Lambertville Wing Dam Hike

Lambertville Wing Dam Hike

In This Guide
  • How to Get to the Lambertville Wing Dam Hike
  • Lambertville Wing Dam Hike Trail Maps
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions
  • What You Need To Do the Hike
Distance1.6 miles (2.6 km)
Time1 Hour (Total Time)
DifficultyEasy
Total Climbing100 feet (30m)
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park NameDelaware and Raritan Canal State Park
Park Phone609-924-5705

This unique hike to the Lambertville wing dam brings you to a stone wing dam that extends into the middle of the Delaware River, offering great views of the river, New Hope, and Lambertville. The hike follows the historic Delaware and Raritan Canal, a converted Rails to Trails area. The hike is an easy walk from Lambertville or New Hope, and highly recommended. It’s a local’s favorite.

The Delaware and Raritan Canal, which the wing dam hike follows, was built in the 1830s to help transport coal and other commodities from eastern PA (with the hub in Easton) to New York and Philadelphia. Eventually trains ran along the canal banks, and this section was used by the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1977 the trains stopped running and shortly after that the area was declared a state park. Today the canal is stocked with trout and is a hotspot for fisherman.

The actual wing dam was built in the 1830s, and was used to feed water into the canal system and power paper mills that lined the banks of the river in Lambertville. The other half of the wing dam is on the Pennsylvania side, and is not easily accessible. The rapids between the two sides of the Lambertville wing dam are considered the some of the most dangerous on the Delaware River, attracting kayakers who brave the rapids. It is not safe to swim in any of the water around the wing dam. People die here every year.

Getting to the Lambertville Wing Dam Hike

Use this address as the start of the hike: 15 Bridge St, Lambertville, NJ, 08530, USA.

Park anywhere in Lambertville. There’s street parking and lots. There are no public bathrooms here but there are restaurants and bars in the area with facilities.

Gear for the Hike

You don’t need any special gear to do this hike, it’s more of a walk. Here’s what I recommend:

The trails are cinders but there is a short dirt section from the towpath down to the wing dam. It could be muddy and is a little steep, just a heads up.

Garmin inreach review

If you want hiking gear recommendations, check out my full gear list. I only recommend and review gear that I actually use. No company pays me to push their product. Everything on my gear list is battle tested on the trails, and should work well for you too.

See The Gear I Use

Lambertville Wing Dam Hike Trail Maps

Fenix 5x Hiking Review

I highly recommend bringing some form of paper map with you, and then using it in conjunction with a GPS device. You can see the navigation gear that I use here (I’m currently using the Fenix 5x and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS.

Many people also print out this web page for the turn-by-turn images. And if you really want to get tricky, YouTube Premium lets you download videos for offline use, so you can download the hike video and save it.

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

lambertville wing dam hike 3d map
The hike takes you on the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail through Lambertville, and then turns onto the wing dam.

Lambertville Wing Dam Hike Directions

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Turn by Turn Hike Directions

lambertville wing dam hike trailhead
The trailhead is in the middle of Lambertville, close to Lambertville Station. Just put the trailhead address into Google Maps and you should be fine.
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail
The actual Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail that you take to the wing dam is well marked and easy to follow
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail sign
When you start on the trail in Lambertville, there are some interesting informational signs detailing the history of the canal.
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail
The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail winds it’s way behind houses in Lambertville, and eventually crosses a creek.
lambertville wing dam hike
The canal builders had to bridge the canals over creeks and streams. The bridge also serves as a spillway to prevent the canal from overflowing.
lambertville wing dam hike
About halfway on the hike, you approach a lock. Cross the walkway over the lock to your right.
lambertville wing dam hike
You’ll continue to hike down the canal trail, on the right in this picture. These locks helped overcome elevation changes as the canals made their way upriver.
lambertville wing dam hike
These waters are stocked with trout, and also are home to bass, perch, carp, and catfish. The wing dam is a popular place for bass fisherman.
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail
The hike down the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail is straight and pleasant.
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail
The turn-off to the dam is small and easy to miss. Look for this mile marker and bench, and hike right down to the river.
lambertville wing dam hike
The trail down to the wing dam is not an official trail, but is well worn from locals.
lambertville wing dam hike
Head down the trail to the concrete wing dam, avoiding any spurs down the river bank.
lambertville wing dam hike
And here you are, the Lambertville wing dam! Walk to the end of the dam and enjoy the river. Again, it’s not safe to swim in any of the water here. After you’re done exploring the wing dam, turn around and head back the way you came.

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