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

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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
Nature Program Topics Include:
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.

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
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

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:

Birds Try-It
Eco-Explorer/Outdoor Adventurer
Creepy Crawlers
Trees for Our Future
NJ Heritage Patch
Earth Connections
Finding Your Way
Trees for Our Future
NJ Naturalist
NJ Heritage Patch
Trees for Our Future
NJ Naturalist
NJ Heritage Patch
Naturalist and Forester
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 or Stephanie (Naturalist) at 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

MARCH  |   APRIL  |  


March 22
Walk the Path to Rockingham:
Welcome the spring season with a morning walk along the canal to historic Rockingham with the D&R Canal State Park historian and naturalist! In addition to receiving an introduction to the story of the D&R from the park historian, participants will visit two historic homes along the way - The Kingston Canal House and the 18th century Rockingham. Participants are asked to meet at the Kingston Canal House located off Route 27 (approximately 4 miles north of Princeton) at 10:00 am for a brief talk about the history of the D & R Canal. The group will then walk along the canal’s historic towpath to Rockingham where the historian on site there will tell us about the house's significance. Wear comfortable hiking shoes and join us for this 2.5 mile round trip walk back in time. Pre-registration IS required. Weather permitting.

  Register for this program

March 22
10:00 am
Walk the Canal ~ South Bound Brook to East Millstone:
Join the D&R Canal Watch as they continue an end-to-end hiking challenge along the length of the canal path. This 5.3 mile walk is the first leg of this challenge. (There will be an option for a shorter walk (3.1 miles.) For this leg, participants are asked to meet at 10 a.m. at the canal park parking lot on Amwell Road in East Millstone. Additional parking is in East Millstone Park on Market Street behind the rescue squad or the old Franklin Inn on Amwell Road. Carpools will be arranged to allow for a one-way walk. Plan to join just one or all of the walks in the series. Each program will provide information about both canal and local history. For further details and weather related updates, please contact Bob and Linda Barth at (201) 401-3121 (or email:

March 29
10:00 am
23nd Annual D & R Canal Watch 5K Run:
The D & R Canal Watch 5K Fun Run, which begins and ends at Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville, has become a popular annual event attracting as many as 250 runners. This year the START LOCATION is at Washington Crossing State Park where there is plenty of parking (enter at main park entrance gate off Route 546)! Start and finish is opposite the Park's visitor center. Start time is 10:00 am. The route includes the historic park, Route 29 pedestrian bridge, D&R Canal towpath and Titusville village street. Prizes will be awarded and T-shirts supplied to all registrants while supplies last. Race day registration fee of $20 for the 5K Race (same-day registration and packet pickup: 8:45-9:45 a.m.), but you can save by pre-registering. Runners can also register online at For full details, directions, entry form, registration information and/or materials contact the D&R Canal Watch at 609-989-1931 or online at All proceed will benefit the park!


April 12
9:00 am
Explore the D & R Canal by Light Rail:
Join Barbara Ross and Tom Lederer for a tour by light rail into the 19th century. We will meet in the parking lot of the Bordentown RiverLINE Light Rail station (100 W. Park Avenue at Prince Street, above the boat landing) at 9:15 am, purchase tickets, and be treated to a brief introduction before boarding the train for Trenton. The train follows the path of the D&R Canal from Crosswicks Creek to Trenton. From the train we will observe the abandoned canal, Watson's Creek and the Abbott Marshlands. In the City of Trenton, where Rt. 129 is on the former route of the canal, remains of the industrial and commercial buildings can compared with earlier photos. Participants will get an overview of places that are difficult to see any other way, but anyone expecting a leisurely guided tour will be disappointed. In Trenton, participants may opt for a guided walk (3/4 mile round trip) to the State Street Bridge over the former canal (now the Trenton Freeway). We should be back in Bordentown by 11:00 am. Two-hour are $1.50 (.70 for seniors). Please bring exact change. Parking and the tour are FREE.

Meet in the parking lot of the Bordentown Light Rail station at 9:15 AM sharp. Exact times are subject to railroad schedules, so please verify nearer the time of the tour. Space is limited and pre-registration is strongly advised; call 609 924-2683. The trip is sponsored by the D & R Canal Watch and cosponsored by the Friends for the Abbott Marshlands and D & R Greenway Land Trust.

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.

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


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.

Phone: 609-924-5705

REMEMBER: All programs are FREE!