Field Trips

Field Trip Institute Woods

Field Trips to local birding “Hot Spots” and beyond

Experienced birders from WCAS lead regular birding field trip to some of the region’s top birding hotspots in Central New Jersey, the Delaware Water Gap, Delaware Bay, the New Jersey shore, and eastern Pennsylvania. Field trips are free, open to the public, and most require no advance registration. Participants of all experience levels are welcome. If there are field trips you would like to see added to WCAS field trip offerings, please feel free to contact us.

For more field trip information, contact our Field Trip Chair, Brad Merritt, 609-921-8964. If the trip is co-sponsored, please note the registration request in the trip description. In case of inclement weather, please check this website or contact Brad for field trip cancellation updates by 10:00 p.m. the night before.

Check our Event Calendar below for details and contact information

  • Garret Mountain Reservation A field trip on Saturday, May 4, at 9:00 AM, led by Brad Merritt. Carpool or caravan will depart Princeton Shopping Center at 7:00 am arriving at Garret by 9 AM to meet those who prefer to drive alone. Trip will end around 2:00 pm. Garret Mountain Reservation, a Passaic County Park, located just south of Paterson, NJ, can be an excellent spot in the spring for the songbird migration. We may visit nearby Rifle Camp Park. Bring lunch. Directions: Take I-287 to I-80 east to Squirrelwood Road. From Rifle Camp Road, take left on Mountain Ave, enter Garret Mountain Reservation. Continue up the hill to a large parking area. For additional information, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.

  • Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain A field trip on Sunday, May 5, at 8:00 AM, led by Sharyn Magee and Franta Broulik. Baldpate Mountain is home to an array of native plant communities and wildlife. Join this walk to find a diversity of nesting and migrating birds throughout its mature forest and open meadows. Directions: From Pennington-Washington Crossing Road, take Route 29 to Fiddler’s Creek Road parking area. From Church Road and Bear Tavern Road, take Fiddler’s Creek Rd parking area on your right. For more information, contact Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.

  • *** Birdathon 2019 Field Trips starting Saturday, May 11 (Rain date: Sunday, May 12) ending Saturday, 5/18*** For field trip locations and more details see WCAS’ Birdathon website page.All walks start at 8:00 am. Spend a couple of hours or as much time as you wish helping to find birds and build the list of species, while having a good time. No expert birding skills necessary! We request a minimum donation of $20 per person. Please let us know you’re coming at Don’t hesitate to ask your friends and family to sponsor you for this important event!
  • Princeton Institute Woods, in Memory of Fred Spar  A field trip on Saturday, May 18, at 8:00 AM, led by Brad Merritt. The Institute Woods near the Institute for Advanced Study is an excellent place to observe the spring migration of warblers and other songbirds. Directions: From Princeton take Alexander Street toward Route 1. At the bend before the canal turn right on West Drive. Go a short distance on West Drive and park near the entrance to Rogers Wildlife Refuge.

  • Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve A field trip on Saturday, May 25, at 8:00 AM, led by Brad Merritt. This 164-acre property between Skillmans Lane to the east, Bennetts Lane to the north, and the Six-mile Run Reservoir site to the west and south, contains 111 acres of grassland and 53 acres of woodland. Directions: From Rte 206, take Rte 514 East (Amwell Rd). Turn right on S. Middlebush Rd, then left on  Skillmans Lane; entrance on left. For more info, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.

  • Delaware Water Gap, North Jersey A field trip along Old Mine Road on  Saturday, June 1, led by Brad Merritt. This trip involves driving to numerous stops along Old Mine Rd. looking for Cerulean Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Hybrid Warblers, Acadian and Least Flycatchers plus an exploratory search for the rare Golden-winged Warbler.To carpool meet at 7 AM at the Princeton Shopping Center, 301 N Harrison St, Princeton, NJ 08540  (GPS: 40°21’43.7″N 74°39’00.2″W; 40.362263, -74.650170) OR meet rest of group at ~ 8:30 AM in the Delaware Water Gap at:
    Kittatinny Point Visitor Center
    1 I-80
    Columbia, NJ 07822
    (GPS: 40.970188, -75.128242)
    Google Maps directions to Kittatinny Point Visitor Center
    Take the I-80 exit toward Appalachian Trail/Dunnfield Creek (2nd to last exit before PA), Turn left toward River Rd (to go under I-80). Turn right toward River Rd. Continue onto River Rd .4 miles. You must register with Brad Merritt, (609) 921-8964.
  • Washington Crossing State Park  A field trip on Saturday, June 8, at 8:30 AM, led by Wayne Henderek and Franta Broulik. We will walk trails looking for spring migrants and resident birds in wooded areas and adjacent fields. Directions: Off Washington Crossing–Pennington Road in Titusville. Follow signs to the Nature Center parking lot. For more info, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.

  • Assunpink Wildlife Management Area  A field trip on Saturday, June 15, at 8:30 AM, led by John Maret and Brad Merritt. We will seek resident birds, such as blue grosbeaks, orchard orioles, and cedar waxwings, and butterflies. Directions: East on I-195 to exit 11, Imlaystown. North on Imlaystown Road 2.6 miles to parking area at Lake Assunpink. For more info, call Brad Merritt 609-921-8964.

  • Mercer Meadows Pole Farm A field trip on Saturday, June 22, at 8:00 AM, led by Sharyn Magee. Join us for a fascinating walk around the Pole Farm of Mercer Meadows. We will be on alert for raptors, woodpeckers, migration fly-overs, early migrating songbirds and have hopes of spotting a Bald Eagle. Directions to Mercer Meadows: Take Keefe Rd to Cold Soil Rd. The parking lot entrance is on left. For more information, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.

  • Allentown Sod Farm  A field trip on Saturday, August 24, at 9:00 AM, led by Brad Merritt, call 609-921-8964 to register. Join us as we look for migrating shorebirds. We hope to see some splendid shorebirds, such as Baird’s, Pectoral, Upland and Buff-breasted Sandpipers, Golden and Black-bellied Plovers, in addition to sparrows and Horned Larks. Directions: Take I-195 exit 8, head north on CR 539. Turn right on Herbert Rd, then right on New Sharon Rd. Parking lot on left.

We are looking for additional team leaders—naturalists who can head out into the field and lead a small group of members and friends around your favorite natural location(s). We’ll help coordinate your team and support donation collection. If you would like to volunteer or lead a team, please email Juanita Hummel or Brad Merritt at

Click on calendar entries below for field trip locations. Clicking on the field trip you wish to join will bring open up the trip’s details including a Google Map and GPS coordinates. You may also visit our birding “Hot Spots” page for a map of local hot spots. 

Photos © Tony Singleton

Above & immediately below: WCAS trip to Sandy Hook Saturday, November 10. Photos © Tony Singleton (missing from picture).

Photos © Tony Singleton
Field trip leader Brad Merritt (middle) © Tyler Christensen
Geese on ice © Tyler Christensen
Birding Baldpate Summit © Diana Hayes

Check our event calendar below for individual program details. If there are field trips you would like to see added to WCAS field trip offerings, please feel free to contact us. All photos except where noted above © Tyler Christensen except lower right © Diana Hayes.

More outings in 2019

Sun., April 21 | Pryde’s Point Trail – Axelauken Creek

 Sat., April 27 | Abbott Marshlands

Sun., April 28 | Fireman’s Eddy (D&R Canal State Park)



Sort Calendar by “FIELD TRIPS” category on left; Sort by “MONTH”, “WEEK” and “AGENDA” views on the right

Pole Farm at Mercer Meadows at corner of Cold Soil and Keefe Rds.

Known now as the “Red Barn” entrance at Cold Soil & Keefe Rds. Most birders enter Pole Farm from both this corner or Federal City Rd. entrance aka Reed/Bryan Farm. Can also park at Maidenhead Trail entrance on Keefe Rd. or at Blackwell Rd. entrance.
GPS: 40.312911, -74.737523









Deer management in winter

Baldpate Mountain, Fiddler's Creek Entrance

Fiddler’s Creek Entrance Parking lot for birding the Summit Trail (blue) and driveway on the left
Mercer County Website lists address as 327 Fiddlers Creek Road, Titusville, NJ 08560
Baldpate formerly known as Kuser Mountain
GPS: 40.317418, -74.889530









Check for Deer Management closing dates in winter

Abbott Marshlands

Abbott Marshlands formerly Hamilton- Trenton – Bordentown Marsh


















Use Sewell Avenue entrance to Roebling Park section of the Abbott Marshlands and park by Spring Lake. Be mindful that this natural area is located in an urban setting. Use caution when visiting. Don’t leave your camera or valuables lying about. Report any suspicious behavior to the Hamilton (609-581-4000) or Bordentown Township (609- 298-2800) Police. In an emergency, call 911.

GPS Coordinates: N40 11.714 W74 43.923  

Baldpate Mtn., Pleasant Valley Rd. entrance

Pleasant Valley Rd. entrance to Ted Stiles Perserve at Baldpate Mountain formerly known as Kuser Mountain
40.330450, -74.871657

Rogers Wildllife Refuge next to Institute Woods

Charles Rogers Wildlife Refuge entrance to Institute Woods, Princeton

Directions: From Princeton take Alexander Street toward Route 1. At the bend before the canal turn right on West Drive. Go a short distance on West Drive and park near the entrance to Rogers Wildlife Refuge.

40°19’38.5″N 74°39’33.6″W
40.327353, -74.659342

Pole Farm Federal City Rd./Reed Bryan entrance

Reed Bryan section of the Pole Farm at Mercer Meadows also known as Federal City entrance with gray barn and “Last pole standing.”
GPS: 40.316586,-74.758068

St. Michaels Preserve

St. Michaels Preserve, Princeton Ave. aka Carter Road entrance.

Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

40°21’06.3″N 74°46’21.3″W
40.351751, -74.772571

Mercer County Park

West Windsor

Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve

Caution: Hunting in Fall

Washington Crossing State Park Nature Center

Washington Crossing State Park Nature Center
355 Washington Crossing Pennington Rd, Titusville, NJ 08560, USA

40°18’49.5″N 74°51’46.6″W

Assunpink Wildlife Management Area

Assunpink Wildlife Management Area Boat Launch parking lot
Intersection of Imlaystown-Hightstown Rd & Clarksburg-Robbinsville Rd, Millstone, NJ 08535, USA
Directions: East on I-195 to exit 11, Imlaystown. North on Imlaystown Road 2.6 miles to parking area at Lake Assunpink.

40°12’54.9″N 74°31’00.7″W
40.215254, -74.516866

Cumberland County Heislerville WMA

Heislerville Wildlife Management Area in Maurice River Twp., Cumberland County, NJ
Dikes on Matts Landing Rd, Leesburg, NJ 08327, USA

39°14’02.9″N 75°01’34.5″W
39.234133, -75.026264

Peace Valley Nature Center

Peace Valley Nature Center
42-64 N Chapman Rd, Doylestown, PA 18901, USA

40°20’23.8″N 75°10’16.2″W
40.339942, -75.171179

Mt. Rose Preserve

Mount Rose Preserve, Carter Rd., Hopewell Township, NJ 08540, USA
Please confirm parking on west or east side of Carter Rd.

40°21’41.4″N 74°44’15.4″W
40.361489, -74.737621

Garret Mountain Reservation

Garret Mountain Reservation
2 Mountain Ave, Woodland Park, NJ 07424, USA  (near Patterson)

Directions: Take I-287 to I-80. Go east to exit 56A (Squirrelwood Road). Go to the stop sign and turn right on Rifle Camp Road. Go up the hill about 0.5 miles to Mountain Ave., which comes in from the left. Turn left on Mountain Ave. (look for army tank and reservoir on the left) and go 0.3 miles to the entrance to Garret Mountain Reservation. Go right up the hill for a short distance to a large parking area. The distance from Somerville on I-287 and I-80 to exit 56A is 40 miles.

40°54’08.5″N 74°10’54.5″W
40.902367, -74.181791

Round Valley Reservoir Boat Launch

Round Valley Reservoir Boat Launch
County Rd 629, Lebanon, NJ 08833, USA

40°37’54.9″N 74°50’57.5″W
40.631908, -74.849302

Pryde's Point Trail

Pryde’s Point Trail Conservation easement area is adjacent to the Alexauken Creek Wildlife Management Area. It has a wonderful wooded area with vistas of Hunterdon County. The terrain is steep in spots but allows for a leisurely walk to experience a remote area of West Amwell.

Park on 23 Gulick Rd., Ringoes, NJ:

GPS: 40.407954, -74.870407

Don’t park at the WMA entrance for Pond Trail on Rocktown-Lambertville Rd. Pryde’s Point Trail map on NJ Trails website: