The arrogant New Yorkers always demean New Jersey as a cultural wasteland with nothing interesting except highways but the reality is far from it. We biked the picturesque D&R (Delaware-Raritan) canal at the border with Pennsylvania, a long path that starts in Easton, PA and goes all the way to Trenton before it turns to its canal connection that goes through Princeton, all the way to New Brunswick.
The canal was built in 1834, one on each side of the Delaware river, the D&R on its eastern side and the Delaware Canal on the west. Its role was to easier move goods from Philadelphia to New York that otherwise were brought by sea, an expensive and not so sure way.
The goods were put on barges that were pulled by mules walked on the canals’ shores. The canals were heavily used during the Civil War and they stayed in use till around 1923. The path on which the mules were pulling the barges was converted to an over 50 miles bike track on each of the two canals.
You can bike on one of them, cross the Delaware River on one of the several bridges that span it and return on the other canal’s path making a spectacular loop between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Our yesterday loop was from Lambertville, NJ going to Trenton and returning on the other shore to New Hope, PA, about 30 miles in a gorgeous day. We also biked part of the other canal route from New Brunswick a while ago.