This easy hike along the Delaware Canal State Park is full of beauty and history. While this towpath hike isn’t short, it’s dead flat and very easy. As long as you can walk for 2-3 hours, you should be fine. If you want to break the hike in half and have lunch, Stockton, NJ, at the mid-point of the hike, is a great option. Shaded paths, river views, and peace and quiet are the hallmarks of this hike, suitable for all levels of hiker.
I’ve mixed it up a bit on this hike so that you get two perspectives of the river. You will travel in two state parks. The New Hope to Stockton portion is in Pennsylvania’s Delaware Canal State Park. The return trip is in New Jersey’s Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. The trails on this hike were all former railroad tracks, reclaimed with the Rails to Trails program, and you’ll see some relics of the old railroad era as you do the hike.
The hike starts in downtown New Hope. There are numerous parking options in town, but there is no parking at the trailhead (the lot is private).
Gear for the Hike
You don’t need any special hiking gear to do this hike, and fitness apparel is fine. Just make sure you have some water and maybe snack. There’s a place to buy food, water, or sit down for a meal in the middle of the hike at Stockton, NJ.
In the summer than can be mosquitos and gnats, so take insect repellant.
Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike*.
* No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Towpath Hike Trail Maps
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Delaware Canal State Park Towpath Hike Map Downloads
Gaia GPS is a planning and navigation tool that you can use on your phone, tablet, and the web. I use it on my phone when I need to interact with the map and know where my position is on it. I use it at home on the computer to plan routes. You can overlay maps such as public lands to find out free places to camp. It’s a powerful tool.
This thing does everything: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and the list goes on. I keep a GPX route on the watch so I can quickly glance down and make sure I’m in the right place.
You can also do this hike as a bike ride, but you have to carry your bike up a set of steps. And if you’re hiking it, keep your eyes open for passing bikes.
If you want to grab a bite or take a break, you have options in Stockton. There is a deli, and a few proper restaurants. Also, if you want to end the hike here, you can take an inexpensive Uber back to New Hope.
Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.