Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve


View Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve in a larger map

Park Overview:

Mountain Lakes Preserve is a favorite for family walks just outside of downtown Princeton

Trail Uses:Hiking, Mountain biking
Trail Miles:8 miles
Park Acreage:75 acres
Web Map:Trail map of open space area
Park Description:

This 75-acre natural area located just outside downtown Princeton is a favorite for family walks, birding, and fishing. Originally part of King George III's land grant to William Penn, it was farmed until the late nineteenth century. In the early 1980s it was purchased by Princeton Township - in part through the Green Acres funds - and is now preserved as open space.  With the Preserve’s two lakes, numerous rocky creeks, wooded wetlands, and upland forests, this park provides a diversity of ecosystems for native flora and fauna

It is part of a cluster of contiguous public parks and private open space (parts accessible to the public) likened by some as Princeton’s Central Park. Under the designation “Greater Mountain Lakes Open Space Area” they encompass 400 acres.   

The Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS) was instrumental in the acquisition of the park property and maintains its trails.


Trails Overview:

An 8-mile network of maintained trails traversing this Preserve, Mountain Lakes North, John Witherspoon Woods,parts of Tusculum (private) and Community Park North makes a variety of loop hikes possible.  Pathways include a boardwalk (over wetlands) and paved bicycle roads.  Click on the Web Map link near the top-left of this page for a trail map of the entire open space area, provided by the NJ Trails Association (2009).



In Princeton, across Route 206 from Community Park, just past the Pettoranello Gardens, a long paved driveway extends back into Mountain Lakes from the gate at 57 Mountain Avenue.  Use trail map to locate additional parking areas.

GPS Coordinates: 40.361256, -74.676491

Contact Information:Friends of Princeton Open Space
Region:Central Jersey