DELAWARE & RARITAN CANAL STATE PARK:
MAIN CANAL TRAIL:
NEW BRUNSWICK-TRENTON, NEW JERSEY
FEEDER CANAL TRAIL:
MILFORD-TRENTON, NEW JERSEY
MAIN CANAL TRAIL:
BORDENTOWN-SOUTH TRENTON, NEW JERSEY
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Last Updated: April 23, 2003
Length: Main Canal Trail; 35.3 miles (2.5 miles more to Northern Terminus)
Feeder Canal Trail; 33 miles
Main Canal South Trail; 3.7 miles (2.1 miles more on-road and Waterfront Trail)
Difficulty: Main Canal Trail; Easy. Flat, hard packed crushed stone & gravel surface.
Feeder Canal Trail; Flat, hard packed crushed stone & gravel surface.
Main Canal South Trail; Paved and flat, hard packed crushed stone & gravel surface.
The Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park Towpath follows the path of the D&R Canal, which was built in the early 1830s as a transportation corridor between Philadelphia and New York. Along the route you'll find 19th century bridges, locks, cobblestone spillways, stone arched culverts and even old bridge tender houses. The Main Canal traveled from Bordentown on the Delaware River to New Brunswick on the Raritan River. The Feeder Canal traveled from the east bank of the Delaware River by Bull's Island near Frenchtown to Trenton where it fed water to the Main Canal. The Main Canal was 44 miles long and the Feeder Canal was 22 miles long. A section of the Main Canal in Trenton has been covered over (the water still flows below) by the Trenton Freeway (U.S. Route 1). The portion of the canal that provided access to the Delaware River in Bordentown is also abandoned. In Trenton it has been covered by Route 129. In New Brunswick, the northern portion of the Main Canal was piped underground when the Elmer Boyd Parkway Extension (Route 18) was constructed in 1984.
The trail is divided into three sections. The Main Canal travels from Trenton northeast to New Brunswick. The Feeder Canal travels northwest from Trenton to Bull's Island in Stockton. From here the trail continues along the former rail bed of the Pennsylvania RR; Belvidere Division up to Milford. The Main & Feeder Canals meet at Route 1 in Trenton, where the Main Canal was buried under Routes 1 & 129 as it heads south out of the city. The third section (Not Connected to Main & Feeder Canals) travels from South Trenton (utilizing the Waterfront Trail and South Riverfront Park) to the old Main Canal which skirts the John A. Roebling Memorial Park and Hamilton Marshes ending in Bordentown at Crosswicks Creek.
Along the west side of the Delaware River (In Pennsylvania) is the D&L Trail: Delaware Canal Towpath . For more information visit; D&R CANAL STATE PARK or EAST COAST GREENWAY .
D&R MAIN CANAL:
For the Main Canal-Northern End; From I-95 take exit 9 to Route 18 N. Cross over Route 1.
Keep right for Boyd Park (Northern Terminus) New Brunswick Exits, and it will be on your right.
Take the Easton Ave (Route 527) exit to George St. Come to Landing Lane.
Parking on your left to Start from Landing Lane Bridge, which is on your right across the canal.
Head left on Landing Lane to Easton Ave and turn right.
After 3.5 miles you'll pass by the Five Mile Lock parking lot on your right.
For the Main Canal-Central; From Route 1 take the Ridge Rd exit and head west. Continue straight on Heathcote Rd, then turn left onto Route 27. Just before the canal turn left, then right across the canal to the Kingston Lock parking lot.
For the Main Canal-Southern End; From Route 1 take the Perry St exit and head left. Turn right on N Broad St and cross the D&R Feeder Canal. Along your left is Battle Monument Park. On-street parking around the monument. Traveling NE for 0.4 miles brings you across Route 1 to the start of the D&R Main Canal.
Starting from Landing Lane Bridge (Main Canal-Northern End); The Towpath crosses here, however, heading east the trail dead ends after a quarter mile at a Spillway with no bridge. Here the canal was piped underground when the Elmer Boyd Parkway Extension (Route 18) was constructed in 1984.
Note; It is possible to continue east to Boyd Park and the northern terminus of the D&R Canal. I haven't checked out this section. Cross the canal to George St and head left on-road a short distance before you'll pick up the paved Buccleuch Park Path on your right. Head left following George St on your left. After 0.4 miles, turn left on a paved path that leads to stairs down to George St and a cross-walk. [Note; a 1.3 mile trail loops around the park]. I believe the trail then travels underneath Route 18 then just below the highway and above the river as a sidewalk (not sure how wide the sidewalk is or if it is maintained). Travel under Route 27 and come to a wide sidewalk along an off-ramp after 1.9 miles. To your left is the old canal and towpath (not sure if you can follow the old towpath here). Follow the sidewalk left and it will take you back alongside the canal and into Boyd Park. Come to Lock 1 and the Northern Terminus of the D&R Canal after about 2.5 miles. Informational signs and a boathouse. The park also features a 3/4 long mile tow path with lights as well an historical swing bridge.
Heading south, the flat, hard packed crushed stone & gravel D&R Main Canal towpath travels between the Raritan River on your right and canal on your left. I haven't checked out this section. Come to a pedestrian bridge over the canal after 2 miles which leads to the Demott Lane parking area and the Meadows. Travel underneath I-287 before coming to the Five Mile Lock parking lot at 3.6 miles. Cross the Queens Bridge (South Battlefield; Battle of Bound Brook informational signs here) before coming to the South Bound Brook Lock parking lot at 5.4 miles. I've checked out this section. After a ¼ mile you'll cross over a spillway and then travel under I-287 at 6.2 miles. Pass a pedestrian bridge over the canal, then look right to spot a dam on the river. Here the canal follows the Millstone River. After 7.8 miles pass by Lock 10. Cross Chapel Dr, then the Manville Causeway at 8.9 miles. Here the trail becomes more isolated. I haven't checked out this section. Another pedestrian bridge at 10.5 miles leads to Colonial Park. Amwell Road parking lot at 11.1 miles and Blackwell Mills Rd at 13.2 miles. The Blackwells Mill Canal House is located left across the canal. The Blackwell Mills Road parking lot is down the road on your left.
Note; Left across the canal, then right down Canal Rd brings you to the Six Mile Run Reservoir Site (contains over 3,000 acres and offers hiking, biking, horseback riding and bird watching).
Continuing south, I've checked out this section. Cross a cobblestone spillway before coming to the Griggstown Causeway at 16.7 miles. A path to the right takes you to a parking lot. Pass a Lock at 17.4 miles, followed by another spillway. Pass a bridge over the canal at 18.7 miles before crossing Washington Street at 19.7 miles where you'll find a parking lot. Across the canal you'll find an old stone foundation next to the Kingston Branch Loop Trail (A narrow stone-dust hiking trail that travels south along the eastern bank of the canal to the John Flemer Preserve parking lot off of Main St). Continuing south, you'll travel underneath Main St (Route 27) to the Kingston Lock parking lot at 21.7 miles. Lock 8 located here.
Note; If you cross the Lock, a hard packed trail follows the western side of the canal south for 1.1 miles, bringing you to Mapleton Rd where you may connect to the paved trails that loop around the James Forrestal Campus of Princeton University.
Continuing south, I haven't checked out
this section. Pass by a dam on the Millstone River and follow alongside Carnegie Lake.
Come to a pedestrian bridge over the canal at 23.9 miles.
Come to a pedestrian bridge over the canal at 23.9 miles.
Note; This bridge leads to a narrow, hard packed dirt & grass trail that travels south along the western side of the canal. If you stay straight out to Mapleton Rd it also leads to a series of paved trails that loop around the James Forrestal Campus of Princeton University.
Cross over the Millstone Aqueduct (where the Millstone River passes underneath the canal). Cross Lower Harrison St, followed by Washington Rd at 24.9 miles. Here Stony Brook parallels the canal.
Note; Heading right across the Lake will bring you to Princeton University.
Continuing south, you travel underneath a RR trestle before crossing Alexander St at 25.5 miles.
Note; Heading right leads to Turning Basin Park parking lot.
Come to Quaker Road parking area at 28.1 miles. Across the bridge is the Port Mercer Canal House. Travel underneath I-295 before crossing a pedestrian bridge over Route 1 and coming to a parking lot at 30.2 miles. Come to Bakers Basin Rd, where the trail crosses the canal and now follows the western side of the canal south until you hit Carnegie Rd at 31.2 miles where you switch back to the eastern side of the canal where you'll travel parallel to Route 1, before traveling underneath Route 1 and coming to Whitehead Road (Route 616) after 33 miles. Parking available. CAUTION for some reason there is NO CROSSWALK. As you travel alongside Route 1 iron girders cover the canal briefly? Come to Mulberry St in East Trenton (Here the canal has been buried by Route 1) and head left underneath Route 1 at 34 miles. Again CAUTION NO CROSSWALK. Here the trail is paved as it continues south between Route 1 and some RR tracks utilizing the RR right-of-way. Travel underneath N Olden Ave and Southard St before coming to an intersection at 35.3 miles and the end of the Main Canal. Here the canal has been buried as it heads south out of the city. An old RR bridge crosses Route 1 to connect to the D&R Feeder Canal towpath.
D&R FEEDER CANAL:
For the Feeder Canal-Northern End; From Route 32 in PA, cross the Delaware River to Frenchtown. First right down River Road. Parking located alongside the trail. From the junction of Route 29 and Bridge St in Frenchtown follow Bridge St towards the Delaware River. Turn left down River Rd just before the bridge.
For the Feeder Canal-Central; From Route 32 in PA, cross the Delaware River (Bridge St) to Route 29 and head left. Look left for the Prallsville Mills. Continue past to the entrance just up the road for the Prallsville Mills parking lot.
For the Feeder Canal-Southern End; From Route 1 take the Perry St exit and head left. Turn right on N Broad St and cross the D&R Canal. Along your left is Battle Monument Park. On-street parking around the monument.
Starting from Battle Monument Park (Feeder Canal-Southern End); I haven't checked out this section.
D&R MAIN CANAL SOUTH:
Starting from (Main Canal South-Northern End); From Route 29 (Just south of Route 1 in Trenton) turn into Riverview Plaza.
Starting from Riverview Plaza (Main Canal South-Northern End); I haven't checked out this section.
CLICK HERE FOR D&R CANAL MAP
CLICK HERE FOR FEEDER CANAL; TRENTON MAP
CLICK HERE FOR D&R CANAL SOUTH MAP
CLICK HERE FOR MILLSTONE VALLEY SCENIC BYWAY MAP
CLICK HERE FOR BULLS ISLAND MAP
CLICK HERE FOR SIX MILE RUN MAP
CLICK HERE FOR KINGSTON TRAILS MAP
CLICK HERE FOR DELAWARE SCENIC BYWAY MAP
CLICK HERE FOR HISTORIC D&R CANAL MAP
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
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