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Old 06-18-17, 06:47 AM   #1
TBlackwell600
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Delaware Canal Bike Ride - PA or NJ side?

I'm planning on biking from Allentown to Trenton. My plan is to cross over to NJ at Upper Black Eddy / Milford, connect to the feeder canal trail and ride that to just before Trenton.
Riding a Trek hybrid with 700x32 tires. What is the condition of the Feeder Canal Trail (NJ side) vs staying on the PA side and crossing over farther south?
Thanks in advance for any info.
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Old 06-18-17, 09:18 AM   #2
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The west side is the older trail and is somewhat rougher in terms of surface conditions, occasional roots, narrower, more dirt (and potential mud). The east side is wider, has more gravel and is a bit boring, IMO, thus would recommend the PA side as it's more scenic.

I rode it about 4 years ago, Milford down to Washingtons Crossing on the west side, then back on the east, or most of that with some occasional pavement sections. I used my touring bike with 32mm cross tires (slick center, knobbie aodes) slicks at that size would work as well.
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Old 06-18-17, 02:30 PM   #3
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The Jersey side is so much nicer than the Pennsy side. I get off the Pennsy canal at the Uhlerstown Hill Rd. wooden bridge. (Going south, go under the wooden covered bridge, make a left off the path & make a right on Uhlerstown Hill rd. At the stop sign make a left onto Rte. 32 - River Rd. then a right onto the bridge over the Delaware River.)
32 tires are ok - just have to be careful on some spots on the Pennsy side.
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Old 06-20-17, 08:03 AM   #4
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I've found the NJ side to be smoother than the Pa. side. But, can also be softer in spots. I also thing the options for food and services are better on the NJ side, you pass through more towns. And rt 29 is also an option in the areas where it has a wide shoulder.
Your bike will be fine, I ride my Trek 7.5 with 25mm tires with no issues.
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Old 06-24-17, 08:12 AM   #5
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I rode Morrisville - Black Eddy - Milford - Trenton this week (PA side going north, NJ side going south.)

Decent surface for the most part on both sides. I rode 35mm road tires on a cross bike, and felt a little beat up by the end but it was completely do-able. The PA side is somewhat rougher but more scenic.

There are closures on both sides. PA side, the Tinicum Aquaduct is closed and you'd need to jump onto PA32 (River Road) for around a mile before getting back on the towpath. NJ side, the towpath is closed south of Lambertville. If you decide to go that route, either cut over to Route 29 at Bridge Street (rejoin the towpath a few miles south) or alternatively, take the bridge to New Hope and go down the PA side. No more issues in PA between New Hope and Morrisville or the Calhoun Street bridge back to NJ. I'd personally choose that option, since-- see above-- more scenic. It takes you past Washington Crossing State Park, the Soldiers' Graves near the trail, and follows about four feet off the feeder canal.
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Old 07-16-17, 09:55 PM   #6
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Road

Why not just ride on the road? That gravel is too much for me.
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Old 07-17-17, 07:29 AM   #7
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Why not just ride on the road? That gravel is too much for me.
PA 32 and NJ 29 are no fun to ride on. NJ 29 south of L'Ville has no shoulder and can have a lot of traffic. The D&R on the NJ side is not gravel. It's crushed limestone. I have done the Frenchtown to L'Ville section on 23c tires. No problem.
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Old 07-17-17, 07:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TBlackwell600 View Post
My plan is to cross over to NJ at Upper Black Eddy / Milford, connect to the feeder canal trail and ride that to just before Trenton.

If you haven't done this yet, I hope you understand that you have to ride on the road a bit south of Milford to get to the trail. Why? Because the trail stops short of coming into Milford. Why? Because it would have to traverse a Superfund site that has not been cleaned up yet. There are two things you can do: Take the road south from the Citgo in Milford all the way to Frenchtown and pick up the trail there between the bridge and the café. Or you can ride the same road for a bit then make a right down a gravel road to reach the northern terminus of the trail. The gravel road is just beyond the car dealership on the right, 1.5 miles from the traffic light across from the Citgo.


BTW...The pizza place in Milford is pretty good. The trail goes right by Bull's Island Recreation Area, where there are bathrooms and water. Walk out to the pedestrian bridge there for a nice view of the river.


And if this sort of thing unnerves you, you might want to stick to the roads on the NJ side. It's on the PA trail just south of Easton. It looks far worse than it is. Just pedal lightly.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pa canal path.jpg (98.6 KB, 71 views)
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Old 07-17-17, 07:52 AM   #9
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Thanks for the updated info. Ride is scheduled for the 7/29. In looking at the train on MapMyRun, I figured I would have to ride the road from Milford south to the next terminus. I've vaguely familiar with that area south of Milford but I have frequented the pizza shop on more than 1 occasion... and will certainly be stopping there along the way if they're open when I get there!

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If you haven't done this yet, I hope you understand that you have to ride on the road a bit south of Milford to get to the trail. Why? Because the trail stops short of coming into Milford. Why? Because it would have to traverse a Superfund site that has not been cleaned up yet. There are two things you can do: Take the road south from the Citgo in Milford all the way to Frenchtown and pick up the trail there between the bridge and the café. Or you can ride the same road for a bit then make a right down a gravel road to reach the northern terminus of the trail. The gravel road is just beyond the car dealership on the right, 1.5 miles from the traffic light across from the Citgo.


BTW...The pizza place in Milford is pretty good. The trail goes right by Bull's Island Recreation Area, where there are bathrooms and water. Walk out to the pedestrian bridge there for a nice view of the river.


And if this sort of thing unnerves you, you might want to stick to the roads on the NJ side. It's on the PA trail just south of Easton. It looks far worse than it is. Just pedal lightly.
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Old 07-17-17, 07:53 AM   #10
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Thank you for the updated info. I'll adjust my route plans accordingly. !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis609 View Post
I rode Morrisville - Black Eddy - Milford - Trenton this week (PA side going north, NJ side going south.)

Decent surface for the most part on both sides. I rode 35mm road tires on a cross bike, and felt a little beat up by the end but it was completely do-able. The PA side is somewhat rougher but more scenic.

There are closures on both sides. PA side, the Tinicum Aquaduct is closed and you'd need to jump onto PA32 (River Road) for around a mile before getting back on the towpath. NJ side, the towpath is closed south of Lambertville. If you decide to go that route, either cut over to Route 29 at Bridge Street (rejoin the towpath a few miles south) or alternatively, take the bridge to New Hope and go down the PA side. No more issues in PA between New Hope and Morrisville or the Calhoun Street bridge back to NJ. I'd personally choose that option, since-- see above-- more scenic. It takes you past Washington Crossing State Park, the Soldiers' Graves near the trail, and follows about four feet off the feeder canal.
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Old 07-17-17, 07:59 AM   #11
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I figured I would have to ride the road from Milford south to the next terminus.
I took the gravel road once. It was pretty bumpy, and I think there were some puddles at the bottom since it had rained recently. The road isn't that bad. Moderate traffic during certain times. There is a shoulder. It's narrow in places, but adequate.
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Old 07-17-17, 08:02 AM   #12
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The photo in your previous post, I'm assuming that's one of the water relief areas between the canal and river for when the water gets too high in the canal?
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Old 07-19-17, 03:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TBlackwell600 View Post
Thank you for the updated info. I'll adjust my route plans accordingly. !!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis609 View Post
I rode Morrisville - Black Eddy - Milford - Trenton this week (PA side going north, NJ side going south.)

Decent surface for the most part on both sides. I rode 35mm road tires on a cross bike, and felt a little beat up by the end but it was completely do-able. The PA side is somewhat rougher but more scenic.

There are closures on both sides. PA side, the Tinicum Aquaduct is closed and you'd need to jump onto PA32 (River Road) for around a mile before getting back on the towpath. NJ side, the towpath is closed south of Lambertville. If you decide to go that route, either cut over to Route 29 at Bridge Street (rejoin the towpath a few miles south) or alternatively, take the bridge to New Hope and go down the PA side. No more issues in PA between New Hope and Morrisville or the Calhoun Street bridge back to NJ. I'd personally choose that option, since-- see above-- more scenic. It takes you past Washington Crossing State Park, the Soldiers' Graves near the trail, and follows about four feet off the feeder canal.
Rode this section today, from Washington's crossing up to Lambertville. It's all open now.
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Old 07-19-17, 04:55 PM   #14
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Rode this section today, from Washington's crossing up to Lambertville. It's all open now.
Thanks, good to know. I'm planning to ride that route again once the leaves turn (and, side benefit, it's a little cooler!)
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Old 07-19-17, 05:07 PM   #15
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Thanks, good to know. I'm planning to ride that route again once the leaves turn (and, side benefit, it's a little cooler!)
That's part of why I went there today, the route is mostly shaded. On a day as hot as today, it really helped.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:00 PM   #16
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The photo in your previous post, I'm assuming that's one of the water relief areas between the canal and river for when the water gets too high in the canal?
It is.
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Old 07-31-17, 06:21 AM   #17
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Just a quick note of THANKS to all that provide feedback on this post.
I rode from Allentown to Trenton this past Saturday (65 miles) and had no issues. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Ride Safe!!
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Old 07-31-17, 09:38 PM   #18
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Jersey side is definitely more for skinnier tires. PA side is for fatter tires. I like both sides and have done both.
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Old 08-01-17, 07:28 AM   #19
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Planning an Erie, PA to Philly tour for September. Have incorporated the Lehigh Gorge Trail (which I have done a zillion times) and as much of the D&L Trail down to Easton as exists. I don't want to ride all the way home from Easton the next day so I will do a short day to Upper Black Eddy. Haven't decided whether I will take the PA trail or stick to the roads on the NJ side to Milford. After you get out of Philipsburg the roads on the NJ side are pretty with low traffic and only two small hills after Carpentersville. Check 'em out some time.
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