The Delaware and
Raritan Canal State Park is one of central New Jersey’s
most popular recreational corridors for canoeing, jogging,
hiking, bicycling, fishing and horseback riding. The canal
and towpath are part of the National Recreational Trail System.
The 70-mile linear park is a valuable wildlife corridor connecting
fields and forests.
With its 19th-century bridges, bridgetender
houses, past and present locks, cobblestone spillways and
hand-built stone-arched culverts, the canal is a tremendous
attraction for history lovers. The upper reach of the feeder
canal wanders through quaint New Jersey towns along the Delaware
River such as Stockton and Lambertville. The main canal passes
the Port Mercer canal house, through the charming village
of Griggstown to Blackwells Mills, ending up in New Brunswick.
Canoes can be rented at Griggstown and Princeton from private
Most of the canal system remains intact
today and is a reminder of the days when the delivery of freight
depended upon a team of mules or steam tugboats. Nearly 36
miles of the main canal and 22 miles of the feeder canal still
exist, with many historic structures along the canal.
Through the Carry-In/Carry-Out Program you can help us keep your parks clean
and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Bags are provided
throughout the site. Thank you for your cooperation and remember to recycle.
|Access for Persons with Disabilities
The towpath and recreational facilities at D&R Canal state park are partially accessible for persons with disabilities. Please contact the park office for further information regarding disability access needs. Text telephone (TT) users, call the New Jersey Relay Service at (800) 852-7899.
Open daily sunrise to sunset
Office hours:Monday - Saturday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
The towpath bridge over the Swan Creek in Lambertville is CLOSED due to structural damage.
If heading southbound, visitors are asked to exit the towpath at the Lambertville Municipal Court parking lot and proceed to South Union Street. Make a right onto South Union and go two blocks. Make a right onto Mount Hope Street and re-enter the towpath at Cavallo Park.
If heading northbound, visitors are asked to exit the towpath at Cavallo Park and proceed up Mount Hope Street. Make the first left onto South Union Street, go two blocks and then walk through the City of Lambertville parking area to re-access the towpath.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is in the process of developing a comprehensive management plan for the Bull’s Island Recreation Area upper river camping section, which includes hazardous tree removal and reforestation. The upper river campground/low lying area campsites are closed for public access until the area can be reopened for passive recreational use. The down river campsites are closed for the 2012 camping season pending a second phase tree assessment which will be conducted over the summer. Day use activities in the lower river section, including the boat ramp and picnic area remain open.
The DEP conducted a tree assessment of the entire upper river campground as a result of a large sycamore falling in 2011. The assessment provided evidence of hazardous trees due to root decay from silt buildup related to repeated floods. Most of the trees in the area were found to have compromised root systems.
As a result, the DEP closed all camping areas to protect the public. For the upper river campground which consists of a 5 acre parcel with more than 200 large trees, a management plan is in development to mitigate the public safety hazards with the goal of eventually reopening the area to the public for passive recreation. The management plan will include the removal of trees in the upper river camping area and replanting of the area with smaller growing trees, shrubs and other native vegetation. To adequately refine this management plan and to ensure that impacts of the tree removal to the natural resources, including migratory and nesting birds and other wildlife, are minimized, a coordinated team representing the various technical programs within the DEP are providing input to ensure concerns are addressed and any necessary reviews are conducted and appropriate permits obtained. Plant material that will thrive in this type of environment and not create hazards for public access will be the focus of the plan, with attention to monitoring for, and controlling invasive species. The area will ultimately reopen for passive recreational use. The DEP will make a decision on the lower river camping section once the tree assessment is completed.
The Department will continue to update its website message on Bull’s Island Recreation Area as information becomes available. Thank you.
Please call the park office at 609-924-5896 before visiting.
D&R Canal Dredging Project
|Abbott Marshlands Stewardship Council
2013 Annual Report
|Prallsville Mills, Route 29,
This charming 19th-century
mill complex contains both grist and linseed oil mills. The
site is leased and operated by the Delaware River Mill Society,
which sponsors concerts and other programs on site. For information
about programs, call (609) 397-3586.
|Griggstown, Franklin Township, Somerset County
The wooden canal bridge, the Mule tender's
Barracks, the Bridge tender's House and station and
the site of the Griggstown Mill are situated along the canal.
Canoes can be rented at a private canoe rental concession
on the canal. The Griggstown Lock is less than a mile south
on the towpath. A short walk brings you to grassy fields with
picnic tables and grills.
|Blackwells Mills, Franklin Township,
The Bridge tender's House, wooden bridge
and mill site are reminders of the area's active past. Several
annual events are held at the house. Picnic tables and grills
are located around a large field with views of the river.
This historic site provides access to the canal, towpath and
Griggstown and Blackwells Mills are located
between the Millstone River and the D&R Canal and can
be reached off Route 533, Millstone River Road in Hillsborough
or from Canal Road in Franklin Township. Both historic sites
provide access to the Millstone River as well as the canal
Trail heads for Six Mile
Run Reservoir are nearby. Horse trailer parking is
Natural Area (26
This area displays a deciduous lowland hardwood
forest adjacent to the Heathcote Brook in Kingston. A short
trail takes visitors to the forest and small ponds.
Mile Run, Franklin Township, Somerset County
The Six Mile Run Reservoir Site, is
one of Central New Jersey's most hidden recreational resources
for hiking, biking, horseback riding and Hunting. The 3000 acre reservoir
site, rich in cultural and historic significance, is also
a valuable oasis of wetlands, forests, farmlands and old fields.
The Park staff offer a variety of historical and natural interpretive programs throughout the year. Contact the park office for a schedule of programs. Program fees may apply.
PROGRAM REGISTRATION FORM
The towpath and multi-use trails are great for all ages and physical abilities. Both the Main Canal Trail, which runs 34 miles in length, and the Feeder Canal Trail at 31.5 miles are ADA accessible.
Picnic table and grills are located at some of the access points and near a few of the historic sites. Informal picnicking is allowed along the canal. Open fires are not permitted. Charcoal fires are restricted to the grill in the picnic areas.
The historic towpath found along the feeder and main canal is suitable for hiking, jogging and biking. Horseback riding is permitted on the main canal only. Motorized vehicles or ATV's are not permitted on trails in the park. In addition to the canal trail, patrons can access trails at the Six Mile Run Reservoir Site, Kingston greenway and Cook Natural Area Trails from the park office located in Kingston as well as one trail found within the Bull's Island Natural Area.
Fishing is permitted the entire length of
the canal. Anglers can find bass, sunfish, catfish, perch
and pickerel within the canal as well as trout, which the
Division of Fish
and Wildlife stocks the canal with each spring. Fishing
is also permitted in the Delaware River. All canal and river
fishing is subject to the New Jersey Division of Fish and
The D&R Canal State Park offers five boat launches into the Delaware River. Launches are located at:
Kingwood Township, Hunterdon County
Byram, Hunterdon County
Bulls Island, Stockton, Hunterdon County
Fireman's Eddy, Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Boat Launches are available from sunrise to sunset year round.
A Launch Ramp fee is in effect from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Canoes, kayaks, boats, vessels and personal watercraft (e.g. jet-skis) that are transported in any manner are subject to launch ramp fees. Required daily or annual permits can be purchased at the Bulls Island Main Office at 2185 Daniel Bray Highway, Stockton, NJ 08859. For further information, call 609-397-2949.
There are no motor
restrictions on the river, but all the New Jersey boating
There are restrictions on boating and canoeing on
the canal. Only electric motors, car top launch, and canoes
are permitted, which, can be rented from private concessionaires
in Griggstown and Princeton.
Launch Ramp Permit Information Sheet
Island Recreation Area
• Delaware and
Raritan Canal State Park and Canal Commission
Canal State Park
• D&R Greenway Land Trust
• Delaware River Scenic Byway Map
permitted along the canal?
No, Bull's Island
Recreation Area is the only location to camp.
|What are the park
||Park hours are sunrise to sunset.