Clearly reverent of the beavers, herons, foxes, deer and many other forms of wildlife who thrive here, the Plainsboro Preserve nature center is welcoming to humans, too (especially little ones who like to climb in the indoor treehouse). Trails of varying lengths ramble around the serene lake, through the woods and the butterfly garden, past the human sundial and to the bird viewing meadow.
This wonderful place is as inviting to the rich wildlife it hosts as it is to its visitors. The nature center offers captivating and thoughtful programs for children, native plant sales, educational seminars and other special events. Trails gently encircle the nature center – perfect for little legs and still full of intrigue and adventure as they pass through butterfly gardens, along scenic bluffs, through shaded woods and past bird viewing platforms.
Flanking the lake on either side are several trails with impressively varied scenery. The driveway that leads into the preserve continues as the broad and level footpath on the South side of the lake, which feeds into a network of wooded footpaths, the most intriguing of which cuts along a skinny peninsula to a bench marking the center of the lake. Other branches of the trail skirt the railway and delve deeper through the woods – but don’t be fooled, none will loop you around the lake to your starting point.
In early June, I ended up tiptoeing along the lake’s Northern perimeter on an utterly idyllic, sandy trail with lower growth including blueberry bushes laden with fruit and a heron who kept goading me. Lovely views and a jumping off point into the deeper Devils Brook forest.
AS A WINE….
She’d be an impressive Chablis with flinty, mineral purity showcasing beautifully fresh and spriteful lemony pear flavors.