Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park
GOOD FOR: All Ages
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids New York City (AMC Books)
Address:Bridge Street, Lambertville, NJ
Hours:Sunrise to sunset daily
Fee: Free
Contact:
Bathrooms: None
Water/Snacks: None
Map:

USGS Lambertville and Stockton; nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/parks/images/d-r_canal_map-4-11-08.pdf; newhopepa.com/Directions/maps_3z_lg.gif


The scenic Delaware and Raritan Canal is a perfect spot for strollers and for the youngest hikers.

New Hope-Lambertville Bridge.
Photo by: iStock

The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park comprises one half of a network of trails stretching 60 miles north and south on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey coasts of the Delaware River. Five connecting bridges along the trail allow you to go back and forth across the river for pristine views in all directions. In its heyday during the nineteenth century, the canal was a site of bustling industry. Some evidence of the canal’s former life, such as locks, remains today. The towns at the 15-mile point on each side of the canal—Lambertville (in New Jersey) and New Hope (in Pennsylvania)—have retained much of their Victorian charm. They are quiet, attractive spots to begin and end your journey with a picnic or a restaurant meal.

Pick up the trail in Lambertville and follow it either north or south. If you feel up to a long trek or are on bicycles, you should consider heading 7.0 miles south to Washington Crossing State Park (Trip 99). At this point you can take the bridge across the river to Washington Crossing Historic Park on the Pennsylvania side, and head back north (passing Bowman’s Hill Tower and Wildflower Preserve) to cross back into Lambertville at New Hope. Alternatively, you can head 4.0 miles north to Stockton and take the bridge across the river to the town of Centre Bridge, and return south on the Pennsylvania side.

Remember: Rafting trips down the river are available on both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey sides of the river. You can also rent boats for paddling.

Plan B:

Tubing, rafting, and paddling are good outdoor activities you could substitute for a hike, or you could visit Grounds For Sculpture, a wonderful, kid-friendly outdoor sculpture garden nearby.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Both Lambertville and New Hope have many restaurants and shops.



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