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 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 including the majestic southern Twayblade orchid. In addition to the trails, we are running programs on some weekends.

Hours

Trails Open Daily
7:30am – 6pm (Hours are seasonal)


Center Building Hours
Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 5pm
Sunday 12pm – 5pm
Closed Mondays and Holidays

Center upcoming events

Fri 29

Kids and Critters Preschool Program

June 29 @ 11:00 am - 11:45 am
Jul 07

Art Journaling in Nature

July 7 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Jul 13

Kids and Critters Preschool Program

July 13 @ 11:00 am - 11:45 am

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

Plainsboro Preserve Summer Nature Camps

NJ Audubon is committed to guiding your child in outdoor adventures that foster a deeper connection with the natural world and that are engaging, fun and support STEM learning through hands-on experiences.

Our summer education team is highly trained and maintain optimal teacher-child ratios. NJ Audubon membership is required to sign up for camps. Members strengthen the voice with which NJA speaks out for protection of NJ’s wildlife and natural areas.

School and Youth Environmental Education Programs

Our instructors use the forests, fields and streams that grace the property as an outdoor classroom for learning. Classes are tailored to meet each age group’s needs. School site visitations Educator workshops in Bridges to the Natural World, NJWATERS and others.

Sensing the Seasons
Pre-K thru K 90 minutes

Students will use their senses to explore the natural habitats of the Sanctuary. After reviewing our 5 senses, we will go on an exploratory walk and look, touch, smell, and listen to nature all around us.

Sensing the Seasons
Pre-K thru K 90 minutes

Students will use their senses to explore the natural habitats of the Sanctuary. After reviewing our 5 senses, we will go on an exploratory walk and look, touch, smell, and listen to nature all around us.

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.

Join us this June 2nd, 11am to 4pm, for our native plant sale at New Jersey Audubon’s Plainsboro Preserve. A wide variety of beautiful native plants will be available. We also have birdseed so you can pick up food for our feathered friends at the same time. Download the Plainsboro Native Plant Flyer

Staff & Personnel

Nancy Fiske
Sanctuary Director

Anna Wright-Piersant
Teacher Naturalist

Scott Barnes
All Things Birds

John Milne
Grounds and Maintenance

Associate Naturalists
Tom Boyle, Kathy Easton, Carole Hughes, Linda Mack, Chris Magarelli, Heidi Mass, Kris Miller, Arlene Oley, Vicki Schwartz, and Lloyd Shaw

Regulations

  • 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

609-427-3052
plainsboro@njaudubon.org