Herrontown Woods Arboretum
|Herrontown Woods Arboretum|
The entrance to the arboretum from Snowden Lane
|Location||624 Snowden Lane, Princeton, New Jersey|
|Area||142 acres (57 ha)|
|Operated by||Mercer County, New Jersey|
|Status||Open all year|
Herrontown Woods Arboretum (142 acres) is an arboretum located on Snowden Lane near the junction with Herrontown Road, in Princeton, New Jersey. It is open to the public every day at no cost. There are walking trails, but trail bicycles are prohibited.
This land is preserved in its natural state (except for a pipeline right-of-way, which crosses the woods). It contains a pine forest, wetlands, frogs and salamanders, over 30 species of trees, shrubs, and flowers, rare birds, rocks containing magnetite, and several miles of walking trails.
The first 81 acres (33 ha) of the arboretum were donated to the Mercer County Park Commission in 1957 by internationally renowned mathematician Prof. Oswald Veblen (1880-1960) of the Institute for Advanced Study. The gift was valued at $154,000 and was the town of Princeton's first nature preserve. In 1966 the Park Commission approved a 47 acres (19 ha) expansion of the Woods. When Elizabeth Veblen died in 1974, the Veblens' remaining 14 acres (5.7 ha) were added to the park, including a cottage and house, giving the park its current size.
Autumn Hill Reservation
In 1967 Princeton Township and Princeton Borough jointly purchased 72 acres (29 ha) of former hardscrabble farms returned to woodland, north of Herrontown Road, across the street from the arboretum, for preservation as the Autumn Hill Reservation. This stretch of land is sometimes referred to as the Herrontown Woods extension. The reservation has only a rudimentary trail loop, the work of an Eagle Scout service project by Boy Scout Troop 43. A small parking lot on Herrontown, west of its junction with Snowden, provides access.
The woods can be accessed from a parking lot off of Snowden Lane on the east side of the arboretum. In 2010, an adjoining 35 acres (14 ha) tract of land owned by All Saints Episcopal Church was purchased for preservation by the D&R Greenway Land Trust. This enabled trails to be added reaching to the south, accessing both the church and the former Church & Dwight headquarters on Bunn Drive.
In October, 2014, trail access was added from Stone Hill Church, on the west side of the woods, off Bunn Drive, through the joint effort of the Friends of Herrontown Woods and the church youth group. Visitors are free to park at the church, apart from Sunday mornings, to access the trails.
- Arntzenius, Linda (March 20, 2013). "George Dyson Recalls Institute Woods, His Boyhood, Oswald Veblen's Legacy". The Town Topics.
- "Large Tract Donated". The Town Topics. 28 July 1957. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
- "Park Commission". The Town Topics. September 15, 1966.
- "Princeton Parks, Refuges, Arboretums and Reservations Provide Opportunity for Enjoying Nature in All Seasons". The Town Topics. July 16, 1986.
- "Autumn Hill Reservation". Municipality of Princeton, New Jersey.
- "Two More Princeton Properties Preserved" (PDF). D&R Greenway Land Trust, Inc. 18 (2): 1–2. Winter 2010.
- Hiltner, Stephen. "Stone Hill Church Gets a Nature Trail". Princeton Nature Notes.