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Delaware & Raritan Canal Trail?

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  • savetheenvironmentx
    Has anyone ridden it and does anyone know about camping on it as well. I am asking because I am doing a bike tour up to Connecticut from D.C. and while working
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 25, 2013
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      Has anyone ridden it and does anyone know about camping on it as well. I am asking because I am doing a bike tour up to Connecticut from D.C. and while working out a potential route found that I could be on the D&R canal trail. Naturally I would rather take that for as long as possible and use it to camp out because I want to keep my city stays to the minimum (aside from planned stops in Baltimore, Philly and NY,NY)
      I do plan on being fully loaded so that is why camping is most handy.

      Any resources would be useful. I have never attempted a tour of this length (my longest was 118.3miles on the C&O in early July)

      Thanks a bunch folks!
    • Leslie Tierstein
      I ve ridden parts of it, though not on one long trip. Since you re going to CT from DC, I assume you re interested in the part that runs from the Delaware
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 25, 2013
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        I’ve ridden parts of it, though not on one long trip.  Since you’re going to CT from DC, I assume you’re interested in the part that runs from the Delaware River up through Griggtown, to the Raritan River, and not the part along the Delaware River.

         

        Bad news is that the surface is not great.  Good news is that once you get past Kingston, the parallel roads have comparatively little traffic and are quite pleasant to ride on. If you decide NOT to ride on the canal trail, you are better off crossing the Delaware farther upstream, say Washington Crossing, and riding from there toward Griggstown.  Or farther downstream – see next paragraph.

         

        BTW, getting through Philadelphia is not going to be fun.  I have avoided that as well, by staying well to the west.  Or crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge into Camden and riding up the NJ side.  (Again, Camden is no fun, but it’s a short ride.) More details on possible routes available on request.  And, of course, the southernmost legal bicycle crossing of the Susequehanna is quite far north and west, which also suggestions a westerly route around Philadelphia

         

        Leslie  ( Jersey Girl at heart)

         

        From: BikeWashingtonDC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:BikeWashingtonDC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of savetheenvironmentx
        Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 2:02 PM
        To: BikeWashingtonDC@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [BikeWashingtonDC] Delaware & Raritan Canal Trail?

         

         

        Has anyone ridden it and does anyone know about camping on it as well. I am asking because I am doing a bike tour up to Connecticut from D.C. and while working out a potential route found that I could be on the D&R canal trail. Naturally I would rather take that for as long as possible and use it to camp out because I want to keep my city stays to the minimum (aside from planned stops in Baltimore, Philly and NY,NY)
        I do plan on being fully loaded so that is why camping is most handy.

        Any resources would be useful. I have never attempted a tour of this length (my longest was 118.3miles on the C&O in early July)

        Thanks a bunch folks!

      • Bruce Kulik
        My daughter and I rode the entire length of the trail that goes from New Brunswick, NJ to Trenton, NJ as part of a trip from Boston to DC in 2008. We camped
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 25, 2013
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          My daughter and I rode the entire length of the trail that goes from New
          Brunswick, NJ to Trenton, NJ as part of a trip from Boston to DC in
          2008. We camped overnight in the yard of a host from Warm Showers in
          Highland Park, NJ, and then stayed with my sister outside of
          Philadelphia, so we did not have any direct experience with camping
          along the trail.

          I highly recommend joining Warm Showers. You can get more info at:
          (www.warmshowers.org). There appear to be several more hosts along the
          trail now, compared to 5 years ago.

          We found the trail to be very enjoyable. It was almost entirely
          natural/stone dust. Generally hard packed and fairly smooth. Just a
          few rough areas. Occasional spillways that were made of various sorts of
          material, concrete, gravel, granite blocks, stones, etc. Some you could
          ride across, some you would be best to walk across. A few had low water
          across them (< 1/2 inch). We were both fully rear loaded. She on a
          hybrid, and I on a normal road bike with standard (but not wicked
          narrow) tires.

          There were not very many amenities along the trail, and if I recall, no
          formal campsites. There might be some opportunities for illegal
          guerrilla camping, but a lot of the areas appeared to be swampy or damp
          woods. Those that weren't were mostly private property.

          When we went, the trail stopped just north of Trenton, and we had to
          ride through Trenton on city streets. At the time, Trenton had a pretty
          bad crime problem, and we had an encounter that left us a bit uneasy as
          we rode through the city -- two nurses from a local hospital caught up
          to us with their car and were horrified at the thought that we were
          riding our bikes through the city and insisted on escorting us until we
          were at the bridge leading to Pennsylvania. We did not actually
          encounter any crime, but their reaction left us quite nervous. I
          decided if I did that route again, I would skirt the city instead, but
          maybe it's better now than it was then.

          On a more positive note, I can highly recommend two other trails if they
          seem like they are close to your route. The first is between Baltimore
          and York, PA. Mostly natural and stone dust, but in very good shape,
          shady, and pleasant. Small towns every few miles along the way. The
          second is the South County Trail/North Count Trail and Putnam County
          Trail leading from Van Cortlandt Park to Brewster, NY.

          I can give you more advice on the entire route we took. Contact me off
          list if you want more info.

          Bruce Kulik
          Medford, MA

          On 7/25/2013 2:02 PM, savetheenvironmentx wrote:
          > Has anyone ridden it and does anyone know about camping on it as well. I am asking because I am doing a bike tour up to Connecticut from D.C. and while working out a potential route found that I could be on the D&R canal trail. Naturally I would rather take that for as long as possible and use it to camp out because I want to keep my city stays to the minimum (aside from planned stops in Baltimore, Philly and NY,NY)
          > I do plan on being fully loaded so that is why camping is most handy.
          >
          > Any resources would be useful. I have never attempted a tour of this length (my longest was 118.3miles on the C&O in early July)
          >
          > Thanks a bunch folks!
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