DELAWARE & RARITAN CANAL STATE PARK:

MAIN CANAL TRAIL:

NEW BRUNSWICK-TRENTON, NEW JERSEY

FEEDER CANAL TRAIL:

MILFORD-TRENTON, NEW JERSEY

MAIN CANAL SOUTH TRAIL:

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP-SOUTH TRENTON, NEW JERSEY

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:      August 19, 2019

Length:                Main Canal Trail; 35.3 miles (2.5 miles more to Northern Terminus)

                              Main Canal; South Trail; 3.7 miles

                              South Riverwalk to Main Canal; South Trail; 2.3 miles

                              Feeder Canal Trail; 33 miles 

                              D&R Greenway; 0.7 miles 

Difficulty:            Main Canal Trail; Easy. Flat, hard packed crushed stone & gravel surface.

                              Main Canal South; Trail; Easy. Flat stone-dust and grass surface.

                              South Riverwalk to Main Canal; South Trail; Easy. Mostly flat paved trail.

                              Feeder Canal Trail; Easy. Flat stone-dust & grass towpath and rail trail.

                              D&R Greenway; Easy. Flat stone-dust rail trail.

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 south of 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 South Riverwalk) to the Main Canal; South 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:

Directions:

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. Follow to far right parking lot.

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.

D&R Main Canal; Northern Terminus:

Starting from Boyd Park (Main Canal-Northern Terminus); From the far right (east) parking lot the trail starts off as cement, passing by a couple of picnic pavilions and a boat launch before passing a boathouse and coming to  Lock 1 and the Northern Terminus of the D&R Canal. Here the paved D&R Main Canal travels alongside the canal through Boyd Park. Informational signs, playground, Porto-potty and amphitheatre. Come to a pedestrian bridge over the canal. You may continue straight along the paved trail or cross over to the Towpath, which is what I did.

Note; The towpath leads right to Lock 1 but you'll have to return to this bridge to cross back over the canal.

Head left along the crushed gravel towpath between the canal and Raritan River and you'll come to New Brunswick Landing and another bridge over the canal. The towpath is in tough shape ahead so I crossed back over the canal and continued right past a parking lot. Cross the second bridge back over to the Towpath and continue left along the dirt & gravel path. Come to the end of the canal where a paved trail leads through a tunnel under Route 27 at 0.9 miles. Here the canal was piped underground when the Elmer Boyd Parkway Extension (Route 18) was constructed in 1984. This next section is Not recommended for kids as it is isolated and requires crossing an off-ramp with no crosswalk. A narrow, paved, isolated trail then travels above the Raritan River on your left and below Route 18. Travel under a RR bridge, then pass by a pedestrian bridge which crosses over Route 18 to Rutgers University. Come to an off-ramp and cross over where the trail continues. USE EXTREME CAUTION AS THEIR IS NO CROSSWALK. A paved trail travels underneath Route 18 up to George St. Here a crosswalk takes you to a short set of stairs up to Buccleuch Park at 2.3 miles. Head right along the paved Buccleuch Park Path.

Note; A 1.3 mile trail Loops around the park.

Come to an entrance road into the park where you'll need to exit right out to George St and travel left on-road a very short distance to Landing Lane Bridge. Turn right over the canal after 2.7 miles. 

D&R Main Canal; Northern End:

Starting from Landing Lane Bridge (Main Canal-Northern End); The D&R Main Canal 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.

Heading south (Re-zeroing mileage), 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 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. 

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 to Bordentown. See Below for the Southern Section. An old RR bridge crosses Route 1 to connect to the D&R Feeder Canal towpath.

D&R FEEDER CANAL:

Directions:

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.

D&R Feeder Canal:

Starting from intersection of D&R Main Canal & Feeder Canal-Southern End); From the end of the paved D&R Main Canal in Trenton, cross over Route 1 via an old RR bridge to the D&R Feeder Canal.

Note; A small bridge on your right crosses the old canal. Here the canal disappears as it was buried. 

The stone-dust & grass D&R Feeder Canal travels west through Trenton. Brown signs show the way. Cross N Broad St at 0.3 miles. Here you'll On-street parking. Right up this street will bring you to Battle Monument Park where you'll find the Trenton Battle Monument. Cross N Warren St where a bridge takes you over the canal at 0.5 miles.

Note; The D&R Feeder Canal continues left, while the eastern end of the D&R Greenway heads straight following the old rail bed. Both trails rejoin each other. The D&R Greenway is a straight easy trail to navigate, while this next section of the D&R Feeder Canal winds its way through town along a narrow path. Head straight along the sidewalk and across N Willow St where the sidewalk continues before crossing Fowler St and the start of the stone-dust and grass D&R Greenway. Here the trail becomes more isolated as it follows a below grade corridor. After traveling under a couple of bridges you'll connect back to the stone-dust D&R Feeder Canal which continues straight across an old RR bridge after 0.7 miles.

Continuing left along the canal the paved trail brings you to N Willow St. Head left across the canal where a crosswalk takes you over to and across Spring St where the stone-dust and grass trail continues alongside the canal. Cross Passaic St and the canal heading right. Come to W Hanover St and head right to a crosswalk. To the left of a chain link fence will be the narrow trail between two houses. Cross Calhoun St where you'll find the old Bridge Tenders House on your left. Map Board. Continue along the stone-dust trail then along a sidewalk to a pedestrian bridge over the canal. Head left along the canal crossing Spring & Prospect St. Finally, after 1.5 miles you'll meet the western end of the D&R Greenway. Continue left across the canal via an old RR bridge along the stone-dust D&R Feeder Canal. This section of old towpath follows the old rail bed. I haven't checked out this section. The trail follows a narrow wooded corridor alongside the canal heading NW. Cross Parkside Ave where the canal is bridged over the road below before passing by a pedestrian bridge over the canal that leads to Cadwalder Park at 2.3 miles. You won't encounter a road crossing until 4 miles when you cross Lower Ferry Rd. Some type of canal feature here. Lower Ferry Road parking lot across the canal. You then travel underneath a RR bridge. Travel underneath I-295 at 5.7 miles after which the trail becomes more isolated. Exercise circuit along here. Views of the Delaware River. After 8.5 miles you'll come to Washington Crossing Pennington Rd. 

Note; To your left leads to the Nelson House and Washington Crossing parking lot. To your right across the canal brings you to a paved trail that leads to a pedestrian bridge over Route 29 and into WASHINGTON CROSSING SP where you'll find hiking and biking trails. See Map Below. Also you can cross over the Delaware River via the Washington Memorial Bridge (Separate path) to PA where you can visit the WASHINGTON CROSSING HISTORIC PARK , as well as, connect to the D&L Trail: Delaware Canal Towpath . You can then travel south along this trail and cross back over to Trenton for a nice Loop.

Continuing NW after crossing Church Rd at 9.6 miles the trail follows a sliver of land between the canal and river. Come to a Lock after 14.9 miles. Cross the Lock and continue left along the opposite side of the canal. Cross a bridge over where the canal split and returned. Pass by Cavallo Park where you'll find a playground and picnic tables. Cross Swan Creek and come to bridge St in scenic Lambertville at 15.3 miles. Across the canal is the old Lambertville RR Station behind which you'll find an old red Caboose. Continue out of town with an old rail bed paralleling you across the canal. Cross the Alexauken Creek Aqueduct at 16.2 miles. Old RR bridge across the canal. Cross River Rd where the trail switches to the opposite side of the canal. River Road parking lot on your right at 16.4 miles. Travel underneath Route 202. Again the trail follows a narrow slit of land between the river and canal. You cross back over the canal at 18.2 miles where you'll temporarily lose the canal as you travel through Stockton. Travel past the old Stockton RR Station at 18.7 miles. Exit Stockton crossing Wickecheoke Creek and your back along the canal. Cross Lockatong Creek at 20.8 miles. Come to Quarry Road parking lot at 22 miles. Map Board. 

Note; Left leads to Bull's Island Recreation Area. This is where the Feeder Canal began. A pedestrian bridge across the Delaware River brings you to Lumberville where you can connect to the D&L Trail: Delaware Canal Towpath

The trail continues along the old rail bed. Pass through the Kingwood Park Boat Launch parking lot at 29.9 miles. Come to Bridge St in Frenchtown at 30.9 miles. River Road parking lot along your left. Also what I believe to be the old Frenchtown RR Depot here. The trail continues north out of town ending I believe after 33 miles at a dirt road that leads up to Route 29. I don't believe that the trail continues up to Milford. 

 

D&R MAIN CANAL SOUTH:

Starting from Riverview Plaza (Main Canal South-South); From Route 29 (Just south of Route 1 in South Trenton) turn into Riverview Plaza and park by the big brick building.

D&R Main Canal; South/South Riverwalk:

Starting from Riverview Plaza (Main Canal South-South); This section of trail does not follow the D&R Canal but will connect to the remaining southern portion. A gap exists between South Trenton and Trenton where the canal was buried under Routes 1 & 129. Starting form the brick/pavers path that runs between the brick building and glass building the wide trail travels above the Delaware River. Pass by a dock below right before traveling behind Arm & Hammer Park. Come to a narrow cement path on your right that continues above the river. This brings you to a small pond. Head left along the wide brick lined path which will bring you to a ramp at 0.6 miles. This brings you up to the South Riverwalk. Pavilion, benches, informational boards and playground. This park is built on top of Route 29. Follow the brick lined path past sculptures, the history of Trenton and views of the Delaware River. Cross Lalor St where the path continues. After 1.2 miles a ramp leads to a paved trail between Route 29 and the river. This leads to the Lamberton Road parking lot. Small Park and site of the old Trenton Market Terminal. Porto-potty. Old machinery, but no informational boards. Exit the park to Lamberton Rd at 1.5 miles. Travel right on-road (low traffic) 0.7 miles, then turn left on Canal Blvd and you'll come to the D&R Main Canal; South after 2.3 miles. Map Board. I haven't checked out this next section. The trail has a stone-dust surface but is being overtaken by grass. Active RR tracks follow along your left. Don't know how much of the old canal is visible. Travel underneath I-295 at 1.5 miles. Duck Creek marshland along your right. Soon you should be traveling alongside the old canal. Around 3.2 miles I believe there is a path up to the I-295 Scenic Overlook, which includes a pedestrian bridge over I-295 to another Scenic Overlook of the Delaware River. Cross a bridge over the old canal.

Note; Here you'll find the remnants of Lock 1 of the D&R Main Canal

 Cross another bridge next to the RR tracks across Crosswicks Creek. This will bring you to the Bordentown Yacht Club in Bordentown after 3.7 miles.

HH

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

CLICK HERE FOR WASHINGTON CROSSING SP MAP

 

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