Davidson’s Mill Pond Park

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Davidsons Mill Pond

Short trails along ponds and on twisty boardwalks through a shady forest, plus garden displays and a butterfly house.

2.5 miles, easy, mostly level trail surface, large roots, plank boardwalks.

Our two cents:

This is an enjoyable series of short trails in the forested perimeter around a center field area that has garden displays. Ponds, shady forest, and boardwalks keep things interesting.

Recommended for an easy/short hike if you are in the area, but it’s probably not something to drive really far for.

Be sure to pop into the Butterfly House (usually open weekends June, July, August) in the field in the middle of the park. The Rutgers EARTH center is also here.

Map:

Print ahead from the park site.

Books:

In none that we know of.

Parking: N40° 24.658′ W74° 29.852′

Near the intersection of Riva Ave and Davidson Mill Rd. Detailed directions on the park site.

Restrooms:

Porta-john in the parking lot, and a few others around the property.

Parking lot for Davidson's Mill Pond

Hike Directions:

Overview: Mill Pond (BLUE) – Farm Road (WHITE) – Hidden Pond (YELLOW)

0.0 – Walk down the paved path at the end of the parking lot. Pass a lily-filled pond and the start of the Hidden Pond (YELLOW) on the left.

Small pond in the beginning
Mill Pond trail kiosk

0.1 – Turn RIGHT to start following Mill Pond (BLUE) at the trail kiosk.

Mill Pond (BLUE) runs along Davidson’s Mill Pond, with several open areas with views of the pond and a picnic table.

Rocky trail
View of Davidson's Mill Pond
Mill Pond trail
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0.7 – Turn RIGHT and now follow Farm Road (WHITE). [Mill Pond (BLUE) ends. Farm Road (WHITE) also goes left and leads to the EARTH Center.]

In just a bit, turn RIGHT again when Farm Road (WHITE) splits [both directions connect later]

Farm Road trail

0.9 – Views of another pond.

Pond along Farm Road trail

1.2 – The trail starts to curve back. Turn RIGHT and now follow Hidden Pond (YELLOW). [Farm Road (WHITE) continues back to where the split was].

This trail has several boardwalks through a shady forest.

Hidden Pond trail
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1.7 – Cross a small field near a tiny pond. At the end of the pond, turn LEFT to continue on Hidden Pond (YELLOW) (we didn’t spot a marker).

1.8 – Turn RIGHT to continue on Hidden Pond (YELLOW). There was a marker post with no marker. [Option: The unmarked wide park path leads to the center field].

Hidden Pond (YELLOW) continues on many boardwalks.

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2.4 – Turn RIGHT onto the paved park path to return to the parking lot.

[Option: Turn left to walk back to the butterfly house and garden displays.]

Butterfly House
Inside the Butterfly House
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View of Davidson’s Mill Pond and a cascade over a dam near the park entrance road: 

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Hiked: 1/5/20.
Hiked: 8/7/16. Wildlife: Great Blue Heron. Trail Blog: “Butterflies and Gardens
Hiked: 1/9/16.