Built in the 1830s as a way to deliver goods on barges between New York and Philadelphia, the Delaware & Raritan…More Canal runs from the Raritan River in New Brunswick to the Delaware River in Bordentown. The canal opened for business in 1834 and operated for over 100 years before its owners went bankrupt and turned the canal over to the state in 1937. About 60 miles of the what remained of the canal and a feeder canal running from Stockton to Trenton were declared state park land in 1974.
Today, the canal itself is used by fishermen and kayakers, while the towpath that runs alongside the canal is a popular destination for joggers, hikers, and bicyclers. More than 160 species of birds have been spotted along the various parts of the canal.
About 5.3 miles of the canal run through Lawrence Township, beginning at the historic 1830s Port Mercer bridgetender's house at Quaker Road and Quakerbridge Road all the way down to township border with Trenton. Parking is available and the canal towpath accessed from several points located off: Province Line Road, the Brearley-Great Meadow Trail behind the 1761 Brearley House, the pedestrian bridge spanning Route 1, Carnegie Road, Whitehead Road and the end of Cherry Tree Lane.