlefield; the Quaker Meeting house and burial ground where the remains of Richard Stockton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, are buried; the path that George Washington took from Trenton; and the Ionic Colonnade which memorializes the 500 American and British soldiers who died in the battle, in front of the grave site where many of them were buried.

And there's more. The hike not only passes through the beautiful woods around the battlefield but also around the world reknowed Institute of Advanced Study where Einstein, Von Neumann, Oppenheimer, Panofsky, and Goedel taught at one time or another. In fact, on the drive to the park we passed 112 Mercer Street, where Einstein lived from 1936 until he died in 1955. Of course I had to pull over and get a photo that!

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Einstein's house at 112 Mercer Street

Princeton Battlefield

Interpretive sign

Clarke House

Very old growth near Clarke House

Path to Clarke House

View of battlefield from Clarke House


Back of Clarke House

On front porch



Front of Clarke House

Beautiful trees ...

... in front of Clarke House


Marker at intersection

Beautiful path

Marker for Washington's march


Porch of Quaker Meeting House

Cemetery ...

... at Quaker Meeting House


Inside Meeting House

Shagbark Hickory

First view of Stony Brook

Photographing something or other


Path along Stony Brook

At the swinging bridge

Laura getting on

On the swinging bridge

Like Indiana Jones!

[Photo by Laura]

Gorgeous Stony Brook


D & R Canal path looking north

D & R Canal path looking south

The D & R Canal

Back to the bridge

Look at that sag

View from under the bridge

Wildlife blind

Overlooking swamp

Surprised deer


Southern end of Olden Lane

House on Olden Lane

Fuld Hall (IAS)

Fuld Hall (IAS)

Flowers on edge of ...

... Princeton Battlefield

Our lunch spot overlooking battlefield

Laura is a tiny speck on the field

A descendent of the Mercer Tree

The Mercer Tree once stood here

View of Battlefield looking south

The Ionic Colonnade

Grave site


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