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“Legacy of Duke”
Review of Duke Farms

Duke Farms
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Duke Farms serves as a model of environmental stewardship and inspires visitors to become informed stewards of the land. It is a place of education, enjoyment and research that enhances the environmental health of the region. Through the beauty of its natural setting, the diversity of its wildlife, and the scope and quality of its educational programs, demonstrations and research, Duke Farms inspires people to transform their approach to conservation and to start building a more sustainable future.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

I have heard rave reviews of Duke Farm but didn't get a chance to visit until recently. I came away very impressed. To preserve such a large area (~2700 acres) and offer to public for free, it says something about the Duke's philosophy. You should watch the film to learn more.

You get to ride bike for free in good pavement. For someone not riding bicycle frequently and worry about safety on the road, this place is too good to be true. On Friday morning, we almost got the whole place to ourselves.

We were able to ride the bike and see Great Falls flowing at 12:30 pm (water off after about 20 min), Old Foundation and Orchid Range. If you can't ride bike, it won't be as much fun but you can still take the tram to see places.

Hope Duke Farm has sufficient funding to operate forever. Else, I am sure many will be willing to pay a small admission to ride and stroll around the area.

This is a gem for Somerset County, NJ.

Thank Family_from_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"bike ride"
in 28 reviews
"orientation center"
in 27 reviews
"rent bikes"
in 14 reviews
"orchid house"
in 28 reviews
"new jersey"
in 33 reviews
"orchid range"
in 26 reviews
"educational programs"
in 10 reviews
"visitor center"
in 18 reviews
"welcome center"
in 13 reviews
"great place to walk"
in 14 reviews
"open to the public"
in 12 reviews
"open land"
in 5 reviews
"main building"
in 10 reviews
"on wednesdays"
in 7 reviews
"farm to table"
in 5 reviews
"bring your own"
in 14 reviews
"all ages"
in 17 reviews
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353 - 357 of 447 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2013

After visiting Dukes Farm I came away very disappointed. For one thing Doris Duke specifically wanted to protect the environment but she also wanted to protect the wild life. In years past as you drove down Route 206 you would see many deer in the open fields. It was a beautiful site to see. For some reason all the deer were removed. How much greenery could a few deer eat on this huge property? Many of the fountains were not flowing, why not? It would have been nice to see a few swans or geese or ducks on the ponds but there were none in site. Even a few hundred Canadian geese would have been nice to see. The area certainly is large enough to sustain my animals of any kind. Doris Duke herself had camels on her front lawn. Why not have some black Angus cattle grazing or even some cows as there were there before. As far as the garden area is concerned the ground is not conclusive to farming . The effort of all those people who had high hopes of growing some nice veggies were crushed because the ground needs some garden or top soil to enrich it. The whole complex just seemed so bare and void of life. I suppose if you are inclined to solitude and loneliness this is the place for you. After spending fifty million I really expected much more.

3  Thank SalFaillace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We tried coming here years before, but you needed reservations. This weekend we just popped in and were able to drive in without a problem. This is a real nice place to visit. There is museum, that you can do on your own with a movie about the history of the deceased Ms Duke and her family. The place is big on being "GREEN". Solar panels provide electricity for the entire estate! Inside there is also a food area with really affordable prices.

What's most amazing is you can take out bicycles to see most of the estate and it is FREE-- no bike rental charges at all. They have bicycles for all ages. Most of the riding is on flat paved surfaces. Scenery is wonderful with ponds and waterfalls, and lots of nature trails.

Will definitely come back again real soon!

Thank lone6star
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2013

As a child growing up in this town the Duke Estate always was a mystery and now that the grounds are open to the public we all can enjoy it. You can tell a lot of thought has been put into the park down to the crossing guards on main roads to the free bike share program. There are so many paths that it often seems like you are alone on the grounds and you forget Route 206 isn't too far away. This is a nature lovers dream as you can admire the beauty. This morning we say various butterflies, birds, and even a turtle crossing a walking path. The orchid house was my favorite, but I also liked the old foundation and coach house.

1  Thank Kiasun711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 4, 2013

I was very saddened and disappointed to visit the gardens for the first time since the greenhouses had been closed. These were gorgeous and inspiring, a unique magical experience I remember visiting as a child. You were transported to another world with the Chinese, Japanese, French, English and Persian gardens. I never write reviews but came on here to say that I am really sorry future generations won't be able to experience this same source of wonderment, something very special was taken from us and I'm positive this is not what Doris Duke would have wanted.

6  Thank JHNJ415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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