Nature Programs |  History Programs |  Scout Programs
Calendar of Events |  Wish List |  Volunteering


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PAST ISSUES OF THE MILEPOST:

What the D&R Canal State Park Has To Offer
The Delaware and Raritan Canal was built in the 1830s to transport goods to industrial areas. Today it is used as a water supply system and a corridor for people as well as wildlife. As you walk on the towpath you will see 19th century mills and locktender houses, along with hand-built spillways and stone-arched culverts.

The D&R Canal State Park offers a variety of habitats within its 70 mile long corridor. The canal is adjacent to many rivers making it an ideal place to study the diversity and adaptions of organisms found in a freshwater flood plain and riverine habitats. The park also contains areas representing upland forests and fields in varying stages of succession.

No matter what area of the D&R Canal State Park you visit, your students will leave with a better understanding of nature and their place in it.


Nature Programs

Registration fees apply to the programs listed below. Please contact our park office at (609) 924-5705 if interested in any of these listed programs AND download, print, complete and return our registration form available here as a PDF file.

D & R Canal State Park Program Registration Form

Forestry |  Water Quality |  Orienteering |  Insect Investigation
NJ Animals |  In Class Presentations |  Weekend Family Programs



Call and speak with our Naturalist for more information or to schedule a program for your class.

D&R Canal State Park Naturalist: Stephanie Fox
Phone: (609) 397-2949
E-Mail: dnrnaturalist@verizon.net
Nature Program Topics Include:
Forestry
Students will learn...
to identify New Jersey trees using a dichotomous key;
to infer a tree's life history by looking at tree cookies;
how different parts of a tree function together to make a tree grow.

Water Quality
Students will learn...
to identify macroinvertebrates that help determine water quality;
how point and non-point pollution effects water quality;
to perform water testing for certain parameters.

Orienteering:
Students will learn...
to identify topography symbols;
how to determine distance from a topographical map;
how to use a magnetic compass and complete a small obstacle course.

Insect Investigation:
Students will learn...
how to find and identify insects;
the diverse lifestyles and adaptations insects
possess;
the characteristics that make-up an insect.

NJ Animals:
Students will learn...
the different classifications of animals found in New Jersey;
about the four habitat requirements: food, shelter, water and a place to raise their young.

In-Class Presentations
If you can't come to us, we will come to you! Our naturalist can present informative, hands-on programs to our students on a variety of environmental subjects. Topics can include: Water Quality, Forestry, Diversity and Adaptions, Introduction to NJ Animals, and Orienteering. Other programs may be available on request. All programs will be geared for your grade level and are in correlation with the NJ Core Curriculum standards. The presentations last approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Please call (609) 924-5705 and speak with our naturalist for more information.




Canal History Programs

Registration fees apply to the programs listed below. Please contact our park office at (609) 924-5705 if interested in any of these listed programs AND download, print, complete and return our registration form available here as a PDF file.

D & R Canal State Park Program Registration Form

Weekend Biking or Walking Tours


Arrangements for historic biking or walking tours at the park can be made by appointment. If you have any questions please call and speak with our Historian for more information.

D&R Canal State Park Historian: Vicki Chirco
Phone: (609) 924-5705
E-Mail: dnrhistorian@verizon.net




Programs for Scouts

Registration fees apply to the programs listed below. Please contact our park office at (609) 924-5705 if interested in any of these listed programs AND download, print, complete and return our registration form available here as a PDF file.

D & R Canal State Park Program Registration Form

The Naturalist and Historian at the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park also offer several programs designed to help scouts work toward a variety of badge requirements. In some cases, one scheduled program is all that is needed to complete a badge and add to your list of scouting achievements. AND IT'S FREE!! Programs include:

GIRL SCOUTS
Brownies
Animals
Birds Try-It
Eco-Explorer/Outdoor Adventurer
Creepy Crawlers
Trees for Our Future
NJ Heritage Patch
Juniors
Earth Connections
Finding Your Way
Wildlife
Trees for Our Future
NJ Naturalist
NJ Heritage Patch
Seniors/Cadettes
Wildlife
Eco-Action
Orienteering
Trees for Our Future
NJ Naturalist
NJ Heritage Patch
BOY SCOUTS
Webelos
Naturalist and Forester
Bears
Sharing Your World With Wildlife
Other programs such as Orienteering and The Story of the D&R Canal can also be scheduled. If you are a scout leader and interested in scheduling one of these programs for your troop, then contact either Vicki (Historian) at dnrhistorian@verizon.net or Stephanie (Naturalist) at dnrnaturalist@verizon.net to discuss availability. Both can also be reached at (609) 924-5705.



Calendar of Events
The following scheduled programs are run by the D&R Canal State Park Naturalist, Historian and/or an affliated friends organization. Pre-registration is required to participate in any of the listed events unless otherwise noted. To do so, please call either (609) 924-5705 (main park office at Kingston), (609) 397-2949 (Bulls Island office) or the number indicated in the listing. You'll need to leave a contact name and phone number in the event of cancellation as well as the number of people planning to attend the program (please indicate number of adults and children). Program registration can also be done via the Internet by filling-out our Program Registration Form.

  Jump To Calendar of Events
  Click here to access the on-line Program Registration Form

Programs begin at varied times which are noted below and are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather, insufficient interest or other unforeseen circumstances. Call the park office if in doubt about a program's cancellation. ALL PROGRAMS ARE FREE! If you would like further information about a specific program, please call.



2014 Calendar of Events

JUNE  |   JULY  |   AUGUST

JUNE EVENTS

June 7:
(Saturday)
10:00 am
National Trails Day Hike at Six Mile Run:
June 7th is National Trails Day, so join in the celebration of trails with the park naturalist and historian on a hike through the Six Mile Run Reservoir Site in Franklin Township, Somerset County. This four mile hike will be along the red trail which passes through forests, fields and a few stream crossings. The history of the area and its natural features will be highlighted along the way. Please wear sturdy footwear, bring some water and insect repellent. The hike will begin from the Jersey Knights Soccer Parking Lot (the trailhead is located at the far right corner of the lot) at 10:00 a.m. Registration IS required. INCLEMENT WEATHER CANCELS.
  Register for this program

June 8:
(Sunday)
2:00 pm
D&R Canal Watch Annual Meeting:
Meet Ashbel Welch, appointed chief engineer of the Delaware and Raritan Canal soon after the canal opened in 1834. Actor Bob Gleason will portray this important Lambertville resident, who instituted many changes on the canal. The meeting will be held at 2:00 pmin the old Lawrence Township Municipal Building, across the parking lot from the police headquarters, Route 206, just south of I-95. Free to the public, but donations are welcome and appreciated. For further information please contact Bob Barth at 201-401-3121 (or email: barths@att.net)

June 14-15:
(Sat.-Sun.)
11 am - 4 pm
Watercolor Art Sale at the Blackwells Mills Canal House:
The Blackwells Mills Canal House Association is proud to welcome back these Princeton area watercolorists with their unique art work for your enjoyment and purchase. Come to the historic canal house on the corner of Blackwells Mills and Canal Road in Franklin Township for this popular event which returns with a wide selection of art. Find a treasure for your home or a gift for family and friends. This weekend event will be held on Saturday and Sunday, June 15th and 16th, from 11 - 4 pm. Free to the public, but donations are welcome and appreciated.

June 21
(Saturday)
1:00 pm
Summer Solstice Hike
The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park's naturalist will meet eager hikers at 1:00 pm at Bulls Island Recreation Area north of Stockton in Hunterdon County and then head to the White Oak Trail and Zega Lockatong Preserve to celebrate the summer solstice. These trails are maintained by the Environmental Commission of Delaware Township. At the terminus of the White Oak Trail participants can either head back along the trail to Bulls Island or opt for a longer hike to explore the Zega Lockatong Preserve. Please make sure to dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes and bring some water to drink. Registration IS required. INCLEMENT WEATHER CANCELS.
  Register for this program

JULY EVENTS

July 5
(Saturday)
10:00 am
Walk the Canal ~ Kingston to Alexander Road:
Join the D&R Canal Watch as they continue an end-to-end hiking challenge along the length of the canal path. This 3.8 mile walk is the fifth leg of this challenge. A shorter, 2.2 mile hike will also be available. This guided walk will provide information about both canal and local history. For this leg, participants are asked to meet at Turning Basin Park on Alexandar Road across from Princeton Canoe Rental in Princeton at 10 am. Free to the public, but donations are welcome and appreciated. For further details contact Bob Barth at (201) 401-3121 (or email: barths@att.net).

July 12
(Saturday)
10:00 am
Walk the Path to Five Mile Lock:
Enjoy a morning walk along the canal towpath with the D&R's Historian. Interested participants are asked to meet at the Demott Lane Footbridge off Easton Avenue at 1:00 pm where the group will head north toward Five Mile Lock for a 3-mile round trip walk along the historic towpath. Come enjoy the park, burn a few calories and learn a bit about the D&R! Registration IS required. INCLEMENT WEATHER CANCELS.

  Register for this program

July 12:
(Saturday)
8:00 pm
Full Moon Hike:
Enjoy a late evening walk at Bulls Island as the full moon lights the way. The park naturalist will share information about some of the night sounds to be heard and nocturnal life to be found in New Jersey. The group will go for a short 1 mile walk in Bulls Island Natural Area along the historic D&R Canal. This evening walk will begin at 8:00 pm and participants are asked to meet at the Bulls Island Visitor Center (located 7 miles north of Lambertville directly off Route 29 in Hunterdon County). Please bring a flashlight. For further information call the Bulls Island office at (609) 397-2949. Registration IS required. INCLEMENT WEATHER CANCELS.

  Register for this program

July 19
(Saturday)
Blackwells Mills Canal House Association’s Outdoor Yard Sale:
Attend the Blackwells Mills Canal House Association's sale on the lawn besides historic canal house on the corner of Blackwells Mills and Canal Road in Franklin Township. Contact us two weeks in advance to bring your arts and crafts, collectibles and slightly used items to sell. Tables are $25.00 (bring your own), and pre-registration is required. Contact either the Canal House at (732) 873-2133 or Barbara at 908 369-0357 to participate. The public sale will begin at 11 am and continue until 4 pm. Registration is NOT required and admission is FREE!

July 19
(Saturday)
1:00 pm
Stream Stomp:
Join the park naturalist in search of all the little critters living in the Wicheocke Creek at the Prallsville Mill Site in Stockton. Be prepared to get your feet wet as you explore the river with nets and magnifying glasses for crayfish, salamanders, freshwater clams, young dragonflies and many more interesting creatures. Participants will learn how to interpret a streams health by the animals found living there. The program will begin at 1:00 pm and is appropriate for ages 8 and up. Please make sure you bring along water shoes or even an old pair of sneakers you don't mind getting wet. NO OPEN TOE SHOES PLEASE. Registration IS required. INCLEMENT WEATHER CANCELS. Pre-registration IS required. Weather permitting.

   Register for this program

July 26:
(Saturday)
10:00 am
Walk the Path to Lambertville:
Enjoy a summer morning walk along the path to the historic town of Lambertville with the park historian. Participants are asked to meet at the D&R parking lot near the Holcombe Jimison Farm Museum (located about 1 mile north of downtown Lambertville directly off Route 29) at 10:00 am. The group will proceed south along the park path through town to the Lambertville lock area. Come enjoy the park, burn a few calories and learn a bit about Lambertville and the D & R along the way! Registration IS required. INCLEMENT WEATHER CANCELS.

  Register for this program

AUGUST EVENTS

August 2
(Saturday)
9:30 am
Walk the Path in Lawrence Township:
Enjoy a morning walk along the canal with the D&R's historian and visit two historic homes along the way - The Port Mercer Canal House and the 18th Century Brearley House. The group will meet at the Port Mercer Canal House in Lawrence Township (4278 Quakerbrige Road ~ Behind the Mercer Mall) at 9:30 a.m. for a brief talk about the history of the D&R Canal. The group will then walk along the historic towpath to the Lawrence Historical Society's Brearley House where the we will be treated to a tour of this restored 18th century home by the Society's docents. Come join us for this 2.5 mile round trip walk back in time. Registration IS required. INCLEMENT WEATHER CANCELS.

  Register for this program

August 10
(Sunday)
2 - 4 pm
Bluegrass Music at the Blackwells Mills Canal House:
Bring the family and/or friends and plan to spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon at the historic canal house on the corner of Blackwells Mills and Canal Road in Franklin Township for some bluegrass music by the canal. Join us an listen to the lively sounds of the Six Mile Run Bluegrass Band. This event will be held at the Blackwells Mills Canal House between 2:00 - 4:00 pm. Registration is NOT required and admission is FREE!

August 17
(Sunday)
11 - 4 pm
Art Show/Sale at the Blackwells Mills Canal House:
Come to the historic canal house on the corner of Blackwells Mills and Canal Road in Franklin Township for a unique art show and sale. View the amazing artwork of two young people, Annalee (14) and Alex (12) are brother and sister who represent the artists of the future. This event will be held at the Blackwells Mills Canal House between 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Registration is NOT required and admission is FREE!

August 23
(Saturday)
1:00 pm
Beginning Orienteering:
Ever wonder how to use a compass? Now is your chance. Join the naturalist at the Bulls Island Recreation Area (2185 Daniel Bray Highway, about 7 miles north of Lambertville) to learn about the basics of an orienteering compass and topographic maps. Afterwards everyone will then try their new skills on a small orienteering course. This program will begin at 1:00 pm and is appropriate for ages 9 and over. The park will provide compasses for use during the program. Registration IS required. INCLEMENT WEATHER CANCELS.

  Register for this program



Our Wish List
Please check the list below to see if you could donate any of the following items to the Park to enhance our interpretive programs! Donations would be greatly appreciated and are tax deductible! Contact the office if you are able to help out.

E-mail: dnrhistorian@verizon.net
Phone: 609-924-5705


A color printer that is compatible with Windows 2000, XP or Apple iMac

Field Guides

New Jersey History Books

Books on Canal History or Technology

Binoculars

Insect Nets

Mounted Animals for use in displays and/or in programs


We're Looking for a Few Good Volunteers...
Do you have time on your hands? Are you interested in history or nature? Do you have hands-on skills such as sewing, wood working or engineering? If so, we would love to hear from you! Our interpreters are interested in finding a few good volunteers who have an interest in the D&R Canal and want to help others learn more about it. A few projects you might consider "taking on" include:

Creating and sewing both a boy's and girl's typical 19th century outfit that can be used in hands-on programs;

Developing your own canal or 19th century related project;

Compiling an on-going bird list for all areas along the canal;

Creating a nature or history program for the public using your area of expertise.

If one of these projects interests you, please contact the park office and ask to speak with either the Historic Preservation Specialist or the Naturalist.

E-mail: dnrhistorian@verizon.net
Phone: 609-924-5705


REMEMBER: All programs are FREE!