South Brunswick

Van Dyke Farm
South Brunswick, NJ

Overview of Selected Trail

The historic Van Dyke Farm is 200 acres in South Brunswick next to Pigeon Swamp State Forest. A quiet location that offers two short walking trails with views of vernal wetlands and local agriculture still reminiscent of early settlers.  It is owned and maintained by the Middlesex County Office of Parks and Recreation.

Trail Map
Full Desc
Flora & Fauna
  • Van Dyke Farm
  • Distance:

    About 1 Mile Total.


    About a total of 30 minutes for both trails at a leisurly pace.


    Blue for Woods Road Trail – 0.45 miles

    Red for Van Dyke Loop – 0.55 miles

    Trail Usage:

    Hiking, pets on leash, bicycles, and horseback riding.


    A very flat trail.




    Single stone parking lot for 3-4 cars.


    Note: These trails are secluded. The chance of seeing other hikers is low.

    During hunting season, the Park is part of the Deer Management Program. Wear bright colors if you plan to walk this trail during hunting season.  No hunting is permitted on Sundays.

    The trails are open from sunrise to sunset. All dogs must be on leashes. Please feel free to pick up any litter on our tails.

    Bicyclists must yield to all other trail users. Pedestrians must yield to equestrians.

    Trails are mostly dry after a day of rain, some areas would be undesirable to walk on during rain, because of slippery bog-walks or muddy areas.

    For assistance, Park Ranger Unit #732-745-3800


    Map box is at the beginning of the trail head, adjacent to the parking area.


    From New Brunswick: Take the exit for Rt. 130 South off Rt.1. At light after Middlesex County Offices & Correctional Center, make left (Davidson Mill Rd.). Follow for 2.4 miles.  Parking area is on the right, approximately 0.3 miles past the stop sign at Fresh Ponds Road.

    From New Jersey Turnpike: Take Exit 8A. Follow signs for County Route 535 North (Cranbury-South River Road). Take CR 535 North approximately 3.5 miles and turn left onto Davidson Mill Rd.  Follow Davidson Mill Road over the NJ Turnpike. Parking area is on 1.5 miles on the left.

  • All trails are at least 4 feet wide with an 8 Foot clearance and marked with blazes.

    Woods Road Trail (Blue): Starting at the parking area, there is a small map box marking the beginning of the Woods Road Trail. At about 0.22 miles in there will be a wet spot of trail depending on when you might be walking. At 0.42 miles you will come to an intersection with the Van Dyke Loop (Red). Continue straight to stay on the Woods Road Trail and follow to the end at 0.44 miles with a view out across the power-line cut and over towards Pigeon Swamp State Forest. Return to parking area by same route.

    Van Dyke Loop (Red): The Van Dyke Loop is marked with a small post at the junction with the Woods Road Trail (Blue). The trail meanders past a vernal pool and offers views of the surrounding farm field.  A series of bog-walks are provided through wet spots. At 0.55 miles , the trail returns to the junction with the Woods Road Trail.

  • The Woods Road trail brings visitors through the sections filled with red maple and cat-briar. The Van Dyke Loop traverses a mature beech forest with views of vernal wetlands. Look for migrating songbirds in the spring and fall. Listen for calling amphibians in the early spring through summer.

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  • The historic Van Dyke Farm was preserved through a partnership between Middlesex County, South Brunswick Township and NJ’s Green Acres Program in 2011. This nearly 200-acre farm was slated for a 52-lot subdivision, but local citizens worked tirelessly to help preserve the land. Records show that property was deeded to the Van Dyke family in 1688 who retained it until 1954. Graves on the property may contain the remains of Revolutionary War soldier John Van Dyke, his family and enslaved African-Americans. The property is eligible for listing in the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

    Much of the property remains as farmland, supporting local agriculture. The eastern sections of the property are wooded wetlands. A small gravel parking lot off Davidson’s Mill Road gives access to a nearly mile-long section of hiking trail.

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  • Photos


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