Description - Information provided by New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry
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 concessionaires.
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.
- Prallsville Mills, Route 29, Stockton
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.
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, Somerset County- 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 river.
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 and towpath.
Trail heads for Six Mile Run Reservoir are nearby. Horse trailer parking is available.
Cook Natural Area (26 acres)- 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.
Six 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, and horseback riding. The 3000 acre reservoir site, rich in cultural and historic significance, is also a valuable oasis of wetlands, forests, farmlands and old fields.
Recreation - Trails- 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.
Fishing- 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 Wildlife regulations.
Boating- There is a boat launch at the Bull's Island Recreation Area for the Delaware River. There are no motor restrictions on the river, but all the New Jersey boating regulations apply.
However, there are restrictions on boating and canoeing on the canal. Only electric motors, cartop launch, and canoes are permitted, which, can be rented from private concessionaires in Griggstown and Princeton.
Climate - The temperatures in New Jersey vary slightly, with the southern area being the warmest. Winter weather can start by October and is in full force by November, temperatures average 20 to 40 degrees. Spring can begin in mid March and brings temperatures of 50 degrees F, by April temperatures can reach 65 degrees F. Summer weather can extend from late May to mid September, and temperatures often reach 95 degrees during this season with nighttime lows near 65 degrees. Fall weather has temperatures between 65 and 45 degrees F. Precipitation levels in New Jersey are highest from March through August.
Central New Jersey
Burlington, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset Counties
Parking is available in designated parking lots along the canal towpath. The main canal runs from Trenton to New Brunswick with a break at the Route 1 crossing. The feeder canal stretches from Trenton north to Frenchtown along the Delaware River.
The park office is located at Blackwells Mills. Take Route 206 to Hillsborough to Route 514 east, (Amwell Road) right onto Route 533 south (Millstone River Road), 2.1 miles left across bridge onto Blackwells Mills Road across Canal Bridge, right on Canal Road, second structure on left.