Guidelines & FAQ
What is the price of admission?
Do I need to have a reservation to attend a Duke Farms program?
Is food available on the premises?
Are photographs and video allowed?
Are programs held rain or shine?
Are dogs allowed on the property?
What are the rules to observe while at Duke Farms?
Are tours available at Duke Farms?
Do you allow fishing in the lakes at Duke Farms?
Does Duke Farms allow me to solicit my business services and products?
Is Duke Farms open all year?
When does the assistance shuttle run?
Are bicycles allowed at Duke Farms?
Do I need to wear a bicycle Helmets while riding a bike at Duke Farms?
May I picnic at Duke Farms?
May I rent space at Duke Farms for my private event?
Q: Do I need to have a reservation to attend a Duke Farms program?
A: Most programs require advance reservations, as space is limited. To reserve a place, please make your reservations early online or by phone at (908) 722-3700, extension 2. Reservations are not required to visit the Orientation Center or trail access, which is always free!
Q: Can I bring a group to Duke Farms?
A: If you are coming to Duke Farms with a group of 12 or more we ask that you please fill out our Group Registration Form prior to your visit. Kindly note that we do not allow picnic functions - if you are interested in coordinating something like that, we advise you to contact our friends at Somerset County Parks or Hillsborough Parks and Recreation. They allow picnics and have much more appropriate facilities for those functions.
Q: Is food available on the premises?
A: The Farm Barn Café features food and refreshments during its operating hours.
Q: Are photographs and video allowed?
A: Visitors are welcome to take photographs or video for personal use only. Commercial photography is not allowed. Commercial photography is defined as any photography from which an income is derived. Examples of commercial photography include (but are not limited to) wedding photography, engagement photography, family and individual portraits (unless taken by a family or friend without fee) and any photography used to create a product for sale or promotion. For more information, please refer to our Commercial Photography Policy.
Please note, even personal photography should not impact any other visitor's experience. No blocking trails, no crowding buildings, no moving benches, no clothing/costume changes, no props, no balloons etc.
Q: Are programs held rain or shine?
A: Please check the program description. In situations of inclement weather or other emergency conditions, program participants should check their email for cancellation notice or call (908) 722-3700 x 2. Trails are normally open rain or shine, unless weather conditions are considered hazardous.
Q: What are the rules to observe while at Duke Farms?
A: The following rules should always be in effect at Duke Farms.
- Pedestrians and wildlife always have the right-of-way.
- Duke Farms has a carry-in carry-out policy for trash—please take your trash with you or deposit it in bins at the Orientation Center.
- Bicycles are restricted to paved roads and gravel paths.
- Duke Farms is a smoke-free environment.
- COVID-19 specific guidelines and operational changes can be found here.
The following are not permitted:
- Smoking or vaping.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Firearms, weapons of any kind (including paintball weapons) and fireworks.
- Campfires and open burning, including portable grills.
- Trash disposal - we are a carry in/carry out facility.
- Removing plants or animals; and feeding animals.
- Activities adverse to wildlife such as fishing, using remote-controlled vehicles, kites boating, snowmobiles, tree climbing, etc.
- Electric vehicles including hover boards, scooters, electric bicycles, etc.
- Pop up tents.
- Swimming or wading in any body of water.
- Commercial activity - this includes fee-based classes, professional photography, selling any products, or even solicitation of goods or services.
Q: Are tours available at Duke Farms?
A: There are no formal tours. Duke Farms encourages visitors to explore on their own with the help of our app, which includes turn by turn directions on a google based map, audio tours and other property info. The app can be downloaded here.
Q: Does Duke Farms allow me to solicit my business services and products?
A: Duke Farms does not allow solicitation of products or services. In fact, one will see that in our Orientation Center, we do not even have a gift shop! The only things one can "take home" from Duke Farms are memories and learnings of stewardship principles. For more information please refer to our Solicitation Policy.
Q: Is Duke Farms open all year?
A: The only days we are closed include Wednesdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. At this time due to Covid-19, we are closed on weekends. Up to date Covid-19 operational changes can be found here.
Q: When does the accessibility shuttle run?
A: The accessibility shuttle transportation departs the Orientation Center (between April 1 and October 1) between 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and goes to the Orchid Range. Please note that the assistance shuttle's use is for people with disabilities. Click here to make an accessibility shuttle reservation. Due to Covid-19, at this moment the shuttle is not running. Please see up to date Covid-19 operational updates here.
Q: Are bicycles allowed at Duke Farms?
A: Bicycles are allowed and encouraged. Cyclists may bike on 12 miles of paved and gravel lanes; bicycles are not allowed on mulched trails reserved for walking/hiking. A map of bicycle trails is available here and at the Orientation Center.
Q: Do I need to wear a bicycle Helmets while riding a bike at Duke Farms?
A: Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce facial and head injuries by 85%. We want you to be safe while visiting our property. From now on, we will be requiring bicycle helmets for all visitors - even if when you come with your own bicycle. For more bicycle safety information, please visit our friends at Ridewise and League of American Bicyclists.
Q: May I picnic at Duke Farms?
A: Picnickers are welcome at Duke Farms, as long as they are very small and contained. Duke Farms is a natural area, not a formal park. Please note that we do not have things like grills, pavilions, electricity, even tables that you can reserve like in a traditional park. Large events requiring carry in catering, pop up tents, etc. are not allowed and we strongly recommend contacting our friends at Somerset County Parks or Hillsborough Parks and Recreation. They allow picnics and have much more comfortable facilities for those larger, more involved functions. Please note that campfires, grills, pop up tents and alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Duke Farms also has a carry-in carryout trash policy. Please fill out the form to register groups over 12 people. Please call 908-722-3700 x 2 with any questions.
Q: May I rent or reserve space at Duke Farms for my private event?
A: No, we do not rent space for private events. Sorry, no weddings, photo shoots, corporate events/meetings, memorials, birthday parties, baby showers, quinceaneras, bar/bat mitzvahs, engagement parties, wedding proposal events, prom-posals, private memorials, baby gender reveals, beard competitions, etc.
How is the game played?If using a handheld GPS device (such as a Garmin, Magellan, Lowrance, etc.):
- Register for a free basic membership on geocaching.com.
- Visit the Hide & Seek a Cache page to locate a cache nearby.
- Select a cache to view its cache page which lists the cache description, GPS coordinates, and other instructions on how to find the cache.
- Load the coordinates into your GPS device and naviagate to the hidden cache.
- Sign the logbook inside the cache and log your visit online on geocaching.com.
- Download geocaching.com app from your app store (there is an Intro version which only allows you to navigate to 3 caches before it makes you upgrade and there is the full version which is $9.99).
- Log-in using your geocaching.com username or create a free geocaching.com username if you do not have one.
- Once logged in, press "Find Nearby Caches."
- Choose the appropriate cache from the list. The cache page should appear.
- Press "Navigate to Cache." A map should appear showing your location in relation to the cache location.
- Navigate to the cache and sign the logbook when you find it. Go back to the cache page and press "Post a Log/Field Note" to post a log online.
Duke Farms GeoTrail
The Duke Farms GeoTrail is a geocaching challenge consisting of 11 different caches placed around the property. It is a unique journey through a variety of native habitats and landscapes.
To complete the challenge you have to fill out the GeoTrail brochure and uncover the secret word, then present your completed brochure to the front desk staff in the Orientation Center to receive your commemorative token (GeoTrail brochures are available at the front desk in the Orientation Center).