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 5, at 7:30 AM–2:00 PM, led by Brad Merritt. 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 a lunch. Directions: Take I-287 to I-80 east to exit 56A (Squirrelwood Road). Turn right on Rifle Camp Road, then left on Mountain Ave. On the left, you’ll find entrance to Garret Mountain Reservation. Turn right and continue up the hill to a large parking area. For additional information, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.
  • Princeton Institute Woods  A field trip on Sunday, May 6, at 8:00 AM, led by Mark Witmer, Brad Merritt and Andrew Bobe. The Institute Woods near the Institute for Advanced Study is an excellent place to observe the spring migration of warblers and other songbirds. Two dates are offered; select the most convenient for you. 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.

  • Join Us for Birdathon ‘18  Saturday, May 12  This is the first call for Birdathon ’18! The main event will take place on Saturday May 12 (rain date Sunday May 13), with guided walks to local hotspots in Mercer and Hunterdon counties. New for this year will be additional events planned for the week leading up to The Big Day – look for details in our spring newsletter! The Birdathon is our sole fund raiser each year, and we’ll be asking our members, friends and neighbors for donations, which all goes to support of local educational outreach, research and conservation efforts. Your generous donations fund programs and research that will further our understanding of our resident and migrating bird species and enable us to share birding insights with you in a variety of community programs that are free to all.

  •  Princeton Institute Woods  A field trip on Saturday, May 19, at 8:00 AM, led by Andrew Bobe and Brad Merritt. See details from field trip on May 6.

  • Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain  A field trip on Sunday, May 20, at 8:00 AM, led by Pat Sziber and Franta Broulik. Directions: Pennington-Washington Crossing Road (Rt. 546) to the intersection of Route 29. Turn right, go two miles to Fiddler’s Creek Road. Turn right to parking area. Or, from Church Road and Bear Tavern Road (Rt. 579), follow Church Road to right onto Fiddler’s Creek Rd. Continue to the parking area on your right. For more information, contact Pat Sziber at 609-737-1189.

  • Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve  A field trip on Saturday, May 26, at 8:00 AM, led by Sharyn Magee and 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 Route 615 South (S. Middlebush Rd), then turn left on Skillmans Lane. Entrance off west side of Skillmans Lane. 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 2, 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 rare Golden-winged Warbler. You must register with Brad Merritt, (609) 921-8964.To carpool meet at 7 AM at the Princeton Shopping Center, 301 N Harrison St, Princeton, NJ 08540
    (GPS: 40.362263, -74.650170)OR meet rest of group at ~ 8:30 AM in the Delaware Water Gap at the:

    Kittatinny Point Visitor Center

    1 I-80
    Columbia, NJ 07822
    (GPS: 40.970188, -75.128242)Google Maps directions to Kittatinny Point Visitor Center  https://goo.gl/maps/8XWxfnW6BjJ2

    • Take I-80 West
    • Take Appalachian Trail/Dunnfield Creek” Exit on right (2nd to last exit before Exit #1 Flatbrookville & Old Mine Rd. just before toll bridge into PA)
    • LEFT UNDER I-80 towards River Rd
    • RIGHT on River Rd heading west
    • Continue onto River Rd .4 miles to Visitor Center

    If you miss/overshoot Appalachian Trail/Dunnfield Creek exit, take Exit #1 making immediate LEFT under I-80 to River Rd., head EAST to Visitor Center

  • Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space Beginner Birder Workshop for National Trails Day!  A FREE indoor workshop with outdoor field trip on Saturday, June 2 from 8 AM–11 AM led by Tyler Christensen with assistance from Juanita Hummel. Learn the secrets of birding! We will supply binoculars and everything you need. Enjoy coffee & bagels as we start with a short presentation inside our office at Strawberry Hill Mansion at Baldpate Mountain. Tyler Christensen will instruct beginner birders on selecting and using gear, such as optics, a field guide or bird ID application and how to begin recognizing major groups and common bird species. Then birders will then head outdoors to apply what we have learned to find birds using field references on Baldpate Mountain. Event is FREE, but registration with FoHVOS is REQUIRED either online or email execdir@fohvos.org or phone 609-730-1560. Co-sponsored by Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space and WCAS.

  • Washington Crossing State Park  A field trip on Saturday, June 9, 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 16, at 8:30 AM, led by John Maret and Andrew Bobe. 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. Please contact Brad Merritt 609-921-8964 to register.

  • Mercer Meadows Pole Farm  A field trip on Saturday, June 30, at 8:00 AM, led by Sharyn Magee. Come with us as we walk the paths and compare the flora and fauna to that of Rosedale Park, known for years as the AT&T Overseas Transmission Station, it is more familiarly called The Pole Farm. Directions to Mercer Meadows: Take Keefe Rd to Cold Soil Rd. At that bend, entrance on left. For more information, call Brad Merritt at 609-921-8964.

  • Allentown Sod Farm  A field trip on Saturday, August 25, at 9:00 AM, led by Brad Merritt. 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 left on Herbert Rd, then left on New Sharon Rd. Parking lot on left. Please contact Brad Merritt 609-921-8964 to register.

    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 contact.wcas@gmail.com.

    UPCOMING TRIPS

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.

 

Field trip leader Brad Merritt (middle) © Tyler Christensen

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 © Tyler Christensen except lower right © Diana Hayes.

Geese on ice © Tyler Christensen
Birding Baldpate Summit © Diana Hayes

More outings in 2018

Sat, May 19, 8 AM | Princeton Institute Woods

Sun, May 20, 8 AM | Baldpate Mountain

Sat, May 26, 8 AM | Negri-Nepote Grasslands

Sat, Jun 2, 7 AM | Delaware Water Gap

Sat, Jun 9, 8:30 AM | Washington Crossing SP

Sat, Jun 16, 8 AM | Assunpink WMA

Sat, Jun 23, 8 AM | Mercer Meadows Pole Farm

Sat, Aug 25, 9 AM | Allentown Sod Farms

 

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.

GPS:
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

GPS:
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

GPS:
40°18’49.5″N 74°51’46.6″W
40.3137529, 
-74.86295740000003

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.

GPS:
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

GPS:
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

GPS:
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.

GPS:
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.

GPS:
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

GPS:
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:
https://goo.gl/maps/D3jcGqNVTSP2

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: http://njtrails.org/trail/prydes-point-alexauken-creek/