Cedar Ridge
Van Dyke Road, Hopewell Township, Mercer County, NJ
30 acres


From Princeton:
Follow Nassau Street to 206 South. Turn right onto Elm Road. Left at first traffic light onto Rosedale Road. Follow to the end and turn right onto Carter Road. Follow Carter Road all the way to the end. Turn left onto Route 518 west. Follow 518 through Hopewell Borough. Bear right to stay on 518 outside of the borough. At the blinking traffic light, turn right onto Van Dyke Road. The trailhead is on the left, at the bottom of the hill, just past the stream crossing.

From Pennington:
Route 31 North to Route 518 east. Right onto 518 east and follow to blinking traffic light at Van Dyke Road. Left onto Van Dyke Road. The trail head is on the left, at the bottom of the hill, just past the stream crossing.

Park in small pulloffs on both sides of the road. Space is limited.


meadow, forest and streams at the edge of the Sourland Mountains.


Easy walk on trail with white arrows on a black background. The Cedar Ridge Trail is a preservation project of Delaware & Raritan Greenway, central New Jersey’s regional land trust.

10/16/04.  Rosemary and Carl Cooney, dog Sonar and I walked the trail on a cool morning.  The kiosk has a map of the trail which only covers a small part of the entire area.  The trail goes straight and then has a loop trail on its end.  The main trail goes on the left of large fields on the right. (One can take several semi-circular walks to the other side of the fields and back to the main trail.)  On the left flows a small stream.  My son saw a red fox on the trail. We followed the white arrow to the right, starting the circular part of the walk.  Turning left the path takes one away from the fields and up atop a small ridge overlooking wetter ground on the left side of the path.  Making another left takes the hiker along a stone wall back to the straight main trail.  Turned left and headed back to the parking area, making one side trip to the other side of the field and back.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = blooming on the date of the field trip, 10/16/04

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut oak)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (eastern red cedar)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus sp. (pine) 2-needled
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Myrica pensylvanica (northern bayberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rosa sp. (rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Rubus sp. (dewberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum) lots

Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow) * a few in bloom
Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Asclepias sp. (milkweed)
Aster novae-angliae (New England aster) *
Aster spp. (aster) *
Chelone glabra (white turtlehead) *
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Cirsium discolor (field thistle) *
Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s lace) *
Eupatorium sp. (Joe-Pye weed)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed)
Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia) *
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower)
Myosotis sp. (forget-me-not)
Penstemon sp. (beard tongue)
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) *
Polygonum hydropiperoides (water pepper) *
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tear thumb)
Potentilla sp. (cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) *
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (narrow-leaved mountain mint)
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (giant goldenrod)
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Viola sp. (violet)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered sedge type)
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex typhina (sedge)
Cyperus sp. (nut or umbrella sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Sorghastrum nutans (Indian nut grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)
bamboo (along the brook by the road)

Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Source: Central New Jersey Trails Association; http://www.njtrails.org/trailguide.php?TrailID=10