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The 70-mile 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 the park are part of the National Recreation Trail System. This linear park is also a valuable wildlife corridor connecting fields and forests. A recent bird survey conducted in the park revealed 160 species of birds, almost 90 of which nested in the park

With its wooden bridges and 19th century bridge tender houses, remnants of locks, cobblestone spillways and hand-built stone-arched culverts, the canal is a tremendous attraction for history lovers. The upper portion of the feeder canal follows the Delaware River through historic New Jersey towns such as Frenchtown, Stockton and Lambertville. The main canal passes the Port Mercer bridge tender's house, through the charming villages of Kingston and Griggstown to Blackwells Mills, ending up in New Brunswick. Canoes can be rented at Griggstown and Princeton from concessionaires.

The D&R Canal State Park is open for use from sunrise to sunset.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, State Park Service owns and manages the D&R Canal as a state park. The D&R Canal Commission, legislated in 1974, assists with the development of the park and regulates land use in the park's 400-square-mile watershed. The New Jersey Water Supply Authority operates and maintains the water transmission complex of the canal as a water supply resource, pumping out about 75 million gallons of water a day.

The D&R Canal State Park adheres to State regulations NJAC 7:2 et al and NJSA Title 13 et al. For detailed information or for specific inquiries please contact the park office and ask to speak with a ranger.

Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the park.
Pets are not permitted in overnight facilities.
Dogs must be leashed while in the park.

This program helps to eliminate trash in the park by encouraging visitors to be good park stewards. Park visitors are asked to make use of the trash bags supplied at each site and then take them home for proper disposal. Campers should place all trash in appropriate trash and recycling containers.

Canoes, kayaks and small boats may be launched at several access points along the canal. Boaters must portage at the locks and at some bridges. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices must be available for each boater. Only electric motors may be used on the canal.

Access to the Delaware River is available at five launching sites:

  • Byram
  • Kingwood
  • Lambertville
  • Bull's Island
  • Fireman's Eddy

  • For boats launched on the Delaware River, there are no motor restrictions, however, all New Jersey boating regulations apply.

    BE AWARE: 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.

  • Launch Ramp Permit Information Sheet

  • Canoes can be rented at the following locations:
    NOTE: Rates are subject to change. Call for current information.

    The following applies to both Griggstown and Princeton Canoe & Kayak Rentals listed below:

    Fees include tax and all necessary paddles and PFDs.

    Rentals are available until one hour before closing. All dates and times are weather dependent. If in doubt regarding weather conditions call to confirm hours.
    Griggstown Canoe Rental


    Rates: First Hour $13.00 $10.00 (Otter; 1 Person)
    $13.00 (Loon; 1 Person)
    $16.00 (Twin Otter)

      Each Additional Hour $6.00 $5.00 (Otter; 1 Person)
    $5.00 (Loon; 1 Person)
    $6.00 (Twin Otter)

      All Day $35.00 $25.00 (Otter; 1 Person)
    $30.00 (Loon; 1 Person)
    $40.00 (Twin Otter)

    Hours of Operation

    Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 10:00 am - 8:00 pm (Mar. 31 - Nov. 4)
    Weekdays 11:00 am - 8:00 pm (May 28 - Sept. 5)

    Princeton Canoe Rental


    Rates: First Hour $13.00 $10.00 (Otter; 1 Person)
    $13.00 (Loon; 1 Person)
    $16.00 (Twin Otter)

      Each Additional Hour $6.00 $5.00 (Otter; 1 Person)
    $5.00 (Loon; 1 Person)
    $6.00 (Twin Otter)

      All Day $35.00 $25.00 (Otter; 1 Person)
    $30.00 (Loon; 1 Person)
    $40.00 (Twin Otter)

    Hours of Operation

    Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 10:00 am - 8:00 pm (Mar. 31 - Nov. 4)
    Weekdays 11:00 am - 8:00 pm (May 28 - Sept. 5)

    The historic towpath along the main canal from Bakers Basin Road (Trenton) to New Brunswick has a natural surface for hiking, jogging, horseback riding, and biking. From Mulberry Street to Bakers Basin Road, the trail is crushed stone. Horse trailers may be parked in some of the parking areas located along the main canal. The trail along the feeder canal is made of fine textured crushed stone and is for hiking, jogging and biking. Nor horses are permitted on the feeder canal trail. Motorized vehicles or ATV's are not permitted on trails in the park.

    Bicycles can be rented at the following locations (call for information):

    Jay's Cycles
    249 Nassau Street ~ Princeton
    PHONE: 609-924-7233

    Mountain Sports Inc.
    1802 Highway 31 ~ Clinton
    PHONE: 908-638-5700

    Picnic tables 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 grills in the picnic areas.

    Fishing is permitted the entire length of the canal. Trout are stocked at various locations in certain portions of the canal during the spring months. Anglers will find bass, sunfish, catfish, perch and pickerel year round. Access for fishing in the Delaware River is available at several locations. Fishing is subject to New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife regulations.

    The towpath and recreational facilities at the D&R Canal State Park are partially accessible for people with disabilities. Please contact the park office for further information regarding disability access needs. Text telephone (TTD) users, please call the NJ Relay Service at (800) 852-7899.

    If you have any questions please feel free to contact the either of the offices listed below.

    Main Park Office
    D&R Canal State Park
    145 Mapleton Road
    Princeton, NJ 08540
    Phone: 609/924-5705
    Bulls Island Office
    Bull's Island Recreation Area
    2185 Daniel Bray Highway
    Stockton, NJ 08559
    Phone: 609/397-2949