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

  • Poisonous Plants with Mark Manning. A field trip Saturday, August 24, 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM at Spring Lake, Roebling Park, Abbott MarshlandsJoin us for a fascinating morning walk to explore the toxicology and natural history of some of the most poisonous plants in North America! Native to our forests, fields and wetlands are plants that have killed pioneers by the hundreds, plants that have tricked foragers, and plants that were used as arrow poisons by Native Americans. Learn to identify some of these plants, how and why they are so deadly, and more! Free. Meet at Spring Lake, Roebling Park, Hamilton, NJ.

    Meet at Spring Lake, Roebling Park, Hamilton, NJ. (From South Broad St. (NJ Rt 206), turn onto Sewell Ave.; at the end, turn left and drive down the hill to the parking lot).

    Cosponsors: Friends for the Abbott Marshlands, Washington Crossing Audubon Society, and Mercer County Park Commission.


  • Allentown Sod Farm  A field trip on Sunday, August 25, 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.

  • Edwin Forsythe NWR (Brigantine) A field trip on Saturday, September 7, at 9:00 am, led by Jim Myers and Brad Merritt. We start our fall field trip season at the fascinating location of Brigantine, located off Rt. 9 in Oceanville. The Brig offers great viewing access to migrating shore birds, terns, raptors, waterfowl, herons and egrets. The occasional uncommon bird is always a possibility! For more info, call Brad Merritt, 609-921-8964. Directions: Garden State Parkway south to exit 48, Rte. 9 south for approx. 5 miles. Look for Forsythe NWR sign at light. Turn left onto Great Creek Road and meet in the Visitor Center parking area.
  • Bird Banding at Featherbed Lane A field trip on Sunday, September 15, at 8:00 am, led by Mark Witmer and Hannah SuthersRegistration is required and limited to 12 persons. Contact Brad Merritt, 609-921-8964. To experience the excitement of seeing beautiful birds, such as Black-throated Blue or Magnolia Warblers, in the hand, join us for this unique field trip. This trip will expose you to the ongoing research conducted by Hannah Suthers and her volunteers during fall migration. For over 40 years, Hannah has been banding on this site during the nesting season through fall migration and has documented the progression of habitat from fields to forest. You’ll see the entire process of bird banding, learn about the data collected, and find out more about the common birds you see daily. As time permits, we will also explore the wooded habitat for other migrants. Directions: Registered participants will receive information regarding meeting location.
  • The Watershed Institute: Campfire Storytelling  An event on Friday, September 20, at 7:00 pm. Step away from the screen and listen to our storytellers spin yarns from several cultures. Spark your imagination with stories both funny and poignant. Roast a marshmallow as you lend an ear to stories from far and near. Please register at or call 609-737-7592 as space is limited. The Watershed Institute, 31 Titus Mill Road, Pennington. Co-sponsored with The Watershed Institute.
  • St. Michael’s Farm Preserve, Hopewell  A field trip on Saturday, September 21, at 8:00 am, led by Sharyn Magee and Juanita Hummel. Join us in exploring the St. Michael’s Farm Preserve for fall migrants, such as raptors, sparrows, and passerines associated with open space. This is an excellent place and time for a fall nature walk. For more info, call Brad Merritt, 609-921-8964. Directions: From Rosedale Road, turn right on Carter Road and continue four miles to find parking lot on the right. From Rt. 206, go west on Rt. 518, continue six miles and turn left onto Princeton Ave. Continue .5 mile east; the main parking lot is on the left.
  • Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve  A field trip on Saturday, September 28, at 8:00 am, led by Sharyn Magee and Brad Merritt. The Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve, 164 acres of grasslands and woodlands in Somerset Co., is home to sensitive species, including the Grasshopper Sparrow, Cooper’s Hawk, American Kestrel (NJ State threatened species), and Eastern Meadowlark (NJ State special concern species). With a variety of bird houses located throughout, we have opportunities to view American Kestrels, Wood Ducks, Bluebirds and Purple Martins. Directions: From 206 at Woods Tavern take 514 East (Amwell Road). From South Middlebush Road, turn onto Skillmans Lane. Entrance on west side of Skillmans Lane, between the two 90-degree curves.
  • Sat. Oct 5, 2019, 8AM
    Mercer County Park
    Leader – Mark Witmer, Brad Merritt
  • Sat. Oct.12, 2019, 8AM
    Fiddler’s Creek Preserve
    Leader – Sharyn Magee, Tyler Christensen
  • Sat. Oct 19, 2019 8AM
    Mount Rose Preserve
    Leader – Sharyn Magee, Jim Meyers
  • Sat. Oct. 26, 2019—TBA
  • Sat. Nov. 3, 2019—TBA
  • Sat. Nov 9, 2019, 9AM
    Sandy Hook Leader – Brad Merritt, Andrew Bobe
  • Sat. Nov. 16, 2019—TBA
  • Sun. Dec 15, 2019
    Princeton CBC
    Compiler – Brad Merritt
  • Sat. Dec. 28, 2019
    Trenton Marsh CBC
    Compiler – Brad Merritt

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



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

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Edwin Forsythe NWR (Brigantine) 9:00 am
Edwin Forsythe NWR (Brigantine) @ Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, Visitor Center
Sep 7 @ 9:00 am
A field trip on Saturday, September 7, at 9:00 am, led by Jim Myers and Brad Merritt. We start our fall field trip season at the fascinating location of Brigantine, located off Rt. 9 in[...]
Cassie Stoddard: The Colorful World of Birds 8:00 pm
Cassie Stoddard: The Colorful World of Birds @ Stainton Hall at Pennington School
Sep 16 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Cassie Stoddard: The Colorful World of Birds @ Stainton Hall at Pennington School | Pennington | New Jersey | United States
Cassie Stoddard: The Colorful World of Birds Monday, September 16, 2019, at 8:00 pm Birds evolved about 150 million years ago, and today they are the most diverse and colorful land vertebrates. In my group,[...]

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: