When traveling between College Avenue and Busch, you might have noticed a secluded, alluring path sandwiched between two rivers. As it turns out, this “river path,” which Rutgers students pass on a daily basis, is actually part of the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park. In fact, this path is the State Park’s Main Canal Trail, which begins at Landing Lane right here in New Brunswick and ends at Mulberry Street in Trenton. The trail is a total of 33.9 miles, which is about a two-and-a-half hour bike ride!
If you’re coming from College Ave, the trail’s entrance would be directly to your left before Landing Lane Bridge (after the blue rails).
Most students cross the Landing Lane Bridge and pass the trail when walking from College Ave to Busch (or vice versa). On all of our game days, you will find hoards of students making the trek between the two campuses; many of them will not even realize that they are walking right next to a State Park.
These canals, which are now used for biking and hiking, were originally built in the early 19th century during the industrial revolution for transporting freight and resources between Philadelphia and New York. So while we use the trails to go for a nice stroll or get a great workout, they were once used solely for practical purposes.
Watch your footing! Some of the first stones are a bit wobbly.
When walking onto the path, you would see the canal on your left and the Raritan on your right…
At some parts of the trail you will be surrounded by a wall of trees.
But you will always be able to see a little bit of water between the branches.
And keep your eyes open for wild life! Though they may be hard to spot, the trail is alive with chirping birds, jumping fish and small scurrying mammals. Once the weather warms up, the canal also becomes home to countless turtles!
Even though there are no turtles now, it’s always a great time to go on the Canal Trail. Whether you want to clear your mind, get a challenging workout or simply escape from the stresses of everyday life, the D & R Canal State Park Trail is the place to do it.
For more information, check out the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park website!