Johnson Park Nature Trail
Johnson Park School
Rosedale Road, Princeton Township, Mercer County, New Jersey


From the intersection of Carter Road (Route 569) and Rosedale Road west end, the school is 1.8 miles east on the left.  From the intersection of Province Line Road and Rosedale Road east end, the distance is 0.7 of a mile on the right. (One can park across the school at a local park, probably Greenway Meadows Park.) 


1876  --  Robert Wood Johnson heard Joseph Lister speak. Sir Joseph Lister, a noted English surgeon, identified airborne germs as a source of infection in the operating room. For years afterward Robert Wood Johnson nurtured the idea of a practical application of Lister's teachings with a new type of surgical dressing, ready-made, sterile, wrapped and sealed in individual packages and suitable for instant use without the risk of contamination.

Robert Wood Johns founded the Johnson & Johnson Company.  He established a secure position as a leader in the manufacture of health care products.

mid-1880s   --  Johnson & Johnson developed the first ready-made, ready-to-use surgical dressings.

1910 --   the death of  Robert Wood Johnson; his brother James W. Johnson succeeded him.

1923  --  an around-the-world trip by the two sons of Robert Wood Johnson, Robert Wood Johnson, Jr. and  J. Seward Johnson, led to the establishment of the Company in other countries.

1924  --  Johnson & Johnson created its first overseas affiliate, Johnson & Johnson Ltd., in Great Britain.

1932  -- James W. Johnson retires from the presidency. 

1959  -- Robert Wood Johnson, Jr. gave the land to the township for a public school.  The Johnson Park School was the result.

1963  --  General Johnson retired as Chairman of the Board of Johnson & Johnson, but remained active in the company.

1968  -- death of Robert Wood Johnson, Jr. at the age of 74.

Johnson Park Nature Trail is a gift to the Princeton community from the Johnson Park students. 

1997-98  --  PTO raised funds for the Johnson Park Nature Trail which has a lot of informative signs.

(Source: Johnson & Johnson, Early Years-Our History:;jsessionid=Y5PAKUJIKE2BACQPCCGSZOYKB2IIQNSC)


Johnson Park Nature Trail.  The trail system is a small loop trail with short, wavy/curvy, out and back, side trails on the two ends of the loop trail.

10/12.04.  I parked at the park without a name sign across from the unmarked Johnson Park School (which I think is the Greenway Meadows Park).  I did not even know there was a trail at the school.  I was looking for the Rosedale Road Woods (which is just east and adjacent to the school) and just stumbled onto the school's trail   I crossed the street and followed a pipe line cut and stumbled onto the trail.  (One can walk onto the campus and find the trail entrance behind the school buildings on the right.)

The short trail entrance  leads past a circular classroom area (to which the hiker will return) and right onto the loop trail. Passing the ridge area I come to the meadow, which now is primarily Japanese stilt grass.  I continue on to one of the side trails with signage indicating milk weed run, vineland and pine alley.  The short side trail just suddenly ends, blocked off by vegetation.  Turning around I follow the loop trail back to the class room area.  From here I walk past the trail entrance way and take the swampland trail.  The highlight of this trail is a railed boardwalk over the small wetlands.  Here again a lot of the area is covered with Japanese stilt grass, but there are some wetland species here also. 

Returning to the start of the swampland trail, I turn right and head across the school's entrance road and a short walk over to Stony Brook.  The riverbed is quite wide for the stream. There are some remnants on the right that look like one-time bridge supports.  I walk south parallel to Stony Brook back to Rosedale Road and the parking area. 

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant found in bloom on date of field trip, 10/12/04

Acer negundo (ash-leaf maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula nigra (river birch) across Rosedale Road, along Stony Brook
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech) a beech forest
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) *
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera mackii (Amur honeysuckle)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (black berry)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
Viburnum sieboldii (Siebold's viburnum) ? lots of it

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster cordifolius (heart-leaved aster) *
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) *
Aster spp. (aster) *
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Cardamine pratense (cuckoo flower) ?
Chelone glabra (white turtlehead) *
Cichorium intybus (chicory) *
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) *
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Iris sp. (iris)
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) *
Polygonum sp. (smartweed) *
Solidago bicolor (silverrod) *
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Viola sp. (violet)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum dichotomiflorum (fall panic grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)

Ferns and fern allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)