Baldwin Lake Wildlife Management Area
Penn View Drive, Hopewell Township, Mercer County, NJ
47 acres


Located just north of Pennington and east of Route 31.  To the north is Titus Mill Road and Lake Baldwin Road (closer to the WMA itself). To the east of the WMA is Route 624 (Pennington - Rocky Hill Road). 

Heading south on Route 31 turn left onto North Main Street; left turn onto East Franklin Avenue; left turn onto Lewis Brook Road; left turn onto Murphy Road; right turn onto Penn View Drive; drive to the end of the street and park along the road.  The trail is straight ahead of you.

(For maps see:

The downstream portion of Baldwins Creek that flows through the Baldwin Lake WMA is designated a C1 area.

Date: 030430

By Lisa Coryell, Times, April 30, 2003 Pennington -

Three years after residents here agreed to pay a 1-cent annual open-space tax, the borough is planning its first land preservation venture - buying the development rights on a 67-acre tract of land just over its border in Hopewell Township. Under a proposal endorsed by the borough council last week, the borough will join Hopewell Township and the Delaware and Raritan Greenway group to preserve a tract of land adjacent to the Baldwin Lake Wildlife Management Area. Pennington is slated to fund about $200,000 of the $500,000 needed to buy the property's development rights. How Hopewell and the Greenway divide the remaining costs has yet to be determined. "This is our first attempt at preserving open space, and we're really excited about it," said Jack Koeppel, chairman of the Open Space Advisory Committee, the group overseeing the acquisition.

The borough implemented its open-space tax in 1999 and has since collected about $60,000 in taxes and acquired another $400,000 in state Green Acres funding for land preservation. "Our goal is to establish a green belt of open space around Pennington Borough," Koeppel said. "There is no open space left to preserve within the borough so the only thing we can do is surround ourselves with green space." The first order of business is to preserve a township tract owned by Alex Hanson. Under the proposal, Hanson would continue living there, but future development would be forever prohibited, even if Hanson sells the land or deeds it to his heirs. Koeppel said once preserved, the land would become accessible to the public and become part of a hiking path that will eventually link Baldwin Lake, Kunkel Park and Rosedale Park. "Eventually we hope to have a trail system where you can actually hike the Pennington green belt," Koeppel said. "This property is a piece of that puzzle." With the acquisition of the Hanson tract, hikers will be able to walk from North Main Street to Baldwin Lake, then walk along the Stoney Brook down to Kunkel Park in the northeast section of the borough, Koeppel said. "We'll be able to create a hiking trail 180 degrees around the borough," Koeppel said. "We have another 180 degrees to go."

The green belt will help preserve Pennington's identity, Koeppel said. "It's very clear when you arrive in Pennington Borough," he said. "You have to go through open space to get here, and we'd like to keep it that way." There is an urgency in preserving as much open space as possible, Koeppel said. "It's a race between those who wish to develop the land and those who wish to preserve open space," he said. "We have to work quickly while the land is still available. This is the first of many. We have many other properties in our sights." Ted Stiles, chairman of the Hopewell Valley Open Space Advisory Committee, said he thinks it's great that Pennington is getting involved in land preservation outside its own borders. "It's their land, too," Stiles said. "There's sort of this idea of boundaries but the boundaries are relatively artificial. Pennington is preserving its own environment. It's entering into a partnership that is preserving the quality of everyone's environment."
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8/01/98.  Could not find any entrance to it in spite of checking the obvious places.  And we noticed that there is now a housing development that looks like it almost abuts the lake.  S  8/01/98  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

10/16/04.  We decided to try again to find the entrance to Baldwin Lake Wildlife Management Area.  We tried the obvious places at first with no luck.  Then we stopped at the Stony Brook - Millstone Watershed Association office and gift shop to ask for directions, but no one knew how to access the lake.   We tried the small roads to the south of the lake on the map and finally found the entrance.  We took the left hand path at a fork in the path near the entrance.  We took this path northeast through woods area and then out onto a large field dominated by nodding foxtail grass.  On the other side of the field, the path heads back into the woods.  After a short walk the lake comes into view.  We saw that the north side of the lake was dominated by those huge McMansions that seem to be popping up everywhere in the yet to be fully developed areas of New Jersey.  These mansions have such enormous lawns and the back yards come virtually down to the water itself.  They only leave us a strip of land on the north side of the lake.  One mansion has its lawn cut all the way down to the lake shore itself and has a hammock and two chairs by the lake. 

There were 300 plus Canada geese on the lake.  A guy in a row boat spoooked one huge group that then took flight followed by the second huge group of geese.  The only birds left on the lake were a great blue heron, a white heron and four swans. 

The lake setting is pretty even though there is quite a lot of duckweed and watermeal on the water surface.  At the east end of the lake, they have a square concrete outlet over which the water flows and then out through the pipe to the other side of the east berm. The water then flows into a stream.

On the way back we thought we would turn left on a side path that we thought would connect back to that right fork which we had ignored at the start of the walk.  We walked quite a ways, but turned back when we came to a large ditch with a stream crossing our path.  It felt gratifying to have found the lake and to have walked the area.     Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

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

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut oak)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Celtis occidentalis (American hackberry)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (eastern red cedar)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Salix sp. (willow)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
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)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)

Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum scandens (climbing bindweed)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium tricoccum (wild leek)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed) *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Aster novae-angliae (New England aster) *
Aster spp. (aster) *
Bidens sp. (beggar ticks)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Cardamine pratensis (cuckoo flower)
Coronilla varia (crown vetch) *
Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s lace) *
Desmodium sp. (tick trefoil)
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) *
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Lespedeza cuneata (Chinese bush clover)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) *
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco lobelia) *
Ludwigia alternifolia (seed box)
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed)
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Osmorhiza sp. (cicely)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tear thumb)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) *
Polygonum hydropiperoides (water pepper) *
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tear thumb)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (narrow-leaved mountain mint)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Sanicula sp. (sanicle)
Silene carolinense (horse nettle)
Silene latifolia (white campion) *
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) * 
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (giant goldenrod)
Solidago rugosa (rough stemmed goldenrod) 
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Trifolium repens (white clover) *
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Urtica dioica var. dioica (stinging nettle)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Wolffia sp. (water meal)

Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Cyperus sp. (nut or umbrella sedge)
Cyperus sp. (flat sedge)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Elymus hystrix (bottle-brush grass)
Eragrostis spectabilis (purple love grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)