Morris Canal

New Jersey

Morris Canal Facts

States: New Jersey
Counties: Sussex, Warren
Length: 2 miles
Trail end points: Allamuchy (near Allamuchy State Park) and Bryram Township (Waterloo Village)
Trail surfaces: Dirt, Grass
Trail category: Canal
ID: 6032437
Trail activities: Bike, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Morris Canal Description

In the early 1830s the Morris Canal opened across northern New Jersey, from Phillipsburg on the Delaware River to Newark, and later to Jersey City on the Hudson River. It provided a thoroughfare for the county's farm products to reach metropolitan markets. The county continues to retain some of its early agricultural prominence, leading the Garden State in the production of dairy cattle, milk, eggs, feed corn and alfalfa. In addition, farm markets, nurseries, wineries, and "boutique" growers are expanding within the county.

The Morris Canal also brought together the anthracite coal from Pennsylvania with the limestone and iron ore from New Jersey in the formation of heavy industry. Railroads quickly replaced the canal and sped the development of industry within the county.

The canal towpath between Waterloo Village and Allamuchy is a 2-mile long recreational trail open to the public for non-motorized activities. This trail is part of a greenway that will eventually extend between the proposed New Jersey Transportation Heritage Museum in Phillipsburg and the historic Waterloo Village - a restored canal town.

Parking and Trail Access

Free parking is available at historic Waterloo Village in Byram Township. Simply take Interstate 80 in New Jersey to Exit 25.
Follow the signs for Waterloo Village.

Morris Canal Reviews

great trail..lots of history. I thought some of the trail markers were a tad confusing (hard to see) but a great great experience, not sure what the one review about bushwhacking was about..clear path under Rt 80. Suggest you get out and try it. After walk around the village it was pretty interesting.

"This section of restored Morris Canal and towpath is divided into two disconnected sections. About 1/2 mile section in Waterloo Village is well restored, with water in the canal, descriptive signs are restored canal structures. The Canal Society of New Jersey Museum is located here. Below the village parking lot, fishing is very popular in the canal.

Route 80 currently cuts this section off form the 1 1/2 mile section of towpath below. In this section, the towpath is clear, but the canal is essentially an overgrown trench. There are signs at various points of interest, and sturdy wooden bridges cross water channels. There is a passageway under Rte 80, but it is not currently accessible without some unpleasant bushwhacking on foot. These sections are suitable for biking, although there are some sections of exposed roots.

About 1 mile beloe the current southern end of the towpath, at Saxton Falls, there is another section of canal and towpath at a lock and dam. The towpath extends close to 1/2 mile north on a causeway near the lake shore. Here the canal traffic used the slack water off the lake behind the dam. South of Saxton Falls the canal crosses Rte 604. There is a short section of well cleared towpath which ends at dense vegetation just after the point that the canal again holds water. Clearing is scheduled to continue from here as volunteer time becomes available.

All in all, this is a very interesting walk/ride along an amazing feat of engineering from our past. Let's hope the restoration of the towpath continues.

Rates an 8 out of 10!

Fred"

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