Area residents can join the Mercer County Park Commission Naturalist Division this summer for a morning of paddling in Mercer County Park.
The kayak nature tours on Mercer Lake are planned to give the public the opportunity to explore the shorelines and enjoy the outdoors each Friday from July 17 to Aug. 21, weather permitting.
Tours will take visitors to spots on the 365-acre lake that are only accessible on a kayak. Led by a park naturalist, participants will have the opportunity to paddle along the lake’s edge for views of native wildflowers in bloom, sun-bathing turtles and local wildlife including some of New Jersey’s top predatory raptors.
This program is open all levels of kayakers, 16 years and older. Tours will run out of the Mercer County Park Marina in West Windsor from 9 a.m. to noon.
Sanitized kayaks, paddles, binoculars and life jackets will be provided as well as instruction on the basics of kayaking prior to heading out on the lake. Participants should bring a mask, plenty of water and shoes that can get wet.
Tours cost $25 per person for county residents and $30 per person for everyone else. Pre-registration is required online through Community Pass; walk-ups will not be accepted. Participation will be limited to 10 people per tour.
Mercer Lake is home to many native plants and wildlife that are seldom seen in central New Jersey. Situated at the extreme northern reaches of New Jersey’s coastal plain, Mercer County Park is in an area of transition between inland and coastal forests. Its sandy soils are host to an array of unique plant species and diverse wildlife.
All equipment will be sanitized before and after use. Participants will be required to wear a mask when 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained between themselves and others.