Duke Farms is the magnificent 2,700-acre property created by James Buchanan Duke, a prominent industrial entrepreneur of the late -19th and early -20th centuries and benefactor of Duke University. A large portion of the land was assembled and developed by Duke, beginning in 1893, and was added to and cared for by his sole heir and daughter, Doris Duke, throughout her lifetime.
Since re-opening almost 10 years ago, Duke Farms welcomes over 150,000 visitors per year who describe the public space as “a hidden gem,” “amazing,” “a magnificent treasure,” and “a fantastic nature preserve in the heart of New Jersey that’s very accessible and free.”
The property is essentially divided into two sections: the agricultural and ecological working lands, which host both habitat for wildlife and food production, and the cultural core.
The working lands have been actively managed through ecological restoration and regenerative farming to support wildlife and food production. There is a native plant and tree nursery that cultivates several hundreds of thousands of plants to supply large scale ecological restoration efforts. The farm operation consists of a 100-head cattle operation co-existing with endangered grassland birds and produces beef, pastured chickens, and vegetable production to supply the onsite Farm-to-Fork Café.
The cultural core welcomes visitors to the 22,000 square foot USGBC LEED Platinum Orientation Center and a Green Restaurant Association 4-Star Farm-to-Fork Café serving healthy, sustainable, locally produced food. Twenty miles of onsite trails offer a mix of wide historic roads and natural trails, allowing for people to experience the property in their own way, and without the fear of vehicular traffic.
Duke Farms strives to provide a high quality, best in class experience for visitors who know that this place is different, special, and an extraordinary experience.
Great Public Space