In the 1800’s, America relied upon canals (and the towpaths that ran alongside them) as a vital link in our transportation infrastructure. Until they were made obsolete by the rise of the railroad, canals provided one of the best ways to move goods (in our region that was often coal) from one area to another.
Two historical canals flank the Delaware River, and each has been turned into a state park (Pennsylvania’s Delaware Canal State Park and NJ’s Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park). They have gravel towpaths along the entire way, making for easy and beautiful cycling (provided you are on a mountain bike or hybrid–it will be harder on a road bike). That’s 130 miles of canal towpath, all intersecting in Trenton or Morrisville. It’s an utterly incredible local resource. My favorite trip is this lovely ride from Trenton/Morrisville to Lambertville/New Hope and back. The ride can be about 33 miles long, or about half that if you cross at Washington Crossing State Park instead of continuing all the way.
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