Tucked away within the suburbs of New Jersey, Doris Duke’s historic estate and preserve is the perfect destination for getting in touch with nature.
Experience a natural paradise at Duke Farms. Located in Hillsborough, New Jersey, the sprawling estate was established by American entrepreneur James Duke. His daughter, famed socialite Doris Duke, turned it into the nature preserve that it is today. Explore 2,700 acres (1,093 hectares) of rolling green lawns, tranquil woodlands, lakes and more.
Begin your visit at the Farm Barn Orientation Center, located next to the parking area. Watch a video about the history of Duke Farms before learning about its mission through a series of interactive displays. Pick up an eco-kit or map to guide you through your visit.
Discover the stunning landscape via a network of wilderness trails. Bike along 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) of paved paths using the farm’s bike-share service or hike along more rustic mulched paths. The assistance tram provides an accessible alternative to seeing the property.
Go to the Great Meadow, the centerpiece of Duke Farms. Sprawl out on the 15-acre (6-hectare) lawn. Check out the Old Foundation, which was supposed to materialize into a great mansion until construction was mysteriously halted in 1911.
Visit the sculptures in the remnants of the Hay Barn, which burnt down in 1915 and has been turned into a gallery space. Walk among the life-size marble statues that Doris Duke placed along the walls.
Explore the nine interconnected lakes around the property. Walk along the shores of Otter Lake or check out the bird life in Duke Reservoir. Because the lakes are carefully preserved ecosystems, fishing is not permitted.
See a variety of exotic plants in the Orchid Range. Walk inside the stately greenhouse and discover colorful orchids, potted trees and even carnivorous plants.
Get snacks, sandwiches and coffee at the Farm Barn Café or bring your own supplies and have an al fresco picnic on the grounds.
Duke Farm is closed on Wednesdays as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Years Day. Expect earlier closing times between November and March. There is no entry fee.