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 preserved by the County of Middlesex and the Township of Plainsboro support a diversity of habitats and wildlife, with one of the largest lakes in the area. The Preserve is a natural jewel for residents and visitors to the area and an ecological legacy for future generations.
New Jersey Audubon operates the Preserve’s Rush Holt Environmental Center from April through October, with the Township operating the Center from November through March. There are environmental education programs, nature experiences, and recreational offerings throughout the seasons. The Center houses program space, a variety of exhibits, live animals and a reference library.
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 Preserve 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.
NOTE: Deer Management Program in Progress
The Township of Plainsboro is conducting a managed deer harvest program from mid-September through mid-February. The hunt is consistent with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s policies and rules. Click HERE for more information.
Rush Holt Environmental Center Hours:
November 1 through March 31 (operated by the Township of Plainsboro)
Thursday through Sunday – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Closed Holidays and Monday – Wednesday
Trails Open Daily
Winter Hours – 7:30 am to 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
Plainsboro Preserve Summer Nature Camps 2020 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, 2020
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.
80 Scotts Corner Road
Cranbury, NJ 08512
We offer a variety of badges that relate to the Plainsboro Preserve and Central New Jersey wildlife and natural environments. Programs are scheduled at least one month out from the initial request. Please call 609-427-3052 x102 or email [email protected]
Staff & Personnel
New Jersey Audubon operates the Plainsboro Preserve from April through October.
For inquiries from November 1 through March 31, please contact us via phone/email.
80 Scotts Corner Road
Cranbury, NJ 08512
- 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.