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Duke Farms

1112 Dukes Parkway West , Hillsborough Township, New Jersey, United States
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  • Accessibility

    Category: Do
    Address: 1112 Dukes Parkway West
    Hillsborough Township
    New Jersey
    United States
    Price Level: --
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    One Review

    1. suzanne1 Post authorDuke Farms
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      The 2,740-acre parkland site, once home to tobacco heiress Doris Duke, is now a free environmental preserve with miles of wide, paved and hard-pack gravel travels winding through woodlands and alongside man-made lakes.

      The large and level parking lot has at least 6 accessible parking spaces, some with van accessibility. Parking can be challenging on nice weekends. The 5 spaces reserved for electric and hybrid vehicles fills up quickly.

      The entrance is level at the orientation center, a former horse barn, which looks like a hunting lodge from a distance. All patrons enter through the same double doors, which have button openers inside and outside.

      Visitors in wheelchairs entering the Orientation Center’s accessible café from the back of the building may find navigating on small gravel difficult.

      The cavernous horse barn-turned-orientation center has smooth concrete floors and restrooms thoughtfully placed right inside the main entrance vestibule.

      Maps of the 1,000+ acre property are available from the front desk staff, who are very friendly and helpful.
      Areas a wheelchair user would find difficult to navigate are the gravel back area with umbrella tables.

      The series of adjoined greenhouses (aka Orchid Range) have mostly smooth and sufficiently wide space for a power wheelchair. Some of the pathways, however, are made of uneven wood planks near water features that may be too narrow for some chairs. Power wheelchair users should protect their electronics as much as feasible with a plastic bag covering the controls because the misting system could impair the chair.

      Both the men’s and women’s restrooms are accessible with a power wheelchair, and both have thoughtfully placed buttons to activate the doors from inside and outside. Both restrooms provide under-sink access for wheelchair users. The urinals in the men’s restrooms do not have flushers or partitions between each urinal. Thus, if wheelchair users hold on to urinal flushers or lean against partitions as adaptive techniques, they will have to pursue alternative strategies. The stalls do not have pulldown bars on each side of the toilet. Rather, they have two stationary bars behind the toilet and to the right of the toilet respectively. This may present challenges for left handed wheelchair users. A family restroom is near the women’s room vestibule at the front entrance.

      Additional accessible restrooms are in the Orchid Range, Community Garden, and on trails.

      Tables are at a good height for wheelchair users to fit their joysticks under them and thus be able to sit at them full on. Menus offer fresh, delicious options, such as salads and sandwiches. One standout: turkey, brie, and pear sandwich on whole wheat bread.

      Friendly staff and volunteers offered helpful tips, such as mentioning their accessibility shuttle that takes visitors with mobility difficulties to the far reaches of the property. Call ahead to reserve the vehicle, which is available to the person needing assistance and a companion.

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