Last weekend I went for a long — 5 miles — walk along the Delaware and Raritan Canal with my family. The walk was organized by the Montgomery Friends of Open Space and The D&R Canal Watch. It snowed the night before so it was cold that morning but we bundled up and drove to the Kington Lock.
Mary M. Penney, President of Montgomery Friends of Open Space, handed out maps and other information. Our walk guide and board member of the D&R Canal Watch, Bob Barth, explained the logistics of the walk. Some of us would carpool to Griggstown and walk back to Kingston while the rest started at Rocky Hill.
My sister-in-law, Nilima, and my niece Maya, and my sisters-in-law ( the other one ) father-in-law joined us to walk from Griggstown in Franklin Township. With me were my wife and daughter. My son decided he was too tired for a walk.
As we walked Bob Barth told us about the history of the canal and towpath how it was used to transport goods between Bordentown and New Brunswick. Construction of the canal was started in 1830 and completed four later with an estimated cost of $2,830,000. The canal was built by hand by mostly Irish immigrants.
For nearly a century after it opened, the D&R Canal was one of America’s busiest navigation canals. Its peak years were the 1860s and 1870s when Pennsylvania coal was transported through the D&R Canal to feed the city of New York’s industrial boom. During this period, 80% of the total cargo carried on the canal was coal.Delaware & Raritan Canal History
We walked quickly stopping occasionally to listen to Bob explain more of the history of the canal and the surrounding towns. We encountered a few large trees that had fallen across the path. It’s incredible how much damage Hurricane Sandy did to the forests of New Jersey.
My family and I had a good time and plan on attending other MFOS events.