- Home - Hiking Trails - Hiking Near Philadelphia Lambertville Wing Dam Hike
A short hike to the scenic Lambertville wing dam, which brings you (literally) into the middle of the Delaware River.
1.6 miles (2.6 km)
Well maintained cinder trail
Park in Lambertville
Lambertville Wing Dam Hike Trail Maps
Use this address in Google Maps to get to the trailhead:
15 Bridge St, Lambertville, NJ, 08530, USA
The Lambertville WIng Dam hike is about an hour north of Philadelphia and about an hour west of New York City.
The hike takes you on the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail through Lambertville, and then turns onto the wing dam.
The scale on this map is deceiving. The hike is basically dead flat except for a small section from the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail down to the river.
Interactive Map Lambertville Wing Dam Hike Map Downloads
If you have GPS device (
I use this one by Garmin and I love it) for your hike, load the GPX file below into your device to navigate the hike. For help on loading the GPX file, read this article on converting and transferring to a Garmin GPS.
Also, don’t rely on electronics as your sole means of navigation. There’s a basic printable PDF map below, and I strongly picking up
a good topo map too. Gear for the Lambertville Wing Dam Hike The best hydration daypack out there. The CamelBak Fourteener has been perfect on hikes of all distances (including Mt Whitney and Cactus to Clouds). It's light, has plenty of room for super-food snacks, extra layers, hiking gear, and comes with a 3 liter water bladder. I also like the raised sweat pads on the back that keep your back dry. It's the perfect blend of high-tech, durability, and simplicity. I've got hundreds of hours on it and still love it. CamelBak Fourteener Reviews My favorite hiking boot of all time. The La Sportiva Synthesis (for men and women) are waterproof, super-light, have incredible grip, and won a Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award ( my review here). I've gone through a lot of boots and these are my favorite. They feel like comfortable sneakers with the protection of hiking boots. La Sportiva Hiking Boot Reviews Don't hike without this in your backpack. It's a GPS emergency beacon and can save your life ( more on that here). On the trail, you're often out of cell phone range, and even something as simple as a twisted ankle could become a life and death situation. This beacon works where cell phones don't and is the size of a fist. Just press a button and help is on the way. Your life is worth every penny. ACR GPS Beacon Reviews Also, I'd recommend just taking a look around the Gear is dirt cheap there, including day-to-day clothing, fitness gear, and camping gear. And don't forget to get a lifetime REI Outlet. REI Membership for an extra 10% off. Lambertville Wing Dam Hike Video Lambertville Wing Dam Hike Directions What to Expect This is an easy hike on easy trails, suitable for everyone. There is one section down to the wing dam that is steep and narrow, but it is very short. If the river is in flood stage, the wing dam could be under water. It’s still a nice walk on the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail. Construction started on the wing dam in the 1830s. It fed water into the canal system in PA, and also powered paper mills. There is another half of the wing dam on the Pennsylvania side, but it’s much harder to get to. The Delaware and Raritan Canal, which the 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 the tracks were converted into a Rails to Trails area in the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. 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. Park anywhere in Lambertville. There’s street parking and lots. Turn by Turn Hike Directions 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. The actual Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail that you take to the wing dam is well marked and easy to follow When you start on the trail in Lambertville, there are some interesting informational signs detailing the history of the canal. The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail winds it’s way behind houses in Lambertville, and eventually crosses a creek. 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. About halfway on the hike, you approach a lock. Cross the walkway over the lock to your right. 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. 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. The hike down the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail is straight and pleasant. 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. The trail down to the wing dam is not an official trail, but is well worn from locals. Head down the trail to the concrete wing dam, avoiding any spurs down the river bank. 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. A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.
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I’m Hiking Guy, aka Cris Hazzard. I like to get outdoors, walk, and then write about it. It wasn’t always like that though.
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