Now that lovely weather is drawing us outside en masse it's time to be reminded of the variety of outdoor recreation that Princeton offers. From walking to biking to hiking – even sitting still – there are plenty of opportunities to take a breath of fresh air and get lost in nature, locally!
With the right attitude and footwear (save the stilettos and flip-flops for another time) you can get most anywhere in Princeton. Stroll around downtown and do some shopping, trek through the Princeton University campus,or head further afield and enjoy a tranquil stroll through a local park. The New Jersey Trails Association provides a free, searchable database of walkable trails for every level of experience, and there are more than a handful within five miles of Princeton.
Did you know that Princeton is considered a "Bicycle Friendly Community" by the League of American Bicyclists? The majority of roads, even in the bustling downtown, have marked bike lanes. A Princeton, NJ Bicycle Map is hot off the press and can be found online and in hard copy at several locations in town, including the library and the municipal building at 400 Witherspoon Street. It includes a detailed overview of central Princeton and the greater Princeton area as well as helpful resources, bike laws and safety tips.
We may be on reasonably flat terrain in Central NJ, but that doesn't mean there aren't any challenging routes to conquer. The Billy Johnson Mountain Lakes Preserve, next to Community Park North, is a favorite local excursion and offers winding wooded trails, rocky hills, waterfalls, and a lovely view of the Mountain Lakes House.
Looking for a place to enjoy the outdoors while sitting still, reading or getting work done? We can help! The library offers the picturesque third floor terrace as well as the benches and round tables in adjacent Hinds Plaza where you can settle down, get some sun and feel the breeze. The bike racks near the library's front entrance make it easy to pedal here and keep your ride secure. Beyond the library there are many more benches, seating areas, and other open spaces in Princeton to have a seat (or spread a blanket) in comfort.
I hope you're feeling energized and inspired to spend some time in the great outdoors and make the most of the season!
(Images from Flickr, including cover image by Joe Shlabotnik, available via Creative Commons attribution license.)
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