The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park

Delaware and Raritan Canal
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The Delaware and Raritan Canal opened to great fanfare in 1834. Freight now traveled between Philadelphia and New York in as little as two days! For nearly a century, coal and essential goods traveled the D&R. It became one of the nation’s busiest transportation routes.

Delaware and Raritan Canal

In the beginning, mules pulled the vessels up the canal from the adjacent towpath. Later, steam-powered boats took over. Eventually, the railroads made canal transport obsolete.

Today, 70 miles of the surviving towpath and canal along the Delaware River form the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. This linear park is popular for jogging, hiking, bicycling, fishing, canoeing and horseback riding

Location: Central NJ along the Delaware River
Designation: State Park, National Recreational Trail
Date designated/established: 1974
Date of my visit: February 20, 2021

Delaware and Raritan Canal

8 thoughts on “The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park

  1. One of the most interesting aspects of the Delaware & Raritan Canal was the large variety of boats that passed through it. Theses included mule-towed canal boats and sailboats, steam tugs towing barges, freight boats, luxury yachts, and naval vessels. Canal boats from most of the canals on the East Coast traversed the D&R.

    The canal was chartered in 1830. In 1831 the Delaware & Raritan Canal and the Camden & Amboy Railroad, the precursor of the Pennsylvania Railroad, were combined as β€œthe Joint Companies.” The canal opened for through navigation in 1834. Its last season of operation was 1932. In 1974, by an act of the legislature, the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park was created. Today the main canal and the feeder form a linear park used extensively for recreation. Under the direction of the New Jersey Water Supply Authority, the canal serves as a water supply for about 1,000,000 customers in Central New Jersey.

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