Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve Hiking Trip Report

We ventured to a new place on Sunday, the Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve. What's funny is that this trail is so close to where we live (about 13 minute drive) and only about 5 minutes from Nassau Street or Downtown Princeton. The Preserve is 75 acres and is part of The Friends of Princeton Open Space or FOPOS which encompasses 400 acres. 

Why hike in the cold? We wanted to take advantage of the sunny day, it wasn't bad once we started hiking and the kiddos did not mind. Also looking back to a year ago, we had already started hiking and wanted to get the kiddos ready for hiking during Spring Break. Our plan is to explore Shenandoah National Park, so if any of you have ever been and have any suggestions, please let me know.

The main parking lot has this nice big map. There is also a kiosk that has maps for you to take that shows the many trails to explore.
Below is the map we got. We started at the parking lot on the left side of the map (gray box with P) and began hiking on the red trail, or Stuart-Coventry View trail and made our way to the green, James Sayen Trail that took us hiking around the main lake.
The weather was still pretty cold and part of the trail had some icy spots but the kiddos did great. 
The kiddos see the lake and of course want to throw rocks onto it. Only trick is that the lake is frozen! They still throw rocks and try to break it open, but no luck. ;)
There are some cute bridges along the trail. This is one of them.
The lake is man made and back in the 19th Century, it was used to make blocks of ice.
If you hike with kids, always make sure you have snacks and drinks in case they get hungry or thirsty.
It is nice that they have kiosks with information along the hike about the lake and it's surroundings.
Overall, the hike was great especially for a hike in the snow. I'm excited to see how it will look come spring (if it ever comes) without the snow. It is perfect for kids. The kiddos did great walking the whole trail and enjoyed playing around. It will be fun to explore the other trails too. We knew it was a great hike when on the car ride home, our 4 year old said "that was fun" without us even asking what he thought of the hike. Hubby and I looked at each other and just smiled. :)

Do you enjoy hiking?


  1. So close! We will have to check it out. Is running or biking allowed there?

  2. It is very close! Running is definitely allowed as a runner passed by us while we were hiking. :) As to biking I'm not sure, but I think it is allowed.

  3. I love hiking:)
    How awesome, you have trails just minutes from your home like that, very cool!!!!!

  4. I love hiking, wish there were more places near here.

  5. Awesome that you love hiking too Kristy! It is pretty nice to have trails so closeby. :)

  6. Great that you love hiking too!

  7. Sounds like a great hike! Way to do it in the cold! Love hiking and would like to go more often.

  8. Thanks Sherry! It was fun even in the cold. Hope you get to go more this year!

  9. Looks like such a beautiful hike, even in the cold! I love that you take your kids hiking all the time - what a great way to spend time together as a family and teach them the importance of an active lifestyle!

  10. Thanks Gloria, it was beautiful. The snow made it pretty! And yes, hoping the kiddos will still enjoy it when they are older.

  11. Looks like a good hike. Have you or your husband hiked Old Rag down in Virginia? I haven't but on my list to do. So adorable your kiddo said he had fun unprompted.

  12. Thanks Jenny! No, we haven't hiked Old Rag. Looked it up and it sounds like an awesome hike, but probably too difficult for the kiddos.