July 15, 2019 | 73° F

‘RU’ aware we have parks?

Photo by Edwin Gano |

View of the manmade pond holding water from the Raritan River at Johnson Park.

Rutgers and the surrounding Middlesex County townships possess some of the best and most extensive parks in New Jersey. The parks, as well as the bike paths that connect them, form an intricate network through and around Rutgers. Here is a breakdown of what the area can offer.

Buccleuch Park

This 78-acre park lies east of the College Avenue campus. You might notice this park from its large, white Buccleuch Mansion while crossing the Raritan to and from Busch and Livingston campuses. The park has fields for soccer, baseball and Frisbee, as well as some paths for jogging. The park is tucked in at the edge of town, and with bike paths nearby on Route 18 and Landing Lane Bridge, you can ride right over to Johnson Park.

Johnson Park

This 473-acre park stretches along the Raritan through Piscataway and Highland Park. The park boasts a horse racing track, a petting zoo, several small beaches along the river and the colonial East Jersey Olde Towne Village. Walking paths wind around the park, running alongside the river and scenic patches of forests. It also connects to Busch campus right across the street from High Point Solutions Stadium, so you can continue your jog or bike ride right back onto Rutgers’ campus. If you were to head east in Johnson Park all the way into Highland Park toward Route 27, you would find yourself at Boyd Park.

Boyd Park

 On the bus heading north from the Cook and Douglass campuses via Route 18, you might notice a series of bike paths crisscrossing the water to your right. Many years ago, when New Brunswick was a port, barges and small boats traveled down the Delaware Canal (a man-made addition to the Raritan River) and stopped to unload goods in the New Brunswick market district. The port would later close down, and the site fell into disrepair. But through more recent redevelopment initiatives, the area has now been converted into the 20-acre park we see today. One end of the path begins right after you cross Route 27. Stretching three-quarters of a mile along the Raritan River, the path runs by the practice building and headquarters of the Rutgers rowing team, as well as a small amphitheater. There, you’ll find yourself a short walk away from the Public Safety Building bus stop on Commercial Avenue, where you can catch a bus or take a short walk right back to College Avenue.

These three parks offer just a glimpse of the outdoor opportunities at Rutgers and New Brunswick. You can take advantage of the bike rental program on campus, the Livingston Ecological Preserve, Rutgers Gardens and annual events like the New Brunswick Ciclovia, the Big Chill 5K and the Rutgers Unite Half Marathon. The opportunity stands for you to take initiative for your health and fitness at Rutgers.

Daniel Munoz

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