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 & Video
Distance1.6 miles (2.6 km)
Hike Time1 Hour (Total)
Difficulty (?)Easy
Total Ascent (?)20 feet (6m)
Highest Elevation70 feet (21m)
Fees & PermitsFree
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park WebsiteDelaware and Raritan Canal State Park
Park Phone609-924-5705
Stay In Touch - - -

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. 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.

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La Sportiva Spire

The La Sportiva Spire boots feel like comfortable sneakers but offer the protection of hiking boots. They’re great on everything from short hikes to longer hikes of 10+ miles. You don’t want to skimp on your feet.
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Opsrey Stratos 24

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Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

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Lambertville Wing Dam Hike Trail Maps

Click To View Map

Lambertville Wing Dam Hike Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Fenix 6 Pro

I’m a big fan of GPS watches to follow my GPX track (which I also use as a sleep, wellness, and fitness tracker) and my current watch is the Fenix 6 Pro Solar (full review here). I load my GPX tracks onto the watch to make sure I’m in the right place, and if not, the onboard topo maps allow me to navigate on the fly. It’s pricey but it has a great battery, accurate GPS, and tons of functionality. If you want something similar without the maps and big price tag, check out the Garmin Instinct which is a great buy and does a lot of the same things.

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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Video 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.

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.

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