Trail Bridge
OUTDOORS AND RECREATION
Special Message
 
HOURS OF OPERATION
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Tuesday
7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Wednesday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Welcome
HOURS OF OPERATION
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Tuesday
7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Wednesday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

A NEW OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE
If you're looking for a new outdoor experience in Mercer County, come out and visit the Gardner Center's network of hiking trails and a new disc golf course. Unless otherwise specified, these activities are available to the public seven days a week.

GUIDELINES
Please observe the following while visiting the Gardner Center:

  • Do not litter or leave food on the trails or disc golf course
  • Public use or display of alcoholic beverages is prohibited
  • Hunting is strictly prohibited
  • Disorderly conduct is not permitted.
  • Persons using the Gardner Center trails and disc golf course do so at their own risk. Mercer County is not liable for personal injuries that may occur on the premises.


Hiking Trails

The woodlands contain over 6,000 feet of walking trails just next to the facility's parking lot. As you begin your journey, please observe these safety tips:

  • Check the local weather forecast and prepare accordingly.
  • Wear protective clothing and footwear.
  • Hike with a friend.
  • If you bring pets and/or children along, keep them in sight at all times.
  • Keep all food stored in animal-proof containers.
  • Do not feed wild animals.
  • Do not smoke or use ignition sources as they may cause a fire.

Use the standard or interactive map to view the trail network and length of each trail segment. Feel free to take pictures and post them onto your favorite social media platform.

HISTORY OF THE TRAILS
The Gardner Center's facility and woodlands were once the property of the U.S. Forest Service's Forestry Sciences Laboratory. Construction of the research laboratory began after the completion of the blueprints on May 4, 1962. The site's woodland area, which is comprised of approximately 23 acres, was used for research purposes by foresters and scientists. During construction, employees developed a series of rock-lined trails throughout the woodlands, which still exist. The Forestry Sciences Laboratory closed in 2016 and the Mercer County Commission later acquired the property. The Commission began restoring the facility and implementing continuous improvements to the trails.



Disc Golf

An exciting and challenging 12-hole disc golf course was recently installed throughout a section of the Gardner Center's lawn and woodland areas. Learn more about the course.

Disc Golf baskets



Horseshoes

Ringer? Leaner? Horseshoe length from the peg? If you are familiar with these words, then you will definitely enjoy pitching a few shoes just off from the Poor Farm Cemetery Trail. Be careful! Part of the disc golf course extends into that area.

Horseshoes

The Mercer County Gardner Center
241 Mercer Springs Road
Princeton, WV 24740

Mercer County Commission

Photo and video credits: Adobe Stock