Boats, Canoes and Kayaks in the Canal

The Main Canal is a great place of still water kayaking or canoeing. There is a slow current, but the average depth is about 8 feet, so there are no rapids. If you fish, a small boat or jonboath is also a good way to access parts of the canal that have dense growth along the banks. Note only non-powered boats or boats with electric motors are allowed.

Where to launch a boat, kayak or canoe?

Most of the entrances that have parking have a place where a canoe or kayak can be launched from the shore. A small row boat or jonboat can probably be launched there as well, but note for most of these sites there is no way to get a trailer close to the launch point and so your vessel will need to be carried, sometimes only a few feet. Entrances confirmed by TowpathGuy to be suitable for launching either because the shore is low and clear of trees or because there is a small dock are DeMott Avenue, Davidson Avenue (5 Mile Lock), the South Bound Brook Lock, the 10 Mile Lock, the Manville Causeway, Amwell Road, the Griggstown Causeway, the Griggstown Lock, and Rocky Hill. At the locks look for a narrow (3-4 foot wide) ramp into the impounded water near the sluice gate/dam.

Lock and Low Bridges

Locks and low bridges limit the range of your boat. For example, if you put in at DeMott Avenue, you will be confined to the canal between Landing Lane (low bridge) and the 5 Mile Lock at Davidson Avenue. The bridges at Landing Lane, Manville Causeway, Amwell Road, Blackwells Mills, Griggstown Causeway and Rocky Hill (Rte. 518) are all too low for boats. The footbridges and the Queens Bridge all provide generous clearance for boats. The two bridges carrying I-287 over the canal are very high above the canal and towpath. The clearance of the other bridges not mentioned has have not yet been confirmed by TowpathGuy.

Canoe and Kayak Rental on the Canal

Canoes and Kayaks are available for rent at the Griggstown Causeway and just beyond the southern end of Lake Carnegie at Alexander Road. Both rental sites are run by CanoeNJ, which has an informative website. Check out their FAQ for answers to common questions -- note these are cash only businesses -- no credit cards accepted.