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 the parks clean and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Please bring a biodegradable bag with you when visiting to take your trash home. 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
Tree Stands and Blinds Policy
Due to the Princeton University dredge of a portion of Lake Carnegie, the University will be looking to mobilize on the D&R Canal State Park towpath (Washington Road, Princeton, Mercer County) starting on Monday, September 30, 2019 with the crane pick for the temporary bridge on Wednesday, October 2nd. Visitors will be permitted to pass during staging operations, but there will be a complete closure of the path between Washington Road and Alexander Road, on the day the crane is in place. There will be a one day vehicular lane closure for Washington Road as well. Princeton University anticipates staging activities will bee completed by Friday, October 4th.
Tubing Alert and Swimming Prohibited on the Delaware River
Please be advised that there are no river tubing businesses with a valid agreement with the State Park Service to launch from D & R Canal State Park.
Swimming in the Delaware River from D & R Canal State Park is always strictly prohibited.
Here are a few other nearby outdoor activities in our state parks to enjoy instead:
Swimming in the Delaware and Raritan Canal is a prohibited activity (N.J.A.C. 7:11-1.25). As per NJ State Park Service Rules and Regulations swimming may take place only in a designated swim area (N.J.A.C. 7:2-2.20). There are no designated swim areas in the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park and Bulls Island Recreation Area. Increased park police patrols have been instituted and violators may receive a summons.
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Contractor is in process of demolition of the I-95/I-295 bridge structure over the D&R Canal and Tow Path. For safety reasons they will be closing the tow path during specified times.
The towpath will be closed through 03/31/2019.
Park visitors will NOT be permitted access to the path between Bernards Drive and Upper Ferry Road in Ewing Township, Mercer County.
BE ADVISED: A dredging project is planned for the D & R Canal from Kingston to Amwell Road at East Millstone. This extensive project (administered by NJ Water Supply Authority), is slated to begin in the JULY 9, 2018 and may take up to three years to complete. For more information about this project, go to:
Dredging Project update 4/8/2019
Hydrilla was discovered in the Washington Crossing section of the Canal in July 2016. Hydrilla is an extremely aggressive invasive aquatic plant that spreads very rapidly and forms dense mats that can choke the flow of water through the canal. A lake management firm was hired in September, 2016 to survey, assess, and map the extent of hydrilla and other problem weeds in the high-priority segments of the Delaware & Raritan Canal. The survey report indicates that, for the 18.31 miles surveyed, submerged aquatic vegetation was collected at 96 percent of the sites, confirming the spatial extent and diversity of vegetation in the Canal. Hydrilla was observed at 56 percent of the survey sites.
On May 31, 2017, the Authority began a low-dose (<4 ppb) herbicide injection of Sonar Genesis for up to 120 days targeting the hydrilla and other nuisance aquatic vegetation. At these low rates, there are no restrictions on fish/fish consumption, human/animal water consumption or contact. There are some recommended water irrigation usage restrictions that have been posted along the tred areas of the canal. All Canal water customers have been engaged in the management planning process and continue to be updated on the status of treatment. The herbicide application is showing promising signs of effectively controlling the Hydrilla and other nuisance aquatic plants. The Authority and consulting firm are monitoring the status of plants and the herbicide concentrations at several points along the Canal. For monitoring and project information, please visit http://www.njwsa.org/hydrilla.html
D&R Canal Dredging Project
|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.
Kingston Trails Map
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.
IMPORTANT HUNTING SEASON CHANGES IN SIX MILE RUN:
The park has expanded the hunting boundaries to include an additional 1,600 acres of huntable land, 4 additional parking areas and the permission to erect 2 portable hunting stands. There is also the addition of a limited Firearm Season in one area of the park.
SIX MILE RUN RESERVOIR SITE DEER HUNTING MAP - ZONE 14
Designated areas of the park are open to deer hunting during Fall Bow, Permit Bow, Winter Bow and limited firearm seasons. Deer Management Zone 14 regulations apply. A free parking access permit is required for all seasons in addition to any applicable NJ Fish and Wildlife hunting permit(s). The park is closed to deer hunting at all other times. To obtain parking pass permits, hunters must contact the park office at (609) 924-5705 or click the below links.
Hunters MUST APPLY FOR PARK PERMIT to hunt anywhere within Six Mile Run. There will be no limit on the number of bow permits but there will be limit of 15 Firearm Permits that will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.
Bow Hunting Agreement Form
Firearm Hunting Agreement form
Please return completed application, along with a photocopy of your NJ Hunters License and valid identification card (ex. Drivers license) to the D&R Canal Park Office at:
D&R Canal Park Office
145 Mapleton Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
Applications may be mailed or delivered in person to the office.
Please call the office at 609-924-5705 to ensure someone will be available to accept the application.
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
New Hunting Map Cooley Acquisition, D&R Canal SP - Hunting Zone 11
Hunterdon County Hunting Area Maps D & R Canal State Park ZONE 11
Hunting Area Map, Hunterdon County Frenchtown Preserve
Hunting Area Map,
HUNTING PROGRAM AT SIX MILE RUN IS UNDER REVISION FOR THE 2019/2020 SEASON.
The New Jersey State Park Service supports the mission of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. Both agencies endeavor to protect and manage the State's fish and wildlife to maximize their long-term biological, recreational and economic values for all New Jerseyans. Sportspersons must comply with all current NJ Fish and Wildlife regulations as noted in the hunting digest.
For information about fishing and hunting, please refer to the NJ Fish and Wildlife website or call the main information number in Trenton at (609) 292-2965.
Know Before You Go!
Hunting is one of the many activities offered at Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. Hunters are responsible for knowing the hunting regulations within the state park, be sure to review maps, zone descriptions and timing restrictions prior to venturing to the site. The hunting areas may have trails open to the public during the hunting season~ be aware for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders may be traveling through.
Be advised that there is NO HUNTING PERMITTED ON SUNDAYS within lands managed by the NJ State Park Service.
Click here for Tree Stands and Blinds Used by Licensed Hunters at NJ State Parks
Delaware River Stream Gages and Stream Flow Information
The following is information on Delaware River flow and storage data, real-time stream gage data and high flood potential. This information is provided by the U.S. Geologic Survey and the National Office of the Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Water levels for the Delaware River are regularly updated on their websites. Check the stream flow levels to assist you in making your decision.
This U.S. Geological Survey Water Watch site provides detailed information on the streamflow of waterways in New Jersey. Refer to the Reigelsville gaging station for water level information for the Delaware River along the D & R Canal State Park.
A map of New Jersey will appear. Proceed to the western edge of New Jersey to locate the RIEGELSVILLE dot. This dot is approximately 1/3rd of the way down the western side of the state.
Once the dot is “clicked” additional information will appear at the bottom of the page identifying “low” (red) “below normal” (orange), “normal” (green), “above average” (blue) and “high” (black) water conditions.
The NOAA Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service for RIEGELSVILLE site provides a graph of the current and predicted water levels for the Delaware River in the vicinity of Frenchtown, Stockton and Lambertville, NJ. The real time water levels is sampled approximately every two hours.
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
|What are the park
||Park hours are sunrise to sunset.