Field Trips

Washington Crossing Audubon Society offers free field trips to birding hot spots

Experienced birders from WCAS lead regular birding field trips to some of the region’s top birding hotspots in Central New Jersey, the New Jersey shore, the Delaware Bay, Delaware Water Gap. and eastern Pennsylvania. Field trips are free and open to the public. 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.

If the trip is co-sponsored, please note the registration request in the trip description. In case of inclement weather, please check this website.


Trips are free, but participation may be limited to 20-25 participants. COVID state guidelines in place at the time of the trip will be followed.  Masks are optional for those who are vaccinated, and we ask that you not participate if you are not feeling well on the day.  Group size may be limited, to ensure safety and a good birding experience for everyone. You will receive a sign-up confirmation and an additional message a day or two ahead of time to confirm the trip is a “go” or if a cancellation is necessary (e.g. inclement weather). Any questions please feel free to contact WCAS.

Sign up online for as many trips as you would like via Sign-Up Genius. Details of meeting places, contact numbers and leader names will be supplied in follow-up emails to those who sign up.

    • Barnegat Lighthouse a field trip on Saturday, January 14 at 9 AM. Barnegat Light, located at the north end of Long Beach Island, is a great site for wintering birds. The inlet, beach, and jetties are well known for unusual visitors, including at times the beautiful Harlequin Duck. Bring lunch and beverage, and dress warmly. Pre-registration is required.
    • Abbott Marshlands a field trip on Saturday, January 21 at 9:00 AM. Roebling Park is a Mercer County park adjacent to the Hamilton/Trenton marsh. We plan to follow the trails and see how the marsh and its wildlife adjust to the cold weather. Co-sponsored with Friends for the Abbott Marshlands. PLEASE REGISTER DIRECTLY with Friends of the Marsh
    • POSTPONED TO SUNDAY, February 5 due to frigid weather!
      Birds of Shark River
      A field trip on Saturday, February 4 at 9 AM. Shark River area allows us to visit a number of interesting habitats along the bay, ocean, and fresh water ponds. P
      re-registration is required.
    • Beginner Bird Walk with Mark Manning a field trip on Sunday, February 12 at 8:15 AM – 11:15 AM. Join WCAS member Mark Manning for a beginner bird walk at Veteran’s Park in Hamilton, NJ. Veteran’s Park is a 330-acre park that includes a variety of habitats that host a number of interesting bird species. Our focus will be on identifying year-round and winter resident birds that are found within the park, and will include some entry level information on natural history and identification by ear. If you have little to no experience and always wanted to begin birding, or if you are a backyard bird watcher who would like to take the next step, this program is for you!
      Location: Veteran’s Park West Entrance, 1778 Whitehorse-Hamilton Square Road, Hamilton
      Ages: All ages welcome! (under 16 should be accompanied by a parent)
      Target Audience: This family-friendly walk is geared towards beginner and novice birders, those who would like to learn how to but have not yet begun, and backyard birders who want to expand their knowledge base.
    • Round Valley Reservoir a field trip on Saturday, February 18 at 8:30 AM. This reservoir in northern Hunterdon County covers over 4,000 acres, is more than 180 feet deep, and is a popular recreational site year-round. Winter is a good time to search for bald eagles, various waterfowl, and gulls. Depending on weather conditions, we will combine this with a tour of the adjacent Cushetunk Mountain Nature Preserve or nearby Spruce Run Recreation Area. Pre-registration is required.
    • Assunpink WMA a field trip on Saturday, March 4 at 8:30 AM. We will seek wintering waterfowl, raptors and land birds. Other bird sightings may include a Snipe, Rusty Blackbird, a variety of ducks and sparrows, and early arrivals. Pre-registration is required.
    • *** POSTPONED TO SUNDAY, March 26 due to rainy weather! *** The Pole Farm at Mercer Meadows a field trip on Saturday, March 25 at 8:00 AM. 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. Pre-registration is required.
    • NEW! Watershed Reserve a field trip on Sunday, March 26 at 8:30 am to be led by Jeff Hoagland. Meet at the Watershed Center for a walk through field and forest, exploring spring birds on the Watershed Reserve. We will search for courting bluebirds, swallows and red-wings, resident raptors, and early spring migrants. Our walk will include the new boardwalk trail as well as some wet trails. All birders are welcome, but pre-registration is required and is now open for registration! 

    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 at

    Vsit our birding “Hot Spots” page for a map of local hot spots. 

    If there are field trips you would like to see added to WCAS field trip offerings, please feel free to contact us.

    Field trip leader Brad Merritt (middle) © Tyler Christensen
    Palm Warbler

    “Palm Warbler” by Kelly Colgan Azar is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

    All other photos unless otherwise noted © Tyler Christensen excepting lower right © Diana Hayes.

    Birding Baldpate Summit © Diana Hayes
    Photos © Tony Singleton

    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
    Entrance to parking lot on west 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: