Cycle Philadelphia, Sightseeing & Kids Ride, The Pennsylvania & New Jersey Canal Loop Trails
With 30 miles each in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the canal trails bike ride runs parallel alongside the Delaware River. There are five bridges that connect the trails, granting you the freedom to choose ride lengths between six and 60 miles (the Pennsylvania path runs from Uhlerstown to Morrisville and the New Jersey path from Frenchtown to Trenton).
The trails run parallel to the Delaware River and are therefore generally flat. You’ll ride through dirt, gravel, pebbles, and even some grass.
The sections around New Hope and Lambertville are probably the busiest in terms of bike/ped traffic. You will hop on-road for a couple of blocks to cross the Delaware River.
Drive. I know, I’m sorry. There is metered street parking all over New Hope.
Food and Drink
There are only a million excellent places to stop for a bite along this ride – there are options at the trail junctions in Lumberville, Stockton, Lambertville, and of course in New Hope. Zoubi’s, just a block away from the start point on the corner of Mechanic and New streets, has awesome snacks and strong coffee.
Take a stroll through lovely New Hope! You’ll be treated to some terrific people-watching on the main streets and in the shops and cafés sprinkled all over town.
The entrance to the towpath in New Hope is so easy to find; it is situated underneath the tiny Ferry Street Bridge on the corner of Ferry and Stockton. The directions from here are easy – head north. When you tire, cross the Delaware, and head south in New Jersey. The Pennsylvania side is known as the Delaware Canal State Park, and the New Jersey side is referred to as the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. On the Pennsylvania side, you’ll pedal along the geese laden Delaware Canal. From the 1830s to the 1930s, the canal was a busy passage for anthracite coal and lumber.
The path is quite narrow in the first section, and mostly covered with dirt and small pebbles. The Centre Bridge is your first option to reach New Jersey, bringing you back to New Hope in a short six mile loop. If you cross this bridge, you’ll find yourself in quaint Stockton, N.J. There are plenty of places to stop for a rest or have a snack in Stockton before making a right to head back south on the trail. Your next option to cross into New Jersey is the pedestrian bridge, known to some as the Raven Rock Bridge, in Lumberville. But remember, after the Centre Bridge, the gravel gets bigger! You will enjoy this 14 mile loop, if you have proper tires to handle the gravel.
The seven miles home on the New Jersey side (if you cross the Raven Rock) is fast and fun, again with smaller pebbles. When you reach Lambertville, the trail ends in a parking lot as new development creeps up to the very edge of the park. Stay straight until you see the bridge that takes you back over the river and into New Hope. You’ll have a few blocks of on-road riding here to get back to the start, but if uncomfortable, there’s no shame in walking your bikes right to the doorstep of Zoubi’s!
22.379 km / 13.906 mi
429 m / 1,409 ft
430 m / 1,412 ft
50 m / 165 ft