The Plainsboro Preserve is a collaboration with the Township of Plainsboro, the County of Middlesex,
and New Jersey Audubon.  Close to 1,000 acres of lands were preserved by the County of Middlesex and the Township of Plainsboro that supports a diversity of habitats and wildlife, with one of the largest lakes in the area.

New Jersey Audubon manages the Preserve and Nature Center, providing year round environmental education opportunities for the local community. The Preserve is a lasting ecological legacy for current and future generations. The Nature Center houses a variety of exhibits, live animals, a reference library, a Nature Store, and several miles of trails.

Enjoy over five miles of trails meandering through mature beech woods, wet meadows, and the shoreline of scenic 50-acre McCormack Lake. Walk the floodplain of Devil’s Brook in search of the more than 150 species of birds that call the wildife sanctuary home during the year. Plants on site consist of a diverse showing of spring wildflowers and also include over ten species of rare or endangered plant species found sparingly elsewhere in the state including the majestic southern Twayblade orchid. In addition to the trails, we are running programs on some weekends.


Center Building Hours
Winter Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 4pm
Sunday 12pm – 4pm
Closed Mondays and Holidays

Trails Open Daily
Winter Hours:
7:30am to 5pm

Center upcoming events

Sat 21

2019 Nature Camp Reunion

September 21 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Oct 05

Members Only Bird Seed Sale Weekend

October 5 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Oct 06

Members Only Bird Seed Sale Weekend

October 6 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Things To Do

  • Over 5 Miles of trails
  • Environmental Education Center
  • Indoor tree house
  • Under the pond room
  • Lake view deck
  • Reference library
  • Nature store

Special Programs

This year we have three native plant nurseries coming in for the day on Saturday, June 1st from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM with their plants for sale, and we will have additional plants from our volunteers that we are selling.

Download the Flyer

We have three plant vendors to choose from; Cicconi Farms, Toadshade Wildflower Farm and Wild Ridge Farm so there will be a lot to choose from

In addition, we will have a gift shop table out with all plant and gardening related gift items and books at special prices.

Finally, Ed Vaeth, our bee keeper, with put on a special demo of bee hives and of course lots of yummy honey for sales.

Plainsboro Preserve Summer Nature Camps 2019 Registration Is Open

Plainsboro Preserve Nature Camps are State of New Jersey Summer Camp Certified

New Jersey Audubon looks forward to sharing the wonders of nature with your child this summer.  We are committed to guiding your child in outdoor adventures that foster a deeper connection with the natural world and that support S.T.E.A.M learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) through hands-on experiences.

With a thousand acres of land to explore, we never have to leave the Preserve to delve into mature forests and young woods, fields and marshes, streams and vernal pools, the lake shore and native plant gardens.  Every day our hikes will take campers to new habitats with new discoveries to be made: rolling logs in search of salamanders, sweeping nets in a field to find a praying mantis, dipping into a vernal pool for tadpoles, or exploring a stream bed in search of natural clay.

Each week of summer camp offers a different theme, so no two days are ever alike.  We plan our camp sessions around S.T.E.A.M activities, but what our campers care about is having fun, feeling challenged, meeting new friends, and feeling a new connection to the natural world.

Early Bird Pricing through March 15, 2019 – Registration details coming soon

MEMBERSHIP TO NJ AUDUBON is required for camp registration


Its summertime- and here at the Plainsboro Preserve that means weeks filled with outdoor exploration and fun! Because of all the time spent outside, your child will benefit from clothing and other “gear” that is appropriate.

Please download our Camp Check List which includes everything your child needs for a fun and safe summer with us

Please do not bring:
Radios, I-pods, video game consoles, expensive cameras, or jewelry. Flip-flops and open-toed shoes are not appropriate footwear for nature camp. Inappropriate footwear will result in your child missing activities.

We’re going to get wet!
Camp will take us into some wet areas of the preserve at least two times a week. Rubber boots, closed toe water shoes, or a second pair of shoes and socks are a must have for your child to participate in wet activities. A complete change of clothes (including underwear) is also required.

Safety Considerations for your Camper
By preparing your camper with the appropriate gear, you can reduce the risk of common ailments like tick bites, sunburn, and dehydration.

Tick Awareness:
Ticks are encountered everywhere in the north east, including on the preserve, so make sure that a thorough tick check at home becomes part of your daily routine. Please apply bug repellent in the morning before camp and send bug repellent with your camper so that they can re-apply after lunch.

Sunscreen: Campers should wear sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays! Please apply sunscreen in the morning before camp and send sunscreen with your camper so that they can re-apply after lunch.

Dehydration: Instructors plan frequent water breaks during each day, make sure campers carry water with them at all times, and remind campers to refill water bottles as necessary. Please also encourage campers to continue drinking plenty of water once they return home each evening as well.

Cancellation Policy – If you cancel more than 30 days before the start date of the camp session, NJ Audubon will issue a full refund minus a $30 processing fee for each camp session cancelled.  There are no refunds for cancellations less than 30 days of the camp session.  Medical/disaster cancellations will be reviewed on a case by case basis.  If such cancellation is made through special consideration, NJ Audubon will refund camp fee less a $30 processing fee for each camp session.  NJ Audubon does not refund membership fees.

Please review our Medical and Special Needs Policy (2019)


Plainsboro Preserve
80 Scotts Corner Road
Cranbury, NJ  08512

*** We are looking for Camp Counselors – apply HERE ***

School and Youth Environmental Education Programs

Please call 609-427-3052 for information or download our latest brochure

Scout Programs

We work with Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts of all levels, to provide badge work and special projects. We love working with Scouts, and offer a variety of badges that relate to the Plainsboro Preserve and Central New Jersey wildlife and natural environments. We also work with individual Scouts on Bronze, Silver and Gold Star Awards, and community service and Eagle Scout projects. If you have a troop, or are a Scout, call for more information.

  • Programs are 90 minutes unless otherwise noted.
  • Cost is $100 for the first 10 Scouts, and $10.00 per additional scout or sibling up to a total of 20 participants. There is no cost for leaders or chaperones.
  • $50 deposit will hold your reservation. Payment of balance is due upon arrival on the day of your program.
  • Deposits are non-refundable within 14 days of your scheduled program.

Birthday Parties

Yes, we love to party, but even more so, we love to take partiers out on our trails and into the fields to learn about our wildlife while having a fantastically fun time. Meet small live animals in the classroom, go on scavenger hunts or fun bird walks, explore vernal pools for tadpoles and frogs, or learn to read the signs and track our local wildlife.

Parties are held all year long, with winter parties being extra fun! Do something different to celebrate the nature lover in your family.

  • Parties are booked for a two hour period on Saturdays: either 11:00 am – 1:00pm or 2:30pm – 4:30pm
  • Sunday parties 1:00pm – 3:00pm may be booked by special arrangement.
  • $250 for a party of up to 20 children. There is no cost for adults, but there is a maximum of 36 people allowed in each party room. Larger parties may be booked by special arrangement.
  • Parties are a NJ Audubon member privilege, and an active Family Membership is required.
  • Parties are appropriate, with different themes, for children turning 4 years old to 10 years old.
  • $50 deposit and your membership fee will hold your reservation. Payment of balance is due upon arrival on the day of your party.
  • Deposits are non-refundable within 14 days of your scheduled party.

Staff & Personnel

Nancy Fiske
Sanctuary Director

Anna Hill
Lead Teacher Naturalist

Associate Naturalists
Kathy Easton, Greg Hartman, Chris Magarelli, Heidi Mass, Kris Miller, Shari-Beth Nadell, Elizabeth Roedell, Vicki Schwartz

All Things Birds

Scott Barnes

Associate Naturalists
Patrick Belardo,Tom Brown, Hank Burk, Jason Denesevich, Rob & Lisa Fanning, Carole Hughes, Jonathan Klizas, Linda Mack, Mike Mandracchia and Alan Mart


  • No smoking, except in the parking area.
  • No picnicking, fires, camping or woodcutting.
  • No alcoholic beverages on the property.
  • No vehicles, bicycles, skateboards or horses on the trails.
  • No hunting or fishing.
  • No collecting of plants or animals.
  • No pets.
  • Leave only footprints — Take only pictures and memories.

Contact Us

80 Scotts Corner Road
Cranbury, NJ 08512