Drexel Woods

Drexel Avenue, Lawrence Township, Mercer County, NJ

45 acres


NJ Turnpike to exit 7A for US 195 west; take US 295 north to US 95 heading toward Pennsylvania; get off at Exit 7 for Route 206 north; turn left onto Brearley Avenue; drive to its end at the intersection of Brearley Avenue and Drexel Road (where it dead ends).  Park along Brearley Avenue.  The trail starts at the dead-end of Drexel Road on your right.

in the middle of South Lawrence, a block in from Route 206, lying roughly between Notre Dame High School and Eldridge Park School.

From Route 206 head toward Notre Dame High School. Going south, turn right on the last street on the left before it is Fernwood Avenue; follow it until it ends at Drexel Ave. Turn left; there is a sign for Drexel Wood within view of the Rinck House. Or, turn right onto Drexel and go to the next street, Brearley, where there's a vertical sign on a white post. 

Going north on Route 206, pass Notre Dame on your left, then Irwin Place on the right. Turn left into Fernwood Ave. and proceed as above. At this point, you're near the southern end of Drexel Woods. 

To enter Drexel Woods at its northern end, turn off Route 206 into Lawn Park Ave., pass Candela's Restaurant and Eldridge Park School, and go to the end of the street. 


25 percent of the land in Lawrence is open space.

1998  -- the township, with the help of a Green Acres Grant, bought Drexel Woods and the Rinck House, which sits on the property.  It has been suggested that the Rinck House become the focal point of a nature center.

In order to obtain her Girl Scout Gold Award, Lawrence High School student Alexandra Nicholas, developed a leadership program to renovate the Rinck House.  Alexandra with her mother, Carol,  together  with the township, worked on the renovation for over a year.

2004  -- the Lawrence Nature Center opens.

Earth Day 2004  --  the Lawrence Greenway expects to offer tours of the Drexel Woods forest, while the Washington Crossing Audubon Society plans to offer bird walks. The Friends of Carson Road Woods will show off clay trail markers.   The Girl Scouts plan to offer outdoor skills demonstrations, and two Boy Scout troops expect to set up displays, including how to set up a camp site.

(Source: Lea Kahn, 4/22/04, The Lawrence Ledger; "Lawrence Township to celebrate environment." http://www.packetonline.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11371072&BRD=1091&PAG=461&dept_id=425643&rfi=6)


fields, woods


A marked trail goes around the squarish perimeter.  ATVs are permitted on other routes.

5/04/2005.  Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I parked along Brearly Avenue. We start walking along the white-blazed trail  There are some boardwalk through some of the wet areas.  We reach a T-intersection and go left with the white trail.  The white and blue trails go together for a short distance.  The blue trail splits off right. We take the left trail (white) and figure we might be able to switch to the blue trail later and return by this route.  The trail is rather wet.  We pass by the blue trail again just before we reach a large field, which marks the end of the white trail.  There is a house facing onto the field.  It is probably the Rinck House mentioned in the history.  After examining the field, we return to the woods and pick up the blue trail.  This takes us parallel with a creek.  At times the trail is very narrow and the bushes are close on both sides, but it is nice to be so close to the plant life.  One thing I did not like is that they routed the blue trail right through a huge match of may apple.   I also noticed that we had to cross a bit of the trail used by the ATVs.  What a muddy mess.  The trail walk took us about an hour or so.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.  

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

* = blooming on date of field trip, 5/04/2005

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer pseudoplatanoides (sycamore maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (apple) *
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)  ?

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive) *soon
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)  -- hairy leaves
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Euonymus fortunii (Fortune's euonymus)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) *
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress)  *
Cardamine parviflora (dry-land bittercress)  *
Cardamine pratensis var. palustris (cuckoo flower)  *
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed) 
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty)   lots and lots *
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground) *
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Myosotis sp. ? (forget-me-not)  ?
Narcissus sp. (daffodil)
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple)  *
Polygonatum biflorum (smooth true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved crowfoot) *
Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine) 
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Solidago sp. (goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Veronica serpyllifolia (thyme-leaved speedwell)
Viola pubescens (yellow forest violet)  *
Viola sororia (common blue violet) *
(pansy ) hort.   *

Carex sp. (sedge)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

Source: http://www.wjmj.com/Lawrence/lldrex02.html