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Rutgers Ecological Preserve and Natural Teaching Area

Rutgers Ecological Preserve and Natural Teaching Area

300 acres of meadows and woods hold this ground, wedged between campus and apartment buildings. Running through the middle, the charismatic Buell Brook presents lots of sweet stepping stone and bridge crossings and weaves through some mini mountains that have you debating whether to walk or slide down. The wooded blue trail loops past many of the highlights, with options to extend in all directions and into the carefully maintained meadows. Interpretive signs throughout explain stewardship efforts and wildlife. Full of captivating vignettes thanks to the quick succession of altitude and terrain changes and the many stream crossings, this is an interesting trail year-round – though we’re itching to visit in a greener, warmer, splashable month.

The preserve’s interesting history includes a posh period in colonial times with vineyards producing fine wines that George Washington might have quaffed as a guest at estate galas on these grounds. Military camps were built here by British and American troops during the Revolutionary War as well as after WWII. Relics and signage explaining the latter are visible today.

LEARN / HELP

TRAIL MAP

DIRECTIONS

Parking it not so intuitive, if you don’t hold a Rutgers parking permit. We parked in Johnson Park near the southern trailhead.

AS A WINE….

A Claret with hints of bergamot, pepper, brambly fruit and gunpowder.

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