Stockton to Bull's Island

Stockton to Bull's Island, D & R Canal State Park (8/7/2009)

This is hike #29 ("The Delaware River Valley-Stockton to Bull's Island") in Hiking New Jersey: A Guide to 50 of the Garden State's Greatest Hiking Adventures (1st edition). This hike includes the entire Hike #34 ("D & R Canal, Bull's Island to Prallsville") in 50 Hikes in New Jersey (3rd edition).

This was our second consecutive hike along the Delaware River. We're loving the beauty of the river, the serenity of the canal, the rich history, and the old world charm in the small towns along these parts of the Delaware River. Today we first walked the rail bed of the historic Belvidere-Delaware Railroad (the Bel-Del) west from Stockton to Bull's Island, keeping the D & R's feeder canal below on our left. After crossing over the Delaware on the Lumbertville-Raven Rock pedestrian bridge we arrived in Lumbertville, Pennsylvania with its charming hotel, homes and shops. From here we took the tow path of the Delaware Canal (not to be mistaken with the D & R canal) east to the imposing Centre Bridge, crossing the Delaware River back into Stockton, New Jersey.

It should be noted that at least half the path on the PA side, from Lumbertville to Virginia Forest Recreation Area, is quite unkempt. Huge tractors have passed through this area lately, leaving huge tracks which aren't the easiest to walk on. They even knocked down one informative sign for the Delaware Canal behind the hotel. Arriving at Virginia Forest Recreation Area, where the path become very well-groomed, we spied a sign facing away from us. Passing it we turned to read that the 2.3-mile section of trail we just traversed was CLOSED because of flood damage. Indeed? Well there wasn't a sign at the other end! Our favorite stretch was the part between Virginia Forest and the Centre Bridge where the trail passed directly behind charming houses and at one point an absolutely gorgeous Italian-style villa. It was here where I got a great shot of a heron in a tree.

Total distance hiked was over 8 miles in about 4.5 hours. We had lunch at Virginia Forest on a park bench overlooking the Delaware River.

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Bel-Del railroad sign

The rail bed for the Bel-Del

Near the trail head

Actual location of the rails

The D & R canal

Spillway at Wickecheoke Creek

Delaware River looking west

[Photo by Laura]


Building at Prallsville

Prallsville Mill complex

Prallsville grist mill

Rail bed bridge

Sappy trunk

Millstone at grist mill

View from the bridge

View of Prallsville from trail

Baby fawn

D & R canal

Lochatong Creek bridge

Creek spillway into river

Peaceful feeder canal

Lochatong Creek bridge

On the bridge

View to spillway

View of canal, river and PA beyond

Old RR mile post

Cutting the grass on the rail bed

Canal at Bull's Island

Wild flowers on Bull's Island

Lumbertville-Raven Rock pedestrian bridge

On the bridge

Huge flag flying

Delaware Canal

View of tow path looking east

Black Bass Hotel


Pedestrian bridge from PA

Lock 12 of Delaware Canal

Dated 1912

The lock

Turning something or other

Dried up lock

Wooden doors of lock

Broken doors on other end

Abutment of pedestrian bridge

Unkempt path behind hotel

Tractor damage

Delaware River from PA

Concrete steps to river

More gears

Cuttalossa Inn in Lumberton

Lumberton Granite Company

Auto bridge over Delaware Canal

Delaware River

Wild flowers

Lochatong Creek bridge from PA side

Kids on the NJ side

Grasshoppers abounded in this area

Path wild flowers

Here the path is well kept

At Virginia Forest

Virginia Forest visitor's center

Private residence

Another lock?

Tiny frog

Gorgeous view over Delaware Canal

Beautiful stone house

Private residences on the tow path!

The bridge to get to those houses

Gorgeous Italian-style villa

Statues at the villa

Delaware Canal behind villa

Tow path and river

Another magnificent villa

Gorgeous gardens across the canal

Beautiful heron in a tree

Approaching Centre bridge

Under the Centre bridge

Centre Bridge

Centre Bridge Inn canal tour boats

Centre Bridge Inn (est. 1705)

Crossing back into NJ

Delaware River looking west

D & R sign in Stockton

The historic Stockton Inn

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