The area west of the Princeton campus is lovely for running, featuring leafy streets, stately homes, and numerous parks and preserves. We’ve mapped two easy-to-follow ~5 milers. Use as a guideline to create your own!
Loop 1: Start downtown at Rt. 27 & Mercer St. Run south on Mercer St. for 0.75 miles, then RIGHT on Lovers Ln. and then get onto the paved bike path on your right, which leads to Elm Rd. Head north on Elm Rd. for 1 mile, passing some of the area’s most attractive homes. At N Rd., turn RIGHT onto the gravel path, heading east along a pretty field, into the Community Park, then head south, turning RIGHT on Westcott Rd, briefly. Turn LEFT on Library Ln., — one of the prettiest streets in Princeton. After 1/2 mile, LEFT on Stockton, passing the Princeton Battle Monument to the start.
Loop 2. Start at the same place. This one is 6-7 miles, incorporating Mercer St., 1-milers along lovely Springdale Rd. (adjacent to the golf course) and Olden Ln., and the wide, shaded paths of Institute Woods. Compete the run by returning on Alexander St.
West of campus, enjoy the streets and sports fields over to Woodfield Reservation. Rosedale Rd. off of Elm Rd. is good for running.
East of Campus, Prospect Ave., headed northeast is a good, straight shot, paralleling the lake. Nice streets in the area south of Rt. 27 to the canal include Princeton Ave., Harrison Ave. Can also combine with the D&R Canal Paths.
- Loop 1: 4.75 miles (7.6 km); Loop 2: Up to 7 miles (11 km), but can be shortened or combined w/Loop 1
- Loop 1: 210 feet (64m); Loop 2: 320 feet (100m)
- Mercer St., near downtown
- There's a free parking lot near the start of the route
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