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Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park [NJ]
|Park Overview:|| |
A linear park consisting of 70 miles of flat trail and towpath along an historic canal, with many 19th century structures still standing.
|Trail Uses:||Hiking, Mountain biking, Bridle path, X-C skiing, Handicapped|
|Dogs:||Dogs on leash|
|Trail Miles:||70 miles|
|Park Acreage:||5379 acres|
|Princeton [main |
|Park Description:|| |
The Delaware and Raritan Canal was built in the early 19th century as an effective means of transportation between Philadelphia and New York, facilitating connections to the rest of world. Once completed, it became one of America's busiest navigational canals. In 1871, its busiest year, total tonnage shipped surpassed the longer and more famous Erie Canal. The canal was abandoned as a route for navigation in the 1920s, but it was preserved virtually intact because it also served as a source of water supply for the neighboring towns (unlike the Morris Canal, which was largely obliterated). Today, with its 19th-century bridges, bridge-tender houses, past and present locks, cobblestone spillways and hand-built stone-arched culverts, the canal is an attraction for history lovers.
The D&R Canal State Park provies a corridor for wildlife to move among forests and preserves in Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, and Burlington Counties.
The 24-acre Bull's Island Natural Area is on a small forested island surrounded by the Delaware River and the Delaware & Raritan Canal in Stockton. The lowland floodplain forest is dominated by sycamore, silver maple and tulip poplar and contains several rare plant species. Check the website for details.
|Trails Overview:|| |
The park is in the shape of a lazy "V," as the feeder canal parallels the Delaware River [for about 30 miles] and then the main canal extends from Trenton to New Brunswick [for 34 miles]. Unfortunately there is a gap where the canal crosses US 1 outside Trenton [see news update in the Comments section].
There are small parking areas at nearly all road crossings providing access to the towpath. See numerous map links in "Trails Overview."
|Contact Information:||NJ DEP, Division of Parks and Forestry |