PRINCETON INSTITUTE WOODS & CHARLES H. ROGERS WILDLIFE REFUGE
West Drive off Alexander Street, Mercer County, NJ.
Rogers W.R. = 39 acres
Institute Woods = 300 acres
Turnpike south about 30 miles to exit 9. Follow directions for Herrontown Woods to Nassau Street. Turn west (left) on Route 27 0.3 mile and turn south (left) on Mercer Street; go 0.8 mile to Olden Lane. Turn left again; drive 0.6 miles to the end of the road. Parking is on the left.
1936-1945 -- the Institute Woods were purchased parcel by parcel by the Institute for Advanced Study. Louis Bamberger and Carrie B.F. Fuld initiated the project with a gift to enable the first purchase.
1968 -- the now Princeton Environmental Commission acquires the refuge, originally called the Princeton Wildlife Refuge, through a conservation easement. Charles H. Rogers, a nationally known ornithologist, was instrumental in establishing the sanctuary.
1977 -- name of the refuge changed to memorialize Charles H. Rogers, who died that year.
1978 -- Elizabethtown Water Company, owner of the tract, and Princeton Township, grantee of record, renew the easement.
Institute for Advanced Study Woods, 609-734-8000. Drive down Mercer to Olden Lane, turn left, and follow it to the end. Henry Horn's pamphlet "Institute Woods Tour Guide" is available at Fuld Hall, the main Institute building, on weekdays during business hours.
Or, from Route 1, drive west into town on Alexander Road. Immediately after crossing the canal, turn left at Elizabethtown Water Company sign. Drive into the woods. Look for a parking area on the right. Walk into the woods to find the platform.
These 500 acres of upland forest, streambanks, and marshland are a primary way station for migrating spring warblers; on a given day during the first three weeks of May a seasoned birder may see and hear over thirty species.
From the parking area, walk to the right along a broad dirt track. This is one of the best vantage points, for the trail is bordered by the woods on one side and the open fields of the institute on the other. Search the shrubs out in the field for the yellow warbler, yellow-breasted chat, and the chestnut-sided warbler. Several trails lead southward (left) off this path, winding through the woods toward the marsh on the far side. Large oaks and hickories dominate the canopy; flowering dogwood is abundant in the understory. The damp forest floor is covered with large stands of skunk cabbage and lush cinnamon fern.
Adjoining the Institute Woods is the Carl Rogers Sanctuary. Drive one block north on Olden Lane to Hardin Road. Turn east (right) and go one block to Springdale Road. Turn south (right) and drive to the end. Turn west (right) on West Drive and park by the observation tower.
Woods, bush areas, thickets, marshes and the north bank of Stony Brook.
There is a marsh with an observation tower right at the parking lot. You can make a circular walk (about 1.8 miles) around the area by keep making right turns (except for one off of Pipeline Path). You can travel southeast from the parking lot to the banks of Stony Brook, then turn right (southwest) following Stony Book. There is a pretty suspension bridge over Stony Brook along the way. Turn right (northwest) away from Stony Brook to a field. Turn right (northeast) following a pipeline path and then turn left (northwest) and then turn right (northeast) paralleling Hardin Road. Keep going in a clockwise direction turning right (southeast) following parallel to Springdale Road and return to the parking lot.
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
Acer negundo (box elder)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Betula nigra (river birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (ironwood)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Fraxinus pensylvanica (red ash)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Salix nigra (black willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spice bush)
Lonicera sp. (honeysuckle)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry raspberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape vine)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Alisma subcordatum (water plantain) 7/31/98
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp dogbane)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed) 7/31/98
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle) 7/31/98
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 7/31/98
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) 7/31/98
Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag)
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Ludwigia palustris (marsh purslane)
Lycopus virginiana (Virginia bugleweed) 7/31/98
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 7/31/98
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower)
Nuphar variegata (spatterdock) 7/31/98
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed) 7/31/98
Polygonum sagittatum (arrowhead tearthumb)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed knotweed)
Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed) 7/31/98
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 7/31/98
Sagittaria latifolia (broad-leaved arrowhead)
Scutellaria lateriflora (maddog skullcap) 7/31/98
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed)
Viola spp. (violets)
Wolffia sp. (water meal)
tall yellow lettuce 7/31/98
Rushes and Sedges:
Juncus tenuis (path rush)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Athyrium filix-femina f. rubella (red-stiped northern lady fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)