***2021 PICNIC RESERVATIONS - UPDATE***
April 1, 2021
Opening Day for picnic reservations for 2021 is Thursday, April 15, 2021. A link to our NEW ELECTRONIC RESERVATIONS SYSTEM will be on the picnic reservation page
on that day. The first avaliable picnic date is April 24, 2021. Please do not call the office to make a picnic reservation. If you have any questions, please visit the picnic reservation page
- All Middlesex County Parks and Open Spaces are open from sunrise to sunset with strict social distancing requirements. The Parks Administration Building is closed to the public until further notice. Park visitors are to practice social distancing and are strongly encouraged to wear a mask while enjoying our parks and open spaces.
Middlesex County maintains many miles of walking and hiking trails on County-owned property. From paved pathways around the Lake in Roosevelt Park, to the rocky trail along Farrington Lake, to the sandy Pine Barrens trails in Phillips Park and Preserve. Visitors may find hiking locations that are suitable for families with small children, for novice hikers, or for more experienced trekkers who are looking for nearby day-hikes.
Hiking is an inexpensive and easy way to stay healthy. The American Hiking Society states that even low-intensity hiking can promote weight loss, reduce risk from heart disease, diabetes and hypertension and can improve mental health.
Middlesex County Parks are open from sunrise to sunset, 7 days per week.
Camping, horseback riding, alcoholic beverages, fireworks and motor vehicles are prohibited. Hunting is prohibited except by permit
at select locations. A complete description of park rules and regulations can be found on this page.
Some properties are part of our Deer Management program
. Hunting takes place during the state permitted seasons. At these locations, hikers should restrict their visits to Sundays when no hunting is permitted OR wear blaze orange and hike with caution.
All hikers should be prepared before they get out onto the trails:
•Be aware of weather conditions
•Wear proper footwear and dress for the weather
•Dress and prepare to reduce the risk of tick-borne diseases
•Do not approach wildlife
•Stay on the marked trails
•Be courteous to others while on the trail
•Leave only footprints and take only pictures (no littering or removing any plants or animals)
•Bring along a trail map
•Be realistic about how much distance you should cover
•Let someone know where you will be hiking and what time you will returnClick here
to view additional safety tips for your next hike from the American Hiking Association.
to view tips on reducing conflicts and encounters with black bears in New Jersey from the NJ DEP.
Hiking Trail Locations
- South Brunswick (near Kingston)
A picturesque trail leads through a meadow. Connecting trails take you to nearby Cook Natural Area, Mapleton Preserve and D&R Canal State Park.
Farrington Lake Trail
- South Brunswick/East Brunswick
A rocky trail that leads along Farrington Lake towards the Ireland Brook.
John A. Phillips Preserve
- Old Bridge
Observe New Jersey Pine Barrens plants and animals on nearly 5 miles of hiking trails. A self-guided Nature Trail can be found here.
& Thompson Park Conservation Area
- Monroe Township
Some of the oldest and most well-used trails in the County. Great for fall foliage and seasonal bird migration. Many trails originate near the Dog Park area. The TPCA trailhead located off Prospect Plains Road. Some trails have moderate inclines and wander in the floodplain of the Manalapan Brook.
Tamarack Hollow Preserve
- East Brunswick
Enjoy trails that travel through deciduous forest dominated by beech, maple and oak.
Scotts Corner Conservation Area
- South Brunswick
A short loop trail through an open beech forest. The trail borders some wetlands, former agricultural fields and sports fields.
Jamesburg Park Conservation Area
- Helmetta/Monroe Township/Spotswood/East Brunswick
Experience the unique habitat of a pine barrens “outlier”. Pitch pine, oaks, blueberries and huckleberries dominate the sandy uplands. Atlantic white cedar can be found in the wetlands. Rare and threatened plant and animal species can be found here.
Ireland Brook Conservation Area
- East Brunswick/South Brunswick
Several miles of trails through deciduous forest, open meadows, and along the Ireland Brook.
Van Dyke Farm
- South Brunswick
Mile long trail along the wooded, eastern portion of this historic, preserved farmland.Pin Oak Forest
Over 2 miles of trails meander among the marshes, ponds, swamps, and woodlands of the Woodbridge Creek headwaters in this natural oasis within the urban environment.
Looking for a longer hike?
Check out these maps and recomendations for great hikes and adventures in Middlesex County!