Duke Farms in Hillsborough has announced a slight move toward normal operations: they will now be open on Saturdays, with precautions. The estate had reopened for weekday hours in June.

The new Saturday hours will be 8:30 am to 6 pm with the following modifications:

• The Farm Barn, Orchid Range, and Coach Barn will continue to be closed to the public.
• The Cafe is open for outdoor service only.
• Restrooms are available at the Farm Barn, Orchid Range, and trail composting toilets.
• Limited parking will be in effect. We no longer permit overflow meadow parking and will shut down access to Duke Farms if we are at capacity. Visitors are urged to have a backup destination in mind when visiting on busy days/times.
• Carry in/carry out: we have no trash cans. Please bring any refuse back home with you and we kindly ask you to not litter.
• When physical distancing isn't possible, wear a mask. This is especially important for high-traffic, people-centric areas like parking lots, gates, crosswalks, entryways, in bathrooms, etc.
• The Farm Market continues to only operate on Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm.

Duke Farms is part of the estate established by James Duke, the founder of American Tobacco as well as Duke Power. The farms 1,000 acres are "open to the public for self-discovery, outdoor activities, and education and research related to ecological sustainability.” Included on the grounds are four of the largest trees in New Jersey; two of them are over 300 years old.

Admission to the grounds is free.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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