Multi-use level paths along a canal that are great for biking and easy hiking.
These “towpaths” were once used for mules to tow barges along the canal but are now used for hiking, biking, and kayaking.
There are sections in New Jersey (D&R) and across the Delaware river in Pennsylvania (D&L).
The D&L can be used to create loops with the D&R on the N.J. side. A popular crossing point is Lambertville, N.J. to New Hope, P.A.
D&R Trail / New Jersey:
Part of Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park and contains two sections:
Main Canal: New Brunswick to Trenton
Feeder Canal: Trenton to Frenchtown
D&L Trail / Pennsylvania:
The portion of the D&L that is opposite of the D&R Trail is within Delaware Canal State Park in Pennsylvania.
The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L) continues further than the Delaware Canal State Park:
Delaware Canal State Park: Easton to Bristol, Pennsylvania.
Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor: Wilkes Barre area to Bristol, Pennsylvania.
Our two cents:
Super enjoyable easy biking/hiking on a level dirt/gravel towpath along a canal.
The towpath varies from lots of shade to sunny stretches. There are street crossings, more frequent in some areas than others.
Congestion varies by area as well, and you may find yourself passing or dodging more people than you like. When biking, ring your bell or call out “on your left!” when passing walkers.
The towpath often runs along small towns, allowing for a nice day out with stops for lunch, snacks, coffee, or ice cream. Don’t forget to get ice cream.
Route info with photos and videos:
- D&R Canal – Rocky Hill to 10 Mile Lock – Rocky Hill north to just past 10 Mile Lock
- D&R Canal – Rocky Hill South to Rt. 95 (2013) – South, through Princeton.
- D&R Canal – Rocky Hill South to Rt. 95 (2012) – South, through Princeton.
- D&R Canal – Rocky Hill North to Weston Causeway – North to Weston Causeway at Weston Canal Rd and back.
- D&R Canal – Rocky Hill North to Amwell Road – North to Amwell Road and back.
- D&R Canal – Blackwells Mills to Demott Lane – Blackwells Mills north to almost Demott Lane.
- D&R Canal – Lambertville towards Frenchtown – North from Lambertville to Frenchtown, and back.
- D&R Canal – Lambertville to Frenchtown – North from Lambertville to Frenchtown, NJ, crossing over to Pennsylvania and returning via the D&L through New Hope.
- D&R Canal – Washington Crossing to Stockton – Quiet, pretty canal towpath on the PA side through New Hope then back to Washington Crossing, NJ.
- D&R Canal – Washington Crossing to Stockton – 2010 – Variation, from Washington Crossing State Park, north through Lambertville, crossing Stockton bridge.
- D&R Canal – Washington Crossing to Trenton – South from Washington Crossing to Trenton, over the Calhoun Bridge, then north from Morrisville, PA.
D&L – (PA):
- D&L Canal Biking: Lock 19 to Lock 22 – Biking the D&L Canal from Lock 19 in Lodi to Lock 22 at the Theodore Roosevelt Recreation Area.
- D&L Canal – Frenchtown to Riegelsville, PA – Scenic, easy biking and a covered bridge. Starts in N.J. at Frenchtown but most of the route is on the D&L.
- Lehigh Gorge State Park – Biking a 25-mile stretch that runs above the Lehigh River from Jim Thorpe to White Haven, P.A.
Old-Timey Fun Delaware and Raritan Canal Historic Map – Circa 1976 but based on an 1866 geologic map. Also contains info about the canal’s creation. Via Rutgers Special Collection.