Canoe/Kayaking

School, Old (Tyler State Park)

Tyler State Park 101 Swamp Rd, Newtown, PA (215) 968-2021
(Directions) (Website) (Tyler Map) Open daily, 7 AM to dusk

The focus of the park is Neshaminy Creek.

The focus of the park is Neshaminy Creek. Most trails are either paved or graveled (note horses in the distance) making footing easy and x-country skiing a real opportunity in the winter.

Tyler is an old school park.  Yes, there’s some nature.  You can hike, but mostly on paved or gravel paths.  More to the point (and why it seems “old school” to me) it’s really about “activities”.  Depending on the season you might find yourself riding a horse, paddling a canoe, playing “golf” with a Frisbee, swimming, fishing, cycling, sledding, or x-country skiing.

It’s about 25 minutes by car from Trenton, which makes it about 10 minutes further than the Mercer County Park in West Windsor, its closest competitor.  But Tyler is much nicer.  It’s built around Neshaminy Creek, which is slow moving, relatively warm water.  In the early spring it gets stocked with trout, and in later spring I imagine there’s a good population of warm-water species to catch.

In winter, if we get snow, you can take the kids sledding, or strap on cross-country skis and go for miles on the wide trails through the flat to gently rolling terrain.

Swamp Fever (Trenton-Hamilton Marsh)

Swamp Fever (Trenton-Hamilton Marsh) Multiple access points (See photos and maps)
Friends for the Marsh | NJ Trails Assoc | Piney Paddlers/Sierra Club

If you’ve ever driven south of Trenton on Rte. 29, you’ve probably noticed that the interchange with Interstates 295 and 195 is built in the midst of a major wetlands.  The area, known alternately as the Trenton-Hamilton Marsh, or the Trenton-Hamilton-Bordentown Marsh, is a 1,250 acre protected wetlands and wildlife preserve.

Click on the image to enlarge

If you’re like me, a marsh may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of outdoor excursions (I generally think of mountains and trout streams), but then you’d be missing one of the most fascinating natural resources in the area.

You can go walking on some 8 miles of trails in Mercer County, and another 4-6 miles in Burlington County, not to mention the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park that cuts across the Marsh. Yes, it is flat (an advantage to some).

There’s fishing in most of the lakes (at least until the Lilly pads grow in and take away much of the surface area for fishing).

You can go birding for species you’ll find few other places in the area, including red wing blackbirds.

Spring Lake on a gorgeous day in mid March, before the lilly pads come up.

You can go canoeing and kayaking through the Marsh and along Crosswicks Creek.  While I confess I haven’t done it, it looks on the map that you can arrange a car shuttle, putting in near the northern access points, and taking out at “Bordentown Beach.”  Of course, you don’t need my advice, you can paddle with experts:  the Piney Paddlers, working with the Sierra Club, organizes a group trip roughly every two weeks during the season. Click on their link for times and dates.

Here we’ve collected some of the available information about walking, organized by access point.  There’s a lot more if you muck around the websites above, or start googling the marsh.

Northern Access Points:

Central Access Points:

South:

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