Lambertville Wing Dam Hike
|In This Guide|
|Distance||1.6 miles (2.6 km)|
|Time||1 Hour (Total Time)|
|Total Climbing||100 feet (30m)|
|Park Name||Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park|
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:
- Sneakers or trail runners
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.
My Top Gear Picks
Do you have the right hiking gear? Will it stand up to the test? I waste lots of money testing hiking gear every year so that you don’t have to. My gear picks are solid choices that will serve you well on the trail. I don’t do sponsored or paid reviews, I just the share actual gear that I use all the time that’s made the cut. Here are my top picks:
- Garmin InReach Mini Emergency Beacon – Hiking out of cell phone range? Make sure you have one of these two-way satellite texting devices in case your hike doesn’t go as planned. You can read my full review here.
- Injinji Sock Liners With Darn Tough Hiking Socks – This combo is a great way to avoid blisters out on the trail. I have some insider-hiking tips for avoiding blisters here. Pair them with modern, high-tech hiking boots (for women and men) and your feet with thank you.
- Garmin Fenix 5x Plus – It’s a little pricey, but man do I love this thing. Not only does it have all the topo maps and navigation tools on my wrist, but it also acts as a long battery life, rugged, outdoors version of an Apple Watch. Track your workouts, sleep, heart rate, all that stuff.
I have lots of other great, sponsor-free, trail tested gear picks on my “best gear” page.
See My Full Gear List
Lambertville Wing Dam Hike Trail Maps
I highly recommend bringing a good 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 Plus 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 Directions
Subscribe to HikingGuy on YouTube
Turn by Turn Hike Directions
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