Harbourton Preserve Trails
Pennington, NJ 08534

Overview of Selected Trail

This 31-acre preserve is noted for its expanse of red cedar trees which comprise about half the site fronting Harbourton-Woodsville Road.  To the rear of the preserve is a hardwood forest which extends down a steep slope to the Woosamonsa Ridge Preserve.  One linear trail leads down from the preserve entrance to that preserve, and a second trail off that main trail through clusters of red cedars and then returns to the main trail.

Trail Map
Full Desc
Flora & Fauna
  • Harbourton Preserve Trails
  • Distance:

    About 1 Mile


    About 30 minutes


    The Harbourton Preserve Trail, with yellow markers on trees, extends from the parking area to the Ridge Trail (with white markers) in the Woosamonsa Ridge Preserve.

    The Red Cedar Trail, with red arrows on posts, branches off the Harbourton Preserve Trail a short distance below the parking area and loops back to the main trail.

    Trail Usage:

    The trails can be slightly muddy after a heavy rain.  Also, ticks are more numerous afterwards.


    Mostly flat except for the trail to or from the Woosamonsa Ridge Preserve. This trail traverses a steep slope, but the diagonal routing of the trail moderates the grade.


    Easy to moderate.


    The stone parking area can easily accommodate four cars.


    After a summer rain, ticks can be a problem.


    There is a kisosk located at the parking area.


    The preserve is approximately one mile east of Trenton-Harbourton Road and two miles west of County Route 612 which connects at its southern end with State Route 31.

  • From the Parking Area:

    The Harbourton Preserve Trail starts at the parking area and eventually connects with a trail in the Woosmonsa Ridge Preserve. Shortly after leaving the parking area, the Red Cedar Trail (with red arrows on posts) branches off to the right. After winding through red cedars, the Harbourton Preserve Trail (with yellow markers on trees) enters a hardwood forest and passes by the “return” of the Red Cedar Trail on the right. The trail slowly descends a large slope where it meets up with the Ridge Trail (white markers) of the Woosamonsa Ridge Preserve.

    The Red Cedar Trail combines with the Harbourton Preserve Trail to form a loop route. Hikers can take either trail at the junction of the two trails (one going straight and one off to the right.  After entering a hardwood forest on either trail, hikers need to make turns to the right or left where directed by red arrows on directional posts to complete the loop.

    From Woosamonsa Ridge Preserve:

    From the Ridge Trail (with white markers), hikers can take the Harbourton Preserve Trail up a high ridge into the Harbourton Preserve.   There is a small sign at the start of the trail which has yellow markers on trees.  This trail eventually leads to a parking area on Harbourton-Woodsville Road.   Before reaching the parking area, hikers can take a loop trail leading back to the Woosamonsa Ridge Preserve by transferring to the Red Cedar Trail (with red arrows on posts).

  • The open area fronting the road is unusual in that almost all trees are red cedars. These “pioneer” species are the first to grow in a treeless area transitioning from a farm field or pasture to a wooded area. The open space among the cedars is almost all Goldenrod, a native species, so named for its showy yellow flowers in the fall.  They are a favorite plant for bees and butterflies.

    Many of the red cedars have small, dark purple berries.  These are an important food source in the winter for birds. When dropped, these berries often seed new trees.

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  • The preserve was acquired by Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) in 2020.

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  • Photos


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